Stranger Things prequel play: Start date, ticket prices, cast, plot and how it connects to the series

20 September 2023, 11:13

Watch the Stranger Things: The First Shadow teaser

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Everything we know about Stranger Things: The First Shadow play – from the ticket prices to the plot and the cast.

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The Stranger Things prequel play is almost upon us! Stranger Things: The First Shadow is a brand new stage play that will delve into the origins of Henry Creel a.k.a. 001, a.k.a. Vecna, as well as finally giving fans a glimpse at what Hopper and Joyce (and Bob) were like back in high school. And yes, it's all canon and connected to the Netflix series.

The First Shadow will open wayyy before Stranger Things 5 drops on the streaming service though, and the Duffer brothers have already teased that the play has apparently influenced some parts of the final season of the TV series.

The prequel play will first open in London's West End in November 2023, but there's currently no word just yet on when or if it will eventually transfer to Broadway. If you want to see it for yourself, you'll have to take a trip to London.

From all the plot details so far, the casting news, ticket prices and everything else in between, here's what we know about Stranger Things: The First Shadow so far.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow prequel play will focus on Henry Creel, and young Hopper and Joyce
Stranger Things: The First Shadow prequel play will focus on Henry Creel, and young Hopper and Joyce. Picture: Netflix

Stranger Things play opening date: When does it start?

According to the official website, tickets will be on sale for all shows starting on November 17th 2023. The first few weeks of shows will be previews, with the official opening night following on December 14th.

You can currently book through until June 2024.

Stranger Things prequel plot: What will happen in The First Shadow?

The official synopsis of The First Shadow reads: "Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy... and the shadows of the past have a very long reach."

A play with young Hopper and young Joyce? Sign me up!

In an interview, the Duffer brothers confirmed that the play will be a completely "new and original story". It's also been confirmed that the show will be canon with the TV series.

Speaking about the plot, Ross Duffer said that it will feel like another series of Stranger Things: "We've got multiple storylines and strands going on throughout, and they all build to a pretty epic climax. So we're excited that it is a play in itself, but it's also using some of the storytelling style that is so much a part of the show".

No other plot details have been released just yet, but based on small details that have already been shared in the Netflix series, fans have a very brief idea of what to expect from the characters.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow will introduce young Hopper and young Joyce
Stranger Things: The First Shadow will introduce young Hopper and young Joyce. Picture: Netflix

As we know from the show, Hopper and Joyce were friends in high school and used to share cigarettes together in between classes. While it's not been explicitly confirmed in the show, David Harbour has teased that the two dated as teens. Of course, whatever their relationship was back then ended, with Hopper heading off to war at 18 years old and Joyce later ending up with Lonnie Byers.

In terms of Bob, it's revealed in season 2 that he struggled at school with bullies, much like Will. While Hopper knew of him enough to have a habit of calling him "Bob the Brain", it's implied that Joyce wasn't really aware of him at high school.

The origins of Henry Creel begin to unfold in season 4. In March 1959, the same year that the play takes place, Henry Creel killed his mother Virginia and sister Alice, and also blinded his father Victor Creel shortly after moving to Hawkins, at the age of 12.

While relaying his childhood to Eleven, Henry reveals that he knew he didn't fit with the other children and that something was "wrong" about him. After his first murders, he ended up in the care of Dr. Brenner and became the first test subject in the Hawkins Lab programme.

The play will likely dive deeper into the origins of Henry Creel and his powers, as well as revealing just how close Joyce and Hopper appear to have been to Vecna this whole time.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow: Everything we know so far
Stranger Things: The First Shadow: Everything we know so far. Picture: Netflix

Will the Stranger Things play connect to the Netflix show? Is it canon?

Yep, the play acts as a prequel to the TV show, and has been confirmed to be canon. It's also meant to be a "standalone story."

Ross Duffer has also hinted that there may be a few small discrepancies or little details between the show and the TV series that fans might discover that don't quite add up: "As we're writing the final season, we weren't able to make sure everything is lining up".

"When this started, we were just doing four seasons, but we have now moved into five - and some things have changed," he added. He said season four was "so much about the backstory, and about Henry Creel, and that that was sort of the launching point for what the [play] would become".

While the play was been written by Stranger Things writer Kate Trefry ('The Spy', 'The Sauna Test' and 'The Nina Project'), the Duffer brothers were able to adjust some "things in the play". Additionally, working on the play has also given them ideas for season 5.

Matt Duffer said: "Some of the mythology stuff is a little bit trickier, but like Ross said, it's been fun to have the play influence the show, and the show influenced the play."

What characters from Stranger Things will be in the Stranger Things play?

Four Stranger Things characters have been officially confirmed in the play's official synopsis so far.

  • Henry Creel
  • Young Jim Hopper
  • Young Joyce Maldonado
  • Young Bob Newby

The appearance of young Lonnie Byers has also been teased by the Stranger Things writers Twitter account.

Additionally, Bob's sister (who has not appeared in the Netflix show) will also be a key character. Victor and Virginia Creel will also appear as parts of Henry's storyline. Hopper's dad, as well as Lonnie Byers, Charles Sinclair (Lucas' dad), Sue Anderson (Lucas' mum), Ted Wheeler (Mike's dad), Karen Childress (a.k.a. Karen Wheeler, Mike's mum), Claudia Henderson (Dustin's mum), Walter Henderson (related to Dustin) and Allen Munson (related to Eddie) all appear in the play.

Speaking about the decision to show Hopper and Joyce in high school alongside the Henry Creel of it all, Matt Duffer said: "In the show, you can meet them as high schoolers - basically the same age as the kids are in our show. So yes, we have the darkness and the horror that comes along with the Henry Creel story, but then we have sort of the fun and pop that comes from meeting and getting to know young Joyce, young Hopper, young Bob."

We'll no doubt get more information about the characters in the play as the months go on. Keep this page bookmarked and we'll update as soon as we get more info.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow will dive deeper into Henry Creel's origins
Stranger Things: The First Shadow will dive deeper into Henry Creel's origins. Picture: Netflix

Stranger Things: The First Shadow cast: Who is playing young Hopper and young Joyce? Who plays Henry Creel?

The big question on everyone's lips: Who will be portraying the younger versions of Winona Ryder and David Harbour's iconic characters?! What will they look like as teenagers in the '50s?

On September 20th, the cast was officially revealed. Here's who is playing who in the Stranger Things prequel play:

  • Oscar Lloyd is James Hopper Jr.
  • Isabella Pappas is Joyce Maldonado
  • Chris Buckley is Bob Newby
  • Louis McCartney is Henry Creel
  • Ella Karuna Williams is Patty Newby
  • Mike Jibson is Victor Creel
  • Lauren Ward is Virginia Creel
  • Shane Attwooll is Chief Hopper
  • Kemi Awoderu is Sue Anderson
  • Chase Brown is Lonnie Byers
  • Ammar Duffus is Charles Sinclair
  • Gilles Geary is Ted Wheeler
  • Florence Guy is Karen Childress
  • Max Harwood is Allen Munson
  • Matthew Pidgeon is Father Newby
  • Calum Ross is Walter Henderson
  • Maisie Norma Seaton is Claudia Henderson
  • Patrick Vaill is Dr. Brenner

READ MORE: David Harbour suggests Jacob Elordi should play young Hopper in Stranger Things spin-off

How much are tickets for the Stranger Things play?

Tickets start at £20 for the cheapest seats, with prices increasing for the premium seat locations in the house. Over 500 tickets will also be released weekly for £20 each.

The ticket price tiers are as follows:

  • £185 (Stalls and Dress Circle)
  • £155 (Front rows of Stalls and Dress Circle)
  • £100 (Middle and sides of Stalls)
  • £90 (Middle and sides of Dress Circle)
  • £75 (Grand circle, back of Dress Circle)
  • £45 (Back of grand circle, back of stalls)

Will the Stranger Things prequel play be on Netflix?

Nope, the play will not be re-made for television, and will only exist on the stage.

"It really is designed for the theatre and the stage," Matt Duffer said, with Ross adding: "I don't see us producing it for television, but we're trying to treat everything in this play as a standalone story. That's how we try to approach it as opposed to just, 'Oh, well, we need to do other shows, or seasons'. We think, no, what is exciting about this and does it work on its own?"

Matt continued: "It does very much feel like Stranger Things, but it is so driven by Stephen [Daldry], Kate [Trefry] and Sonia [Friedman]. It is very much its own thing, kind of set in the world of Stranger Things."

Read more Stranger Things 5 news here:

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