Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion to be adapted for stage

Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion is being adapted for stage in a show billed as a cross 'between an atheist support group and watching a great stand up'.

Chorlton Arts Festival will host the premiere in May and the book has been adapted by Thomas Moore, artistic director of the Manchester-based group.

Charlton Arts FestivalThe God Delusion will premiere at Chorlton Arts Festival in May.

'The only way to describe the show is a light-hearted journey through the sound reasoning that the book so brilliantly details,' he said. 'It's somewhere between an atheist support group and watching a great stand-up comedian. We hope that when people leave the show they feel changed.'

The controversial book, which was listed as a New York Times bestseller, will be made into a 90-minute stage production for the first time after it was first published in 2006.

Moore said he had the idea after watching Dawkins debate at the Nottingham Playhouse in 2015.

'After hearing Richard talk I immediately devoured the book and couldn't get the idea of putting it on stage out of my mind. Fast forward three years and suddenly I find myself in a position where I am looking for that perfect project for Chorlton Arts Festival that is going to give us an opportunity to really look at the status quo and ignite a conversation,' he told The Stage website.

'So I head to my bookcase (as that's where brilliant ideas start) and staring up at me was The God Delusion. I get in touch with Richard and tell him my bonkers idea of bringing a scientific non fiction book to the stage and the rest is history.'

Richard Dawkins said he was delighted with the idea.

'I'm thrilled to see The God Delusion come to life on stage for the first time and for the message of the book to be given a new lease of life in this exciting way, it's going to be a treat for audiences,' he said.

Now more than three million copies have been sold of the book which argued that belief in God was not only wrong but dangerous and amounted to a delusion. He does not claim to have proved God cannot exist but says there are simpler and more likely explanations for the world and it is impossible for God to be both all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving.

The 18-year old festival will open on May 18 for the premiere of The God Delusion with the cast and creative team yet to be announced.