The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical.
7th March to 4th April
Curve has released video giving a glimpse behind the scenes of Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾- The Musical. The video, available on YouTube, offers viewers an exciting sneak peek into the theatre’s latest production ahead of its world premiere this March. Alongside an interview with the show’s writers and director there’s a look into the show’s rehearsals along with an opportunity to find out more about some of the cast.
Curve announced the full cast for the world première of Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical. The cast includes Rosemary Ashe (Grandma), Cameron Blakely (Mr Lucas), Amy Booth-Steel (Miss Elf/Doreen Slater/Mrs Lucas), Neil Ditt (George Mole), Kirsty Hoiles (Pauline Mole) and Neil Salvage (Bert Baxter). The role of Adrian will be shared by Lewis Andrews, Sebastian Croft, Joel Fossard-Jones and Toby Murray.
The role of Pandora will be played by Elise Bugeja, Imogen Gurney and Lulu-Mae Pears; with Nigel played by George Barnden, Kwame Kandekore, and Samuel Small; and Barry will be played by Edward Cross, James McJannett-Smith and Harrison Slater.
With book and lyrics by Jake Brunger and music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary, this new musical of Sue Townsend’s best seller, directed by Luke Sheppard, will open on 17 March 2015, with previews from 7 March, and runs until 4 April.
“Honestly. My family just don’t understand me. Perhaps when I am famous and my diary is discovered people will understand the torment of being a 13 ¾ year old intellectual” Adrian Mole.
Set in 1980s Leicester, Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ – The Musical, follows the daily dramas and misadventures of Adrian’s adolescent life. With dysfunctional parents, ungrateful elders, a growing debt to school bully Barry Kent and an unruly pimple on his chin, life is hard for a misunderstood intellectual who is only 13 ¾…
To top it off, when new girl Pandora captures his heart, his best friend Nigel steals hers. Can Adrian win back her love and escape his chaotic family life? With an infectious original score, this brand new adaptation rediscovers this much-loved novel and bring Adrian’s story to life once more. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ was Townsend’s first novel, published by Penguin Books in 1982. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, been translated into 30 languages, and spawned 7 sequel Adrian Mole novels. The novels have previously been adapted for the stage, radio and television.
Director, Luke Sheppard said: “Finding the right actors to step into the shoes of Sue Townsend’s iconic characters has been an invigorating and rewarding task. Adrian Mole, along with his family and friends, have been treasured by the nation for decades. After an extensive search, which included auditioning over 400 children, we’ve found a team of grown-ups and almost-grown-ups who can’t wait to start rediscovering these roles for a new generation.” Joining Luke on the creative team for the production will also be Tim Jackson (Choreographer), Paul Herbert (Musical Arranger), Mark Collins (Musical Director), Tom Rogers (Designer), Paul Groothius (Sound Designer), Howard Hudson (Lighting Designer) and Sally Wilson (Costume Supervisor). Rosemary Ashe plays Grandma. Her theatre work includes The Witches of Eastwick (Watermill Theatre), There’s No Place Like Home (The Mill, Sonning), When We Are Married (Guildford and West End), Stepping Out (UK tour), Sweeney Todd (Royal Festival Hall), The Pirates of Penzance (UK and US tours), Mary Poppins, Les Miserables and Oliver! (West End). Her television credits include Carmen, Monster TV, The Beggar’s Opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, The Garden of Evelyn and The House of Eliot.
Cameron Blakely plays Mr Lucas. For theatre, his work includes Les Miserables (West End, and also 25th anniversary concert at the O2), Mamma Mia! (international tour), Smash (Menier Chocolate Factory), Home and Beauty (Lyric Theatre), Over the Moon (Old Vic), Personals (Apollo Theatre), and Where’s Charley?, Paint Your Wagon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Card (Regent’s Park Open Air). For television, his credits include Galavant; and for film, King Ralph, Splitting Heirs and Julie and the Cadillacs. Amy Booth-Steel plays Miss Elf / Doreen Slater / Mrs Lucas. For theatre, her work includes Betty Blue Eyes (UK tour), The Light Princess, She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre), One Man Two Guvnors (UK & international tour), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Watermill Theatre), Ex (Soho Theatre), Nicked (HighTide Festival), Swallows and Amazons (Bristol Old Vic), Sister Act, The Sound of Music (London Palladium), and Scooby Doo (UK & Ireland tour). For television, her work includes Hustle, MI High, and I’d Do Anything; and for film Writers Retreat and Kill Keith. Neil Ditt plays George Mole. His theatre credits include But First This – A Musical Homage to Radio 4, All My Sons, Spend Spend Spend (Watermill Theatre), The Captain of Kopenick (National Theatre), Me and My Girl (Kilworth House Theatre), Betty Blue Eyes (Novello Theatre), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre), The Wind in the Willows and High Society (Regents Park Open Air Theatre). For television, his work includes Cherished. Kirsty Hoiles plays Pauline Mole. For theatre, her work includes Betty Blue Eyes (Novello Theatre), Spend Spend Spend (Watermill Theatre and national tour – TMA Award for Best Supporting Role in a Musical), The Three Musketeers (Rose Theatre), Arthur and George (Birmingham REP) and Les Miserables (West End). Her television credits include Call the Midwife, Remember Me and The Woman in Red; and for film, Les Miserables.
Neil Salvage plays Bert Baxter. His theatre credits include The Crucible (Old Vic), Fiddler on the Roof (UK tour), The Mousetrap, The Cryptogram (West End), The Canterbury Tales (Northern Broadsides), Animal Farm (Peter Hall Company), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse/ Birmingham Rep), The Happiest Days of your Life (Royal Exchange), A Christmas Carol (Derby Playhouse), Peer Gynt, Gulliver’s Travels, The Ubu Plays (National Theatre) and The Three Birds (Gate Theatre). For television, his work includes Doctor Faustus, Joseph’s Troubles, The Last Days of Anne Boleyn , Westbeach, Diana’s Legacy, Mapp and Lucia, Staying Alive, Queen Victoria’s Men, and Bare Knuckle Boxer; and for film Topsy-Turvy and The Other Man.
Sue Townsend (1946 – 2014) was one of Britain’s most popular and most loved writers, with over 10 million copies of her books sold in the UK alone. She wrote in secret for many years, eventually joining a writers’ group at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester in her thirties. At the age of 35, she won the Thames Television Playwright Award for her first play, Womberang, and began her writing career. Other plays followed including The Great Celestial Cow (1984), Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes (1990), and most recently You, me and Wii (2010).
Her most famous creation The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ was published in 1982, and was followed by The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984). These two books made her the best-selling novelist of the 1980s. They have been followed by several more in the same series including Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (1993); Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (1998); Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004); and most recently Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years (2009). Her other books include Rebuilding Coventry (1988), The Queen and I (1992 – also adapted for the stage), Ghost Children (1997), Queen Camilla (2006) and The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year (2012).
She was an honorary MA of Leicester University, and in 2008 she was made a Distinguished Honorary Fellow. She was an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Loughborough University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her other awards include the James Joyce Award of the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin, and the Frink Award at the Women of the Year Awards. In 2009 she was given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester. As one of the UK’s leading producing theatres over the past six years Curve has developed a strong reputation for musical theatre, for both producing critically acclaimed shows as well as being chosen to open major new musicals and national tours.
Jake Brunger (book and lyrics) and Pippa Cleary (music and lyrics) met at Bristol University, where they were studying Drama and Music respectively. Their musicals together include Jet Set Go! (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Theatre 503 and Jermyn Street Theatre; licensed by Josef Weinberger Ltd), The Great British Soap Opera (Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Jermyn Street Theatre) and Red Riding Hood (Singapore Repertory Theatre; licensed by R&H Theatricals). They also wrote the music and lyrics for The Snow Gorilla (Rose Theatre Kingston) and in 2013 Pippa won the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Musical Theatre Composition. Their original new musical Prodigy for National Youth Music Theatre opens in August 2015 at St James Theatre in London and they are also writing a new stage musical adaptation of Treasure Island for Singapore Repertory Theatre, which will open in Autumn 2015.
A Curve Production
THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13 ¾ – THE MUSICAL
Book & Lyrics by Jake Brunger Music & Lyrics by Pippa Cleary
Director: Luke Sheppard
Originally commissioned by Curve theatre, Leicester and Royal & Derngate Northampton
Tickets and information available from Curve website
Our article on the song I miss our life from the show
Our page What’s on in Leicester
Our review of The Woman In Black