The Who's Tommy was greeted enthusiastically March 5 in the land of its birth, Great Britain. Des McAnuff's stage adaptation of the British rock group's 1969 rock opera, which was a hit on Broadway in 1993, opened to mostly positive reviews in its West End premiere at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
Maureen Paton in the Daily Express wrote "Anyone who does not come away frothing at the mouth with excitement at this thrilling 3 1/2 million [pounds] stage realisation of Pete Townshend's 1969 rock opera must have taken leave of their senses. for here is a non-chemical version of Ecstasy that aims for the ultimate sensory theatrical experience."
Bill Hagerty in the News of the World had harsh words for the libretto and the amplification, but called the show "vibrant, exciting and stunning," and wrote "Rarely have I attneded such an electrifying first night."