Pete Townshend, lead songwriter of The Who, has written two new songs for a new touring production of The Who’s Tommy, beginning performances March 30 prior to an official opening April 4 at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, then touring through July 1.
Produced by the New Wolsey Theatre in a co-production with Ramps on the Moon and directed by Kerry Michael, a new version of “Amazing Journey” will open the show, and after her iconic Act One song “Acid Queen,” performed by original cast member Peter Straker, the actor will make a return in Act Two with a new torch song.
Straker is joined in the production by an inclusive cast of actors with and without disabilities, including Lukus Alexander, Alim Jayda, Donna Mullings, Garry Robson, Max Runham, Amy Trigg, and William Grint in the title role.
In a press statement, Townshend commented, “When I heard the there was a new planned production of Tommy, I was pleased of course. But when I heard they planned to do a production featuring actors with disabilities of various kinds, that will actually throw new light on the original story, I became very excited. This is a totally new adventure, and really does refer back to my original story in which a young man, disabled by extreme trauma, finds his way to some kind of spiritual place because he can FEEL music. I can’t wait to see it.”
The original concept album composed by Townshend was the fourth album released by The Who in 1969. The rock opera was then resurrected through various media, including an orchestral version by Lou Reizner in 1972, a film in 1975 with a cast that included Tina Turner, Elton John, and the band members themselves, before first coming to the stage at the West End's Queen’s Theatre in 1979. The 1992 Broadway production won five Tony Awards and a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.
For further details, including full touring dates, visit tommythemusical.co.uk.