Based on Frank Wedekind's 1890s play that explored a story of teenage sexual awakening set against a backdrop of religious and parental repression, this musical version — written by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik — retains the period setting of the original and introduces a collection of contemporary songs that serve to express the private anguish and ecstasy of the young characters. First staged at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater in 2006, it subsequently transferred to Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it ran for two years and grossed over $50 million. A U.S. tour is booked through 2010. By the end of 2009, productions will have opened in Japanese in Tokyo, Korean in Seoul and German in Vienna. Eighteen foreign productions are in preparation around the world.
The British cast, all but three of whom are making their professional debut, range in age from 16-24: Aneurin Barnard (Melchior), Lucy Barker (Ilse), Natasha Barnes (Anna), Chris Barton (Swing), Jamie Blackley (Hanschen), Hayley Gallivan (Martha), Natalie Garner (swing), Mona Goodwin (swing), Evelyn Hoskins (Thea), Edd Judge (Otto), Harry McEntire (Ernst), Jamie Muscato (swing), Gemma O’Duffy (swing), Iwan Rheon (Moritz), Jos Slovick (Georg), Richard Southgate (swing) and Charlotte Wakefield (Wendla). All of the adult roles are played by Sian Thomas and Richard Cordery. Andrew McDonald and Yvonne O'Grady understudy. The production is staged by the original Broadway creative team, including director Michael Mayer and choreographer Bill T Jones.
Ticket prices for the West End run start at £10 (in the balcony), with onstage tickets bookable in advance for £20, and a top price ticket of £55 at Saturday evening performances (£49.50 at other times). The production has also introduced a youth access ticket scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in the commercial sector, to enable 15-19 year olds to purchase the best available seats for just £20 (£15 at Wednesday matinees); these will be on sale for all performances.
In a press statement, producer Matthew Byam Shaw said, "Like so many theatregoers, we have been blown away by Spring Awakening and the exceptional cast who, with style and flair, have made the European premiere . . . their own. We have assembled a team of producers who want this production to be seen by as many people as possible and we are enormously pleased to be able to introduce the Youth Ticket - a fantastic ticket scheme that will allow all 15-19 years old the opportunity to see Spring Awakening at a greatly reduced price."
To book tickets call 0844 482 5171 or visit www.springawakening.co.uk.