By Mark Shenton
07 Jul 2014
With book and lyrics by Jake Brunger and music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary, it will be directed by Luke Sheppard.
Set in 1980s Leicester, Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ 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?
In a press statement, Curve's chief executive Fiona Allan Curve commented, "Sue Townsend’s novel about a Leicester teenager has delighted over 20 million readers across the world since it was first published in 1982 and we had the huge privilege of being able to work with her on this project. It’s very exciting to be staging a brand new musical adaptation of her much-loved book right here in Leicester, Sue's beloved home town, bringing Adrian Mole’s story back to life - not only for his fans, but also for a new generation."
Townsend, who died in April, also wrote seven "Adrian Mole" sequel novels. In a press statement, her husband Colin Broadway commented, "Sue was thrilled to be working with the two young talents Jake and Pippa during 2012-14, to bring back to the Leicester stage her bestselling book, 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾.' We, as a family, are looking forward to being at Curve for the opening night."
Townsend was also a playwright, whose first play Womberang won her the Thames Television Playwright Award and launched her professional writing career at the age of 35. Other plays include The Great Celestial Cow, Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes and You, me and Wii.
Brunger and Cleary 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), The Great British Soap Opera (Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Jermyn Street Theatre) and Red Riding Hood (Singapore Repertory Theatre). They also wrote the music and lyrics for the 2013 Rose Theatre Kingston Christmas show The Snow Gorilla. They are currently writing a new musical called Prodigy for National Youth Music Theatre.
Sheppard most recently directed In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse), and is the associate director for Matilda (RSC). He has also been associate director on Singin' in the Rain (Palace Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre), and as assistant director on Into The Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).
The musical was originally commissioned by Curve Theatre and Northampton's Royal & Derngate.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0116 242 3595 or visit www.curveonline.co.uk for more details.