Pete Townshend's Quadrophenia to Become U.K. Stage Production
By Mark Shenton
The Who's legendary 1973 studio album "Quadrophenia," which subsequently provided the basis for a 1979 feature film of the same name, will be brought to the British stage for the first time.
Set in London and Brighton at the height of the Mod era, Quadrophenia is told through the eyes of Jimmy, a hedonistic-style conscious teenager searching for a place to belong and a girl to love. Misunderstood by his parents and stuck in a dead-end job, he sets off on a trip to Brighton that will change his life forever. This coming-of-age story is brought to life in a production set against the colorful backdrop of the world of sixties Britain. According to press materials, "Quadrophenia documents a culturally significant moment in Britain, the influences of which are still seen today in music and fashion. The story takes a snapshot of one of the most interesting and energising times for pop culture in Britain. Pete Townshend's score captures the excitement of a nation on the brink of change."
The 1973 album was named by both Rolling Stone magazine and VH1 as one of the 100 greatest albums of all time. The film, directed by Frank Roddam, starred Sting, Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Toyah Wilcox and a young Ray Winstone. Townshend's score for The Who's Tommy was previously brought to the Broadway stage in 1993, when Des McAnuff directed it at the St. James Theatre. It subsequently played at the West End's Shaftesbury Theatre in 1996.
This stage version of Quadrophenia is produced by Bill Schultz, Ina Meibach and the Theatre Royal, Plymouth in association with Industrial Language Ltd.
Director and co-adaptor Tom Critchley has worked in theatre since 1980, variously as stage crew, stage manager, performer, director and producer, at the Crucible Theatre, Churchill Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic and with Kneehigh Theatre, The Desperate Men and Public Parts. Directing credits includes Family Values and Dollsheart, also by Jeff Young. He established a producing company Industrial Language in 2000 to continue acting as a creative producer on other Townshend music theatre projects including Quadrophenia.
John O'Hara, musical supervisor, arranger and co-adaptor, is a graduate of The Royal Northern College of Music, who has performed with The Halle, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Rambert Dance Company. He was the resident composer/musical director at the Bristol Old Vic for over a decade. He has also worked at the National Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Leicester Haymarket and The Royal Exchange. He plays piano and accordion in the band Jethro Tull and orchestrates and conducts Ian Anderson's solo concerts.
Jeff Young, writer, has scripted over 20 plays, radio essays and drama documentaries for Resonance FM, BBC Radio 3 and 4, for whom he has collaborated with the likes of Simon Armitage and Skyray. He previously worked with Pete Townshend on the BBC Radio 3 adaptation of "Lifehouse." He has written 30 stage plays and music theatre pieces for Liverpool Everyman, Unity, Northern Stage, Kneehigh, Bristol Old Vic and many other theatres.
Producer Ina Miebach's Broadway producing credits include The Little Dog Laughed, Topdog/Underdog, Steel Magnolias and The Three Musketeers. In an earlier life as an entertainment attorney, her clients included The Who, U2, Queen, Monty Python,Labelle, Billy Joel and Patti Smith. She is on the Board of New York Stage and Film.
The creative team for the show also includes Sophie Khan (set design), Carl Perry (costume design), Frances Newman (choreography), Ace McCarron (lighting), Kevin McCurdy (fight direction), Jason Barnes (sound design), Elliott Ware (musical director), and Bill Schultz (creative consultant).
The full tour list for the production follows:
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