The full cast for the world premiere of Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical has been revealed by Curve, Leicester today. The cast includes Rosemary Ashe (Grandma), Cameron Blakely (Mr Lucas), Amy Booth-Steel (Miss Elf/Doreen Slater/Mrs Lucas), Neil Ditt (George Mole), Kirsty Hoiles (Pauline Mole) and Neil Salvage (Bert Baxter). The role of Adrian will be shared by Lewis Andrews, Sebastian Croft, Joel Fossard-Jones and Toby Murray.
The role of Pandora will be played by Elise Bugeja, Imogen Gurney and Lulu-Mae Pears; with Nigel played by George Barnden, Kwame Kandekore and Samuel Small; and Barry will be played by Edward Cross, James McJannett-Smith and Harrison Slater.
With book and lyrics by Jake Brunger and music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary, this new musical adapted from Sue Townsend’s best-seller, directed by Luke Sheppard, will open on 17 March 2015, with previews from 7 March, and runs until 4 April.
Set in 1980s Leicester, Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical 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?
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ was Townsend’s first novel, published by Penguin Books in 1982. It has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, been translated into 30 languages, and spawned seven sequel Adrian Mole novels. The novels have previously been adapted for the stage, radio and television.
Director Luke Sheppard said: “Finding the right actors to step into the shoes of Sue Townsend’s iconic characters has been an invigorating and rewarding task. Adrian Mole, along with his family and friends, have been treasured by the nation for decades. After an extensive search, which included auditioning over 400 children, we’ve found a team of grown-ups and almost-grown-ups who can’t wait to start rediscovering these roles for a new generation.”
Joining Luke on the creative team for the production will also be Tim Jackson (choreographer), Paul Herbert (musical arranger), Mark Collins (musical director), Tom Rogers (designer), Paul Groothius (sound designer), Howard Hudson (lighting designer) and Sally Wilson (costume supervisor).
Jake Brunger (book and lyrics) and Pippa Cleary (music and lyrics) 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 Snow Gorilla (Rose Theatre Kingston) and in 2013 Cleary won the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Musical Theatre Composition. Their original new musical Prodigy for National Youth Music Theatre opens in August 2015 at St James Theatre in London and they are also writing a new stage musical adaptation of Treasure Island for Singapore Repertory Theatre, which will open in autumn 2015.