Monday, April 13, 2009

Pete Townshend's legendary rock opera, Quadrophenia comes to Edinburgh

Pete Townshend’s legendary rock opera Quadrophenia is brought to the stage for the first time and appears at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh from Tuesday 26 to Saturday 30 May as part of a UK tour.

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.

The compelling coming of age story is brought to life in this original stage adaptation of the legendary album. The evocative world of sixties Britain provides a colourful backdrop to Jimmy’s journey. Pete Townshend’s score captures the excitement of a nation on the brink of change.

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.

“I am excited about this new production. Its genesis in workshop in Cardiff was wonderful, and what is happening now with the Theatre Royal Plymouth feels right-sized on the one hand, but also insanely ambitious for such a tricky piece. It's taken a long time, and a lot of wrangling to accept that Quadrophenia is probably never going to work as conventional music theatre. So I hope for a grand and chaotic explosion of music and chorus that revives the memories of being young in the '60s, but also brings those memories to life in the 21st century. “ Pete Townshend

The album Quadrophenia was released by The Who in 1973 followed by the iconic film in 1979. Rolling Stone magazine and VH1 have named it one of the 100 Greatest Albums of all Time. The film, which became a cult hit, was directed by Franc Roddam and, starring Sting, Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Toyah Wilcox and a young Ray Winstone, it captured the tense and at times violent atmosphere in the UK in the mid 1960s.

This brand new adaptation of the album is directed by Tom Critchley and features a cast of hugely talented young performers from throughout the UK who will recreate Pete Townshend’s masterpiece for the stage. Led by four young actors who will share the role of Jimmy - Ryan O’Donnell (Jimmy – Romantic), Jack Roth (Jimmy – Lunatic), George Maguire (Jimmy – Tough Guy) and Rob Kendrick (Jimmy – Hypocrite) and Sydney Rae White who will play ‘The Girl’, the cast also features Kirsty Malone (Mum), Dawn Sievewright (Guardian Angel) Iris Roberts (Guardian Angel), Lillie Flynn (Guardian Angel) John Schumacher (Dad), Kevin Wathen (The Godfather), Ryan Gage (Ace Face), Tom Robertson (Gang Leader), Daniel Curtis (Swing), Sean Croke (Swing) and Brennan Reece (Swing).

CAST BIOGS

Sydney Rae White (The Girl)
Born in London in 1991, Sydney attended The Sylvia Young Theatre School and made her West End debut as Cossette in Les Miserables in 2001. This was followed by lead roles in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White. She recorded a CD of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003 and went on to perform the role of Gerda in productions staged in London and Copenhagen and in a film shot in Canada alongside actress Juliet Stephenson. Sydney has also starred in the Disney Channel’s As The Bell Rings and has made numerous appearances on TV including The Basil Brush Show, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Prime Suspect. Sydney also plays guitar and has recently been co-writing and recording songs for her debut album. She left the Sylvia Young Theatre School in the summer of 2008 to pursue a fulltime career in acting and music.

Kirsty Malone (Mum)
Originally from Glasgow, Kirsty moved away from home at 18 to study Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. After graduating she trained on the English National Opera’s performance course, ‘The Knack’ and subsequently appeared in a number of productions including Mr Purcell, a new work performed in the Royal Opera House, and also Berio’s Laborintus ii, performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Cologne Philharmonic. Kirsty’s calling has always been Musical Theatre and she recently graduated from the RSAMD’s MA Musical Theatre Course. During her training Kirsty appeared in 3 shows at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival; new works Whisky Kisses and The Jonah Boy; and the European premiere of Zanna, Don’t!

Jack Roth (Jimmy – Lunatic)
Jack Roth, son of Reservoir Dogs and Hulk star Tim Roth, is an actor who aquired his skill from his environment rather than a classroom, bypassing drama school - but is always learning. His roles span theatre (Alex - Clockwork Orange), Film (Telstar - soon to be released), Television (Joe - Waking the Dead) and his love for all forms of media is obvious. He is now represented by Markham & Frogatt and couldn't be happier. Now he's is excited to see what the future holds...

EDINBURGH Festival Theatre
Tue 26 – Sat 30 May
Tue – Thu 7.30pm / Fri 5.30pm & 8.30pm / Sat 4.00pm & 7.30pm
Tickets: £15.00 - £26.50
2 for 1 offer on Tuesday evening – see box office for details
Box Office: 0131 529 6000
www.festivaltheatre.org.uk

GLASGOW Kings Theatre
2 – 6 June
0870 060 6647
www.theambassadors.com

ABERDEEN His Majesty’s
18 – 22 August
01224 641122
www.hmtaberdeen.com

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