One of the highlights of the Cultural Exchanges festival was an exclusive talk with the creators of the brand new, Leicester based Curve musical, based on the bestselling novel The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾.
Published in the 80’s and written by Sue Townsend, Adrian Mole has become the lovable symbol of tormenting puberty, family issues and first love.
Pippa Cleary and Jake Brunger, who met at Bristol University while studying Music and Drama, contacted Ms Townsend and discussed their idea of bringing Adrian to the stage and creating a ‘very British’ musical.
“We worked closely with Sue before her death last year, which introduced me more to her voice and helped to stay true to the book. – explained Brunger, the playwright.
“She was very respectful towards us and gave us free hand, her only concern being the Birmingham accent, which disappointed her in the TV series adaptation of the novel.”
The basic idea of the musical is that we, as the audience, are Adrian’s diary, who pulls us into his world and everyday dramas.
Asked whether it was a challenge to turn Adrian’s thoughts into songs, Cleary, the composer and songwriter answered: “Adrian is going through that stage in his life when even a pimple is a huge event.
“Falling in love, parents’ divorce- Adrian has so much to say it naturally goes into songs.”- added Cleary.
The writers also spoke in superlatives about the actors, who in majority are the same age as the main character.
“Children are fantastic, they are fearless and they absorb like sponges. – said Cleary.
“Because of what they do, they do not belong with the cool kids-they are natural outsiders just like Adrian.”
Apart from the teenage cast, every musical fanatic should be excited by the appearance of Rosemary Ashe, who played in the original production of Phantom Of The Opera and here gives an incredible performance as Adrian’s grandma.
Although it might seem like a children story, the crew equally stated that the show is multi-generational and everybody will enjoy it no matter what age.
“It was Sue’s intention to get Adrian’s character out there, introduce him to the whole new generation.”- said Brunger.
The musical had its premiere on the 7th of March and will be shown in the Curve Theatre in Leicester till the first Saturday of April.
The tickets are limited so if you are interested, visit www.curveonline.co.uk or ring the Ticket Office at 0116 242 3595.