I’ve changed my mind about going to London. According to The Guardian lead pollution is sending the cockneys who live there mad.
– The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend (1984)
A teenage Adrian Mole — the comic creation of late writer Sue Townsend — might have had his reservations about London, but our hapless hero is about to hit the West End in a big way. That’s right, folks, an Adrian Mole musical is coming to the capital.
For those unfamiliar with Townsend’s epistolary novels — in which case, stop whatever you are doing a grab yourself copies of Secret Diary and Growing Pains, stat — The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4 is the first in a series of books which take the form of the eponymous protagonist’s diary. Set in the Midlands in the 1980s, it captures the hilarity of teenage pretentiousness (Mole is a self-proclaimed intellectual who submits endearingly dire poetry to the BBC) and neuroses, as well as the cultural zeitgeist of Thatcher’s Britain.
Two years ago, the first two books in the series got the musical treatment, debuting to rave reviews in Mole’s native Leicester before moving to Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark. Now, the acclaimed production is coming to Ambassadors Theatre to draw West End audiences into Adrian’s angst-ridden world. We’ll have to wait until June to see for ourselves how that translates into a all-singing, all-dancing affair but, suffice to say, if The Discontented Tuna does not make its way into a musical number, we will riot.
The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole 13 3/4 – The Musical, 15 June-12 October 2019 at Ambassadors Theatre. Click here for tickets.