Everyone’s favourite teenager Adrian Mole arrives at the Chocolate Factory this summer in this brand new musical take on the iconic Sue Townsend novel.
Set in 1980s Leicester, Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, 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?
Kelly Price is in the cast and she recently answered a few questions that we put to her.
Q: You are in the cast of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13 ¾ – The Musical. What attracted you most to be a part of this production?
Kelly: Doing a home-grown new British musical was very appealing. The creative process is rewarding and challenging when you get the opportunity to work with the writers and build a new show from scratch. I found the script very funny, I loved the music and of course, I wanted to return to work at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Q: You play the role of Pauline – can you tell us about her character and how she fits into the storyline?
Kelly: Pauline Mole is Adrian’s mum. One of the trials and tribulations of Adrian’ s adolescence, apart from being a misunderstood intellectual, Pandora, and puberty, is his parent’s marital problems. It’s the 1980s when the idea of divorce was rare but in any era, it’s huge for a teenager to endure. Pauline is doing her best as a mother but she’s on a journey of self-discovery thanks to Germain Greer’s new wave of feminism. She discovers she has a bit more to give as a woman than cooking and cleaning. She’s fun, a little bit cheeky and has a big heart. The Moles are a wonderfully down-to-earth family with a great sense of humour. In Adrian’ s eyes Pauline can be the source of embarrassment, as mothers often are.
Q: Do you have a set routine to ‘get into’ a character?
Kelly: This show is very particular in its ensemble storytelling feel. We are all characters in Adrian’s story. This means the adult company double up and play other characters in his world. We sometimes jump from high energy dance routines, in school discos for instance, to domestic family scenes. This makes getting into character more challenging but the playful style is part of the joy of the show. The books have been very enjoyable to read for reference and it’s very strange and lovely stepping back into the 1980s. There are props appearing in Adrian’s bedroom that I had as a child!
Q: For those that haven’t seen the production – what is at the heart of the story?
Kelly: It’s a story about an eccentric teenage boy in an ordinary family. Adrian’s diary musings are quirky and hilarious as he copes with adolescence and questions the world around him. The musical straddles kitchen sink drama with the imaginative technicolor world of a 13-year-old. It tackles big issues of broken homes, broken hearts, tortured poetic souls and school rebellion but in a super lighthearted way.
Q: The production, based on the bestselling book series, marks what would be Adrian Mole’s 50th birthday. What is the secret of its longevity?
Kelly: The secret of its longevity is its sense of humour I think and unabashed honesty. Like any good Disney or Pixar story, it can be enjoyed by all generations. I laughed out loud reading the books. It’s very exciting to bring Adrian Mole back to his fans and also to a whole new audience.
Q: Why should everyone buy a ticket and get along to see the show?
Kelly: It’s true to the novel with hilarious one liners but has the sparkle and wow factor of a great musical. They may know the story but told in a new way through fantastic music and movement, it’s fresh and exciting. I’m in awe of the cast, particularly the young actors. They’re in for such a treat.
Set in 1980s Leicester, we follow 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 3/4… To top it off, when new girl Pandora joins the class and captures his heart, his best friend Nigel steals hers. Can Adrian win her love and escape from his chaotic family life?
With an infectious score and a script which stays true to the original novel, this heart-warming musical will bring Adrian’s story to life for a new generation.
Book and lyrics are by Jake Brunger, music and lyrics are by Pippa Cleary and the show is directed by Luke Sheppard.
Menier Chocolate Factory
51 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU
Age Restrictions: Suitable for ages 12+
Show Opened: 14th Jul 2017
Booking Until: 9th Sep 2017