Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Rock Opera Quadrophenia Comes to Edinburgh Festival Theatre

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).


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 GBP
2 for 1 offer on Tuesday evening – see box office for details
Box Office: 0131 529 6000

GLASGOW Kings Theatre
2 – 6 June
0870 060 6647

ABERDEEN His Majesty’s
18 – 22 August
01224 641122

For full tour information please go to


Music, Lyrics and concept by Pete Townshend

Stage Adaptation by Jeff Young, John O’Hara and Tom Critchley
Written by Jeff Young
Director Tom Critchley
Musical Supervisor & Arrangements John O’Hara
Set Design Sophie Khan
Costume Design Carl Perry
Choreography Frances Newman
Lighting Design Ace McCarron
Fight Direction Kevin McCurdy
Sound Design Jason Barnes
Musical Director Elliott Ware
Casting Director Pippa Ailion
Creative Consultant Bill Schultz
General Management Kenny Wax Ltd

Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend (born 19 May 1945 in Chiswick, London), is an English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and writer, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for The Who, as well as for his own solo career. His career with The Who spans more than forty years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the rock era, in addition to being “possibly the greatest live band ever.”
Townshend is the primary songwriter for the Who, writing well over one hundred songs for the band’s eleven studio albums, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia and the well-regarded rock radio staple Who’s Next, plus dozens more that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations such as Odds and Sods. He has also written over one hundred songs for his solo albums and rarities compilations. Although known mainly for being a guitarist, he is also an accomplished singer and keyboard player, and has played many other instruments on his solo albums, and on some Who albums (such as banjo, accordion, synthesizer, piano, bass guitar, drums). Townshend has also written newspaper and magazine articles, book reviews, essays, books, and scripts.

Tom Critchley (Director) has worked in theatre since 1980, variously as stage crew, stage manager, performer, director and producer, at the Crucible Theatre, Churchill Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic and with Kneehigh Theatre, The Desperate Men and Public Parts. Directing includes Family Values and Dollsheart, also by Jeff Young. Tom gained a degree in drama at Bristol University in 1991 and an Arts Council of England Trainee Directorship in 1993, enabling him to train with Augusto Boal in Derry, Welfare State in Cumbria and Attakalari in Kerala, India. He joined Pete Townshend’s Eel Pie Publishing in 1998, developing Psychoderelict in New York and producing Lifehouse with the BBC, written by Jeff Young. He established Industrial Language in 2000 to continue acting as a Creative Producer on other Townshend music theatre projects including Quadrophenia, which has become a labour of love for Jeff, John and Tom.

John O’Hara (Musical Director) is a graduate of The Royal Northern College of Music. Work includes performances with The Halle, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Rambert Dance Company. He was the resident Composter/Musical Director at the Bristol Old Vic for over a decade. Other theatre work includes: The National Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Leicester Haymarket and The Royal Exchange. Television Commissions include: A Miracle on the River Kwai, History in Action, Nicks Quest (Wildlife series), Run With The Ball and Time and Tide. At the Royal Welsh College: Guys and Dolls, Threepenny Opera, Merrily We Roll A-Long and Quadrophenia. John has composed three children’s operas for the Welsh National Opera, The Boy Who Went To The West Wind is being performed at the Smithsonian Festival in Washington DC in 2009 and The Mermaid King has been made into a short film. He plays piano and accordion in the band Jethro Tull and orchestrates and conducts Ian Anderson’s solo concerts.

Jeff Young’s (Writer) work includes over 20 plays, radio essays and drama documentaries for Resonance FM, BBC Radio 3 and 4 for whom he has collaborated with the likes of Simon Armitage and Skyray. Jeff previously worked with Pete Townshend on the BBC Radio 3 adaptation of Lifehouse. ‘Carandiru’ recorded in a Sao Paulo prison was nominated for a Sony and he has been nominated for Prix Italia and Prix Europa awards. Jeff has written numerous large scale, site specific collaborations for places such as a drained submarine dock in Barrow in Furness, the Mersey Tunnel and a power station in Swan Hunter shipyard, Newcastle. He has written thirty odd stage plays and music theatre pieces for Liverpool Everyman, Unity, Northern Stage, Kneehigh, Bristol Old Vic and many other theatres.
Recently Jeff has been writing for BBC TV Drama on programmes such as Eastenders and Casualty. A film version of his radio play The Don is in development with music and songs by Pete Wylie. Future work includes the stage version of Pete Townshend’s Quadrophenia and an opera with composer Joby Talbot and Improbable for English National Opera. Jeff also works with the artist Alan Dunn on sound art, spoken word and public art projects.

Ina Meibach (Producer) Broadway producing credits: The Little Dog Laughed (Tony Award for Julie White); Topdog/Underdog (Pulitzer Prize winning play of Suzan-Lori Parks); Steel Magnolias; and The Three Musketeers; Off-Broadway- Chris Durang’s Adrift in Macao, The Neon Woman, Dirty Show Part Too and Bill Graham Presents. In her previous life as an entertainment attorney, her clients included The Who, U2, Queen, Monty Python,Labelle, Billy Joel and Patti Smith. She is on the Board of New York Stage and Film.

Bill Schultz (Producer) An innovator and pioneer in the world of sports medicine, surgical procedures, and clothing that affect anatomy. Bill’s passion for music and theatre motivated him to produce a work shop of Quadrophenia in Southern California. An intense creative drive and love of The Who has led him through this incredible journey.


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…

Full cast biogs available – please contact [email protected] for more information.


Ruth Findlay
0131 622 8088
[email protected]
Nicolson Street, Edinburgh