Cast announced for The Who’s ‘Tommy’ at Greenwich TheatreFull casting is announced today for The Who’s Tommy, which will play a limited run at Greenwich Theatre from Wednesday 29 July to Sunday 23 August. The production comes 20 years after Tommy was last seen in London, marking the 40th Anniversary of the original film and the 50th Anniversary of The Who.
The title role of Tommy will be played by Ashley Birchall (Starlight Express, Germany), with the cast also featuring John Barr (Sweeney Todd at ENO, Les Misérables) as Uncle Ernie, Carly Burns as Acid Queen, James Sinclair (Duncton Wood, Union Theatre) as Captain Walker, Giovanni Spanó (Dance ‘til Dawn, Mamma Mia!) as Cousin Kevin, Carrie Sutton (The Wizard of Oz, Sister Act) as Sally Simpson and Miranda Wilford (Thriller Live) as Mrs Walker. The cast also includes Danny Becker (Follies at Royal Albert Hall) Scott Sutcliffe (Mamma Mia!) Alice Mogg (We Will Rock You, Grease).
The full creative team is also announced today, completed by choreographer Mark Smith. Mark is the founder and artistic director of Deaf Men Dancing, an innovative all-male dance company of dancers and choreographers who, like Mark, are deaf. Mark’s choreography credits include My Silent World (Channel 4 Random Acts in association with BalletBoyz); Noah (Chichester Festival Theatre); The 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony (Olympic Stadium); Reasons To Be Cheerful (Graeae Theatre & UK Tour); The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Shoes as co-choreographer (Sadler’s Wells & Peacock Theatre).
Based on the iconic 1969 double-album rock opera, which later became a film of the same title, The Who’s Tommy is an exhilarating musical about hope, healing, and the human spirit.
After witnessing the accidental murder of his mother’s lover by his father, Tommy is traumatized into catatonia, and as the boy grows, he suffers abuse at the hands of his sadistic relatives and neighbours. But as an adolescent, he is discovered to have an uncanny knack for playing pinball, a talent that breaks through his catatonia and puts him on the path to international superstardom. The story of the pinball-playing, deaf, dumb and blind boy who triumphs over his adversities has inspired and amazed audiences for more than 40 years.
The five-time Tony Award, four-time Drama Desk Award and three-time Olivier Award winning musical was translated to the stage by director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys) and The Who’s Pete Townshend into a high-energy, one-of-a-kind theatrical event. This brand new production, the first London revival in 19 years, will mark the 40th Anniversary of the original film and the 50th Anniversary of The Who.
The Who’s Tommy is staged and directed by award-winning director Michael Strassen with choreography by Mark Smith, musical direction by Kevin Oliver Jones, design by Nik Corral and lighting design by David Howe. It is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Guy James, and Ilai Szpiezak for Szpiezak Productions in association with Greenwich Theatre, by special arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited on behalf of Music Theatre International of New York. The Who’s Tommy has Music and Lyrics by Pete Townshend and Book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff, with Additional Music and Lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon.