Mon 7 Jul 2014

Join Leicester’s favourite teenager, Adrian Mole, in Curve’s brand new musical which premières in Spring 2015. With book and lyrics by Jake Brunger and music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary, this new musical of Sue Townsend’s best seller will open on 17 March 2015, with previews from 7 March, and runs until 4 April 2015.

“Honestly. My family just don’t understand me. Perhaps when I am famous and my diary is discovered people will understand the torment of being a 13 ¾ year old intellectual” Adrian Mole.

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? 

With an infectious original score, this brand new adaptation rediscovers this much-loved novel and bring Adrian’s story to life once more.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ was Townsend’s first novel, published by Penguin Books in 1982. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, been translated into 30 languages, and spawned 7 sequel Adrian Mole novels. The novels have previously been adapted for the stage, radio and television.

Fiona Allan, Curve’s Chief Executive commented:

Sue Townsend’s novel about a Leicester teenager has delighted over 20 million readers across the world since it was first published in 1982 and we had the huge privilege of being able to work with her on this project. It’s very exciting to be staging a brand new musical adaptation of her much-loved book right here in Leicester, Sue’s beloved home town, bringing Adrian Mole’s story back to life – not only for his fans, but also for a new generation.”

As one of the UK’s leading producing theatres over the past six years Curve has developed a strong reputation for musical theatre, for both producing critically acclaimed shows as well as being chosen to open major new musicals and national tours.

Sue Townsend’s husband, Colin Broadway said:

“Sue was thrilled to be working with the two young talents Jake and Pippa during 2012-14, to bring back to the Leicester stage her bestselling book, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ . We, as a family, are looking forward to being at Curve for the opening night.” 

Sue Townsend (1946 – 2014) was one of Britain’s most popular and most loved writers, with over 10 million copies of her books sold in the UK alone. She wrote in secret for many years, eventually joining a writers’ group at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester in her thirties. At the age of 35, she won the Thames Television Playwright Award for her first play, Womberang, and began her writing career. Other plays followed including The Great Celestial Cow (1984), Ten Tiny FingersNine Tiny Toes (1990), and most recently You, me and Wii (2010).

Her most famous creation The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ was published in 1982, and was followed by The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984). These two books made her the best-selling novelist of the 1980s. They have been followed by several more in the same series including Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (1993); Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (1998); Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004); and most recently Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years (2009).

Her other books include Rebuilding Coventry (1988), The Queen and I (1992 – also adapted for the stage), Ghost Children (1997), Queen Camilla (2006) and The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year (2012).

She was an honorary MA of Leicester University, and in 2008 she was made a Distinguished Honorary Fellow. She was an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Loughborough University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her other awards include the James Joyce Award of the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin, and the Frink Award at the Women of the Year Awards. In 2009 she was given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester. 

Jake Brunger (book and lyrics) and Pippa Cleary (music and lyrics) met at Bristol University, where they were studying Drama and Music respectively. Their musicals together include: Jet Set Go! (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Theatre 503 and Jermyn Street Theatre; licensed by Josef Weinberger Ltd), The Great British Soap Opera (Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Jermyn Street Theatre) and Red Riding Hood (Singapore Repertory Theatre). They also wrote the music and lyrics for the 2013 Rose Theatre Kingston Christmas show The Snow Gorilla. In 2013, Pippa won the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Musical Theatre Composition. They are currently writing a new musical called Prodigy for National Youth Music Theatre.

Luke Sheppard most recently directed In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse), and is the Associate Director for Matilda (RSC). Other productions he has directed include The History Boys (South Hill Park), 101 Dalmatians (Castle Theatre) and Soho Cinders (Arts Ed). As Associate Director, Sheppard has worked on Singin’ in the Rain (Palace Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre), and as Assistant Director on Into The Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).


For more information visit