Pete Townshend's 'epic' Quadrophenia Mod ballet to have world premiere in Plymouth

Pete Townshend (centre), Paris Fitzpatrick (third from left) and the cast of Quadrophenia, a Mod Ballet
-Credit: (Image: Johan Persson/PR image)

Pete Townshend's Quadrophenia Mod ballet will have its world premiere in Plymouth. The production will arrive in the city 52 years after the album of the same name was released by The Who.

It came to define a generation, and in 1979 inspired a cult classic feature film. Now it's back - this time in the form of an "explosive dance production", brought to life by dance company Sadler’s Wells.

Producers say Quadrophenia, a Mod Ballet will introduce new audiences to troubled mod Jimmy’s story while remaining true in spirit to the much-loved original. Audiences can expect sharp suits, soul music, Vespas and parkas along with themes of lost youth, rebellion, the search for belonging and hunger for social change.

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Rising ballet star Paris Fitzpatrick will perform the lead role of Jimmy. He recently won Outstanding Male Modern Performance at the National Dance Awards. for his Romeo in New Adventures’ production of Romeo and Juliet.

An orchestral arrangement of the album first heard in concert version at The Royal Albert Hall and recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is the backdrop for the new production. Original costumes will be created by renowned British fashion house Paul Smith and Natalie Pryce.

Pete Townshend said: “Quadrophenia is the only Who album that I solely composed and produced and the movie that followed in 1979 launched the careers of some of the finest young actors of the time. In 2016 Rachel Fuller agreed to create an orchestral score of the album.

"When I first heard a demo of this version, without vocals, my first thought was that it would make a powerfully rhythmic and emotionally engaging ballet. Workshopped in 2023, that thought became a reality and I knew we had something that would resonate with new audiences, and also bring joy, as it had in its other iterations for decades.

"The themes of young people growing up in difficult times are still so relevant. It’s going to be poignant, tender and poetic and epic."

Quadrophenia, a Mod Ballet will open at Theatre Royal Plymouth from May 28 to June 1, 2025 before touring to Edinburgh and Southampton. It will open at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London on June 24, 2025, closing on July 13 before visiting The Lowry in Salford.