The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13¾

by Sue Townsend
with songs by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley

Directed by Alison Maguire

13th - 18th and 20th - 24th July, 2004

The Tower Theatre performing Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate


Cast List

Adrian Mole : Joe Radcliffe
Nigel, his friend : Peter Miller
Grandma : Celia Reynolds
Mrs Lucas : Colette Dockery
Mr Lucas : Colin Guthrie
George Mole : Peter Westbury
Pauline Mole : Diane Carr
Pandora : Berfin Baksi
Bert Baxter : Henry Chester
Barry Kent : Peter Miller
Official : Peter Miller
Doreen Slater : Colette Dockery
Mr Scruton : Colin Guthrie
Matron : Colette Dockery
Queenie : Celia Reynolds
Dog : Ruby


Jonathan Norris, Colin Guthrie (keyboards)
Arthur Garrison (drums)


Production Team

Director : Alison Maguire
Assistant Director : Alan Root
Set Design : Jeff Kelly
Lighting Design : Stephen Ley
Costume Design : Nigel Martin
Sound Design : Phillip Ley
Musical Director : Jonathan Norris
Assistant Musical Director : Colin Guthrie
Choreographer : Anna Twilley

Stage Manager : Juliet Webster
ASMs : Tracey Henshaw, Chris Holmes
Lighting operators : Nathalie Lake, Zizi Sulkin
Sound operators : Jayne Lawrence, Rachel Hindley
Wardrobe : Nigel Martin, Sheila Burbidge & members of the cast
Dog Handlers : Jeff Kelly, Rosalind Moore
Set construction : Keith Hill, Alan Root, Jo Staples, Keith Syrett, Claire Rice

Review by Dominic Maxwell for Time Out

Sue Townsend's luckless Midlands teenager was last seen running a Soho restaurant in the TV series Adrian Mole : The Cappuccino Years. But North London's Tower Theatre has returned to the early 1980s for this revival of Townsend's musical spin-off, first seen in the West End 20 years ago. References to Steve Davis snooker tables and Malcolm Muggeridge may make the setting seem as camply distant as Pooter's 1890s, but Adrian's story retains its note of real pain alongside all the jokes. Mum runs off with the Lothario next door; Dad is too poor to pay the bills; speccy Adrian is menaced by the local bully for his 16p-a-day pocket money (just enough to buy a Mars bar).

Alison Maguire's production does a decent job of reviving Adrian, even if the audience's goodwill is needed for when the pace flags. There are some great performances. Joe Radcliffe is impressive as the spotty hero, giving him just the right mix of precociousness and gormlessness. Henry Chester is terrific as ailing old Trot Bert Baxter, and Celia Reynolds steals the show as the formidable Grandma Mole.

It doesn't really do the job as a musical. Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley's songs are played well by the three-man band, but most of the time you'd rather they weren't there. It doesn't help that the cast, with the exception of Diane Carr as Adrian's mum, aren't really singers. But it's a gently enjoyable family show all the same.