Ashley Birchall leaves the starlight express to play the pinball wizard, Tommy, in a revival of The Who’s iconic musical in London this summer
The production, at Greenwich Theatre, comes 20 years after Tommy was last seen in London, and will mark the 40th anniversary of the original film and the 50th anniversary of The Who.
Birchall (Starlight Express, Germany) will star with John Barr (Sweeney Todd at ENO, Les Misérables) as Uncle Ernie; Carly Burns as Acid Queen; James Sinclair, Giovanni Spanó, Carrie Sutton and Miranda Wilford.
The cast also includes Danny Becker, Scott Sutcliffe and Alice Mogg.
Based on the iconic 1969 double-album rock opera, which later became a film, Tommy is an thrilling 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 sets him free and puts him on the path to international super-stardom.
The story of the pinball-playing, deaf, dumb and blind boy who triumphs over adversity, 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.
This new production is staged and directed by award-winning Michael Strassen with choreography by Mark Smith.
Tommy plays at Greenwich Theatre from July 29-August 23.