Quadrophenia Ballet for Festival Theatre

Jun 25 2024 | By | Reply More

Townsend and The Who’s album gets ballet treatment

The Who’s 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia is to be re-imagined by Sadler’s Wells as a dance production: Quadrophenia, A Mod Ballet, which will get its Scottish premiere at the Festival Theatre in June 2025.

Containing some of The Who’s most ambitious music, the Pete Townsend-penned double album looked back on the group’s history and audience. The filmic narrative concerned a fictional young Mod, Jimmy, and his life in London, popping pills, dressing sharp and running down to Brighton with his gang to take on the Rockers.

A bald older man in formal suit and casual shirt and sneakers stands in from of a group of sharply dressed young men.

Paris Fitzpatrick (3rd left) & Pete Townshend (centre), Quadrophenia, a Mod Ballet Pic: Johan Persson

Having had the film treatment in 1979, Quadrophenia, A Mod Ballet will remain true to the spirit the original with its sharp suits, soul music, vespas and parkas. Its producers say that while it will be steeped in the mythology of the 1960s, its themes of lost youth, rebellion, the search for belonging and hunger for social change are just as urgent today.

A rich, orchestral version of the album by Rachel Fuller withMartin Batchelar, first heard in concert version at The Royal Albert Hall and recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, will provide the score for the ballet.

Townsend says: “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.”

Jimmy will be danced by Paris Fitzpatrick, who recently won the outstanding male modern performance prize at the National Dance Awards, for his performance as Romeo in New Adventures’ production of Romeo And Juliet.

A bald older man in formal suit and casual shirt and sneakers sits in a chair. Behind him is a group of young men dressed in Parkas.

Pete Townshend (seated) with Paris Fitzpatrick (centre) and cast member of Quadrophenia, a Mod Ballet. Pic: Johan Persson.

Choreography is by Paul Roberts with direction by Rob Ashford, who will be collaborating with the likes of young costume designer Natalie Pryce, iconic fashion house Paul Smith, projection designer Nick Hillel and lighting designer Fabiana Piccioli.

Sadler’s Wells’ artistic director Alistair Spalding said: “Quadrophenia is a story crying out to be told through dance and with this talented creative team we can be sure that we can achieve its full potential.”


Choreographer Paul Roberts adds: “Quadrophenia has already inspired me so much, bringing its legacy forward and discovering its voice in movement created so much emotive energy and passion every time we entered the workshop room.

“I know that taking our next big step into rehearsals will stimulate so much more excitement and our generous, brilliant, madly talented young cast offer nothing but vitality to this iconic story. I can’t wait!”

Quadrophenia Dance Sizzle from Sadler’s Wells Touring on Vimeo.

Quadrophenia, A Mod Ballet opens at the Theatre Royal Plymouth on May 28 2025 and will then play the Festival Theatre Tuesday 10 to Saturday 14 July the Mayflower Southampton (June 18 – 21) before a three week run at the Sadler’s Wells, London. Tickets go on general sale on Friday 5 July 2024.


Quadrophenia, A Mod Ballet

Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR
28 May – 1 June 2025
Tickets and details: Book here from August 29 2024.

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 13/29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9FT.
Tue 10 – Sat 14 June 2025
Evenings: 7.30pm; Mats: Thurs, Sat: 2pm.
Tickets and details: book here from July 5 2024.

Mayflower, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE
Wed 18 – Sat 21 June 2025
Evenings: 7.30pm; Mats: Thurs, Sat: 2pm.
Tickets and details: book here from July 5 2024.

Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN
Tue 24 June – Sun 13 July 2025
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Mats: Thurs, Sat, Sun: 2pm.
Tickets and details: book here from July 5 2024.

The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ
15 July – 19 July 2025
Evenings: 7.30pm; Thurs, Sat mats: 2pm.
Tickets and details: Book here.


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