The Who’s ‘Quadrophenia’ Gets Mod Ballet Makeover: ‘It’s Going to Be Poignant, Tender, Poetic and Epic’

The Who’s iconic rock opera “Quadrophenia” is set to make its debut as a dance production in the U.K.

Sadler’s Wells and Universal Music U.K. have unveiled the world premiere of “Quadrophenia, a Mod Ballet,” ahead of a 2025 tour.

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The production will feature a cast of dancers bringing to life the story of Jimmy, a troubled mod, originally conceived by The Who’s Pete Townshend in 1973. The ballet aims to introduce new audiences to the narrative while staying true to the spirit of the original multi-million selling album and subsequent 1979 cult classic film.

Choreographer Paul Roberts and director Rob Ashford are at the helm of the creative team. Rising talent Paris Fitzpatrick, recent winner of the outstanding male modern performance at the U.K.’s National Dance Awards for playing Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet,” will take on the lead role as Jimmy.

The production will be set to an orchestral arrangement of the album by Rachel Fuller and Martin Batchelar, previously performed at the Royal Albert Hall and recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

British fashion house Paul Smith and Natalie Pryce are handling costume design, with Nick Hillel on projections and Fabiana Piccioli overseeing lighting design.

The ballet is set to tour Plymouth, Edinburgh and Southampton before its official opening at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London on June 24 next year. It will then move to The Lowry in Salford.

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.”

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