MUSICAL REVIEW: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole ★★★★
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4
Ambassadors Theatre, London
15th June - 28th September 2019
Based off the first novel from the book series penned by Sue Townsend, Adrian Mole is 13 3/4 when we meet him and continue to follow his life throughout 1996, where the main event on everyone's lips was the royal wedding of Charles and Diana, something that is referenced heavily throught this Luke Sheppard directed piece of joyous musical theatre.
Though it may seem from the promotional material at first glance that this could be a children's show, those who have read the books will know entirely different, and judging by the audience members arriving with no little ones by their side, they equally had as much fun as to those who were of Adrian's age. Tackling the first feelings of Love and hormones, Sheppard's direction is vibrant and vivid, with a real buzz of excitement on stage, and to mix the main core of the younger cast to adult performers to portray the school children is a clever idea and really allows the few adolescent stars to shine on stage.
In this performance, we were gifted the performances of Nicholas Antoniou-Tibbits as Adrian Mole, who brought hilarity and energy, Molly-May Gibson as Love Interest and new schoolgirl Pandora, whose powerful, vibrato voice pulsated through the auditorium, Regan Garcia as the best friend Nigel, whose cheeky persona won the majority of laughter in the room, and finally Kobi Watson, who for someone having Adrian Mole as their first professional debut, does complete justice to Barry, the bully of the school. It's exciting to see young performers on stage who are genuinely enjoying what they do and let it be visible; the adaption of the birth of baby Jesus will forever be imprinted within me thanks to the complete absurdity and genius that's presented, which alongside Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary's lyrics make's this production one for all ages.
Overall, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole balances the right mixture of childish behaviour set against more mature topics such as a broken family and infidelity, all blended together to create the perfect family feast!