Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 and ¾ was to 1980’s teenagers as the Harry Potter series has been to the current generation of children and young adults. In popular culture it was a book that was loved and adored by all who read it, it spawned a stage show in 1984 and then burst onto television the following year. The book follows the adventures of Adrian Mole, his dysfunctional family and his misinterpretation of the events that happen around him.
YULA (the Young Undiscovered Liverpool Actors) took on the huge task of performing this classic of young adult literature and succeeded in delivering a show at the Unity Theatre that stayed true to the general humour and good feeling within the books covers and added the spectacle of turning it into a musical with some indisputably knock out performances by the young actors showcasing their tremendous talent.
It takes a big company to put on a production of this magnitude, what with the chorus line and large cast but under the direction of Producer Sherril Parsons and Chris Crookall, Judith Poole, David King and Musical Directorship of Philip Larkin the entire cast revelled and showed great experience to handle the play.
Amongst the stand out cast were Philip Brookes and Jenny Tully as Adrian‘s father George and mother Pauline, the tremendous Amy Morris as his Grandma, Adam Titchmarsh as his elderly friend Burt Baxter and Tate Kearns as the eponymous if socially naive Adrian. In all honesty the entire cast deserve any praise that comes their way as each one performed magnificently.
There is talent out there and judging by the audience’s reaction to the jokes and splendid acting on display by those who have not had the years of training accorded to their counterparts that talent is safe and so is the future of theatre in Liverpool.
Ian D. Hall