Adrian Mole material exhibited for the first time with new musical adaptation

Posted by ap507 at Mar 18, 2015 12:40 PM |
Exhibition by University of Leicester’s Special Collections accompanies Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ The Musical at the Curve

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 18 March 2015

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The world premiere of Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ The Musical by Leicester’s Curve Theatre will be accompanied by an exhibition of previously unseen material from the University of Leicester’s Special Collections.

A series of exhibition boards set up at Curve  will tell the story of author Sue Townsend’s life, illustrated by items from the University’s Sue Townsend Archive and its other collections of rare and historical material.

The exhibition will feature manuscripts and rare papers from the Archive, the University of Leicester’s collection of the literary, personal and business papers of the bestselling author and playwright. She kindly deposited her papers with the David Wilson Library’s Special Collections in 2005.

The exhibition also includes a large display of artwork by Caroline Holden Hotopf from The Illustrated Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4, the originals of which are held by Special Collections. This will be the first time ever that these have been publicly exhibited.

Set in 1980s Leicester, Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ The Musical follows the daily dramas and misadventures of Adrian’s adolescent life.

With book and lyrics by Jake Brunger and music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary, this new musical adaptation of Sue Townsend’s best seller, directed by Luke Sheppard, runs from 7 March – 4 April.

Dr Simon Dixon, the Digital Humanities and Special Collections Manager in the University’s David Wilson Library, was approached by Curve towards the end of 2014 when the Library hosted an exhibition to commemorate the life and work of Sue Townsend following her death in April 2014.

Dr Dixon said: “Curve asked if the exhibition could be transferred to the theatre to coincide with the planned Adrian Mole run. Although we couldn’t take the originals out of the Library for preservation reasons, we thought it was a great idea.

“In writing the text and selecting items to use for illustration I’ve tried to highlight aspects of Sue Townsend’s work that people won’t be so familiar with, like some of her earlier plays, and also emphasise the importance of her relationship with Leicester, including theatre in the city.

“The brilliant new musical version of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ brings one of Leicester’s most famous literary creations to a whole new audience. It’s very exciting for the University Library to be involved with this, and I hope audiences will enjoy both the show and the exhibition.”

Curve Associate Director, Suba Das said “We are thrilled to host this fascinating and unique exhibition here at Curve to coincide with our world premiere production of Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ The Musical.

“Sue Townsend’s work has inspired and delighted millions of readers across the world. The exhibition will give people the opportunity to find out more about one of Leicester’s greatest and most talented authors. We are sure it will enhance the overall visitor experience for our audiences and we encourage people to come along to share in this celebration of one of our city’s most iconic characters and his creator.”


Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact Simon Dixon on

Photo opportunities: to arrange to photograph the exhibition, contact the Curve Press Office on 0116 242 3574 or

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