Pinball wizard creates his magic in iconic musical

Donna Mullings as Mrs Walker (Nora) and Max Runham as Captain Walker in Tommy at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, from June 22 to July 1. Photo by Mike Kwasniak.
Donna Mullings as Mrs Walker (Nora) and Max Runham as Captain Walker in Tommy at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, from June 22 to July 1. Photo by Mike Kwasniak.

Two musicals celebrating popular music, including an iconic show created by The Who, are taking to the stage in Sheffield over the next week.

Iconic rock opera Tommy features two new songs written by the legendary lead songwriter of The Who, Pete Townshend.

The Who’s Tommy has entertained and intrigued audiences for more than 40 years. It tells the story of young Tommy, who witnesses the murder of his father at the hands of his mother’s lover.

He is so traumatised that he chooses to stop communicating with the outside world. Growing up in post-war England, he suffers abuse from relatives and others.

Tommy’s life begins to change as a teenager when he finds salvation in playing pinball.

Original Tommy cast member Peter Straker opens the show with a new version of Amazing Journey, returning in act two with a new song, adding to an epic score including Tommy Can You Hear Me, I’m Free, See Me, Feel Me and Pinball Wizard.

Peter started his stage career as Hud in the original London production of Hair before taking on the role of the Narrator in Tommy in 1979.

He worked with Freddie Mercury on two solo albums and more recently, his solo show Peter Straker Sings Brel played the Famous Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Peter is joined by actor, writer and director Garry Robson, who takes on the controversial role of Uncle Ernie.

Tommy’s mother, Mrs Walker, is played by CBeebies Magic Hands presenter Donna Mullings, and Max Runham plays Captain Walker.

The role of Tommy is taken by William Grint.

Tommy will feature creative use of audio description, captioning and British Sign Language interpretation which will enhance the experience of the show for everyone.

Theatre company Ramps on the Moon, which was created by a consortium of six theatres including Sheffield Theatres, aims to help overcome the under-representation of disabled people in the entertainment industry.

The West End sensation Dreamboats and Petticoats returns to tell a classic story of teenage love, set to iconic rock ‘n’ roll songs.

It’s 1961 and emotions are running high as a group of love-struck musicians compete to win a national songwriting competition – and the hearts of their teenage crush.

Norman and Bobby both crave the attention of the gorgeous Sue, but when shy Laura reveals that she is no slouch on the piano, love and rock ‘n’ roll fame beckons!

Dreamboats and Petticoats brings a familiar face back to Sheffield in Elizabeth Carter, who stars as shy songwriter Laura.

Elizabeth was last seen soaring across the Lyceum stage on a magic carpet two years ago in the hit pantomime Aladdin, and has previously played Laura in Bill Kenwright’s touring production of Dreamboats and Miniskirts.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the multi-million selling albums, the show features songs from the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll.

They include Let’s Dance, To Know Him Is To Love Him, Shaking All Over, C’mon Everybody and Let’s Twist Again.

Sheffield Theatres box office: call 0114 249 6000 or go to Sheffield Theatre

The Who’s Tommy

Crucible, today to July 1

Dreamboats and Petticoats

Lyceum, Monday to July 1