13 and 3/4 facts about The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole

Posted on 9 August 2019

This hilarious new musical has been ensuring the next generation of misunderstood teenagers knows all about everyone’s favourite teenage intellectual. The brilliant adaptation of Sue Townsend’s best-selling book has been entertaining audiences of all ages at the West End’s Ambassadors Theatre and there’s still time to discover Adrian’s secrets by booking your tickets for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 now! If you’ve already seen the show (or if you need to bide your time until you see the show) and you just have to know more all about this wonderful production, then read below for 13 and 3/4 facts…

13 and 3/4 interesting facts about Adrian Mole

1. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 is based on just one novel from a series!
You probably know that The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 is based on the best-selling novel by Sue Townsend (I did actually mention it above) but did you know it’s just one of many? This book is in fact the first in the series, so if you love Adrian Mole (and who doesn’t love Adrian Mole?!) then you can read on about Adrian’s life and even his poems for anyone who is a fan.

2. Director Luke Sheppard worked as associate director on Matilda
Luke Sheppard, director of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4, has worked on numerous productions, both as director and associate director. His previous works as a director include Billionaire Boy (A Musical Adaptation of David Walliams’ novel, UK tour), Spring Awakening (Winner of Best Regional Production WhatsOnStage Award) and In The Heights (Olivier Award and Broadway World Award winner and nine-time WhatsOnStage Award-nominated). He has also worked as an associate director on RSC Matilda both in the West End and on Broadway. Sheppard’s currently the director for & Juliet coming to London’s Shaftesbury Theatre in November 2019.

3. This is the third successful run of the Adrian Mole musical adaptation
The musical adaptation of Adrian Mole is in fact on its third run. It began at Curve in Leicester back in 2015 and continued its journey at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory in 2017. The current run began its West End premiere on 15 June at the Ambassadors Theatre where it is booking until 28 September.

4. The children’s cast has 4 young actors for each role!
Did you know that there are in fact four different casts for the children in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole? There are 4 actors, Rufus Kampa, Aaron Gelkoff, Nicholas Antoniou-Tibbitts and Michael Hawkins, who alternate in the title role of Adrian Mole. Each other child role has 4 young actors who alternate too. Read here to see the full details about the children’s cast.

5. Creators Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary are musical theatre writing partners
Jake Brunger wrote the book and lyrics for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 along with Pippa Cleary who wrote music and lyrics. The pair have written various musicals together that have been played worldwide. Their previous credits include Treasure Island (Singapore Repertory Theatre), Chicken Little (The Other Palace) and Red Riding Hood (International).

6. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 is set in the 1980s
Both the book and adapted musical are so hilariously timeless that you may not have initially realised that it is actually set in the 80s. There are brilliant references scattered throughout which create the perfect nostalgia for those who grew up in the 80s; making this moving musical enjoyable for those who aren’t aged 13 3/4 – perfect for the whole family!

7. Sue Townsend was a supporter of the musical adaptation
Before the author of the Adrian Mole Diaries, Sue Townsend, passed away in 2014, she was an enthusiastic supporter of the musical adaptation of the first Adrian Mole story. Townsend worked with the writers and producers in order to keep the production as authentic to the voice of Adrian as possible.

8. The production is a hit!!
You probably knew this already; if you’re an intellectual that is. The current production has received rave reviews including numerous five and four stars from many critics. Everyone is singing their praises for this new British musical and it’s not just the critics that are bowled over. You can see for yourself though by seeing the show before it comes to an end on 28 September.

9. There was a television series based on The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4
In 1985 The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 was adapted into a British television series. The series featured multi BAFTA award-winning actress Dame Julie Walters who played the role of Adrian’s mother Pauline for the first series. The role of Pauline was also played by Lulu and Alison Steadman. The series also starred Louise Jameson (recently starred in Dark Sublime at Trafalgar Studios) and Christopher Gascoyne (known for his portrayal as Peter Barlow in British soap Coronation Street). It had a second series which was based on the second book from Townsend’s series The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole.

10. This isn’t the first stage production about intellectual Adrian Mole!
Whilst the current production is on its third successful run, it wasn’t in fact the first stage adaptation. It was adapted by the novel’s author Sue Townsend as a play with songs and ran at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre from 1984-1986.

11. Adrian’s first diary almost began at aged 14 3/4
Sue Townsend first wrote Adrian as 14 3/4 but after John Tydeman, her radio editor, suggested that the greater physical changes of puberty begin at an earlier age, so he was made a year younger. Adrian’s date of birth is therefore 2 April 1967 (he shares his birthday with Townsend).

12. Adrian may not have initially needed glasses!
Adrian Mole is well known as a glasses wearer, both in the television series and stage adaptation. However, in the first diary, he doesn’t actually make any reference to wearing glasses or attending an eye test.  

13. There was going to be a 9th novel to continue the story of Adrian Mole
According to Sue Townsend’s publisher, the author was working on the next edition of Adrian’s story and it was provisionally titled Pandora’s Box. Sadly, she passed away before completion so therefore the 8th novel Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years in which we see Adrian in his 40s is the last of the diaries.

13 3/4. Save up to £29 on The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 tickets
This year at London Theatre Direct we are celebrating turning 20 and as part of our #LTD20 celebrations, we are offering you the best discounts on London theatre tickets! Book your tickets for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 with us in our 72-hour flash sale finishing 11 August and you can save up to 52%. Monday to Friday top band tickets usually £69 and £63 are now £35, £54 and £51 tickets are now £28, and 
£42 and £39 tickets are available for £20! This flash sale applies to all performances Monday through Friday and Saturday matinee performances until the end of the run so snap them up whilst availability lasts!

Our 72-hour flash sale on The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 is now on save up to 52%!

Get your discounted tickets for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 as part of our #LTD20 celebration by booking before 11 August!

🎫 Book your West End tickets for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 here.

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By Jade Ali

A love for theatre stemmed from my love of literature and music, but the West End on my doorstep opened up a whole new appreciation and passion for all things stage-y