Media Release: Epic rock opera first for Royal Conservatoire

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Tommy The Musical

The Who’s Tommy

Saturday 10 March, Monday 12 March – Sunday 17 March at 7.30pm

Thursday 15 March and Saturday 17 March matinees at 2.30pm

Tickets cost £13.50 (£11) and are available at

PHOTO CAPTION – Andrew Thomas in the title role of the “deaf dumb and blind kid” Tommy

Pete Townsend’s tale of a young boys journey from  tragedy to triumph is set to rock the stage of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland when the powerful modern rock classic, The Who’s Tommy, opens next month.

The Conservatoire is bringing together a dream team of artists to present Tommy, often described as “the most electrifying evening of rock and roll” ever to play in theatre.

This is the first full-scale rock opera ever performed at the Royal Conservatoire since it launched its Musical Theatre programme a decade ago. The production will feature a newly installed state of the art sound system so that the audience gets the best of the original music from the hit show.

The show features a live rock band with singers, dancers and actors belting out  the legendary hits by rock band The Who including  Pinball Wizard, We’re Not Gonna Take it and See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me….

Andrew Panton, director, said: “This is a perfect show for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, combining challenges for Musical Theatre, Music and Technical Theatre students all at once and to have them work together as en ensemble . It’s also a show I’ve wanted to direct for over a decade,  what a thrill to have the opportunity to collaborate on this epic production at our national conservatoire with the next generation of emergent artists.”

Tommy is the story of a ‘deaf, dumb and blind kid’ who becomes a pinball champion and cult figure. A childhood trauma renders Tommy deaf, mute and blind. He finds solace through his uncanny pinball prowess, becoming a global pinball superstar.

In partnership with Solar Bear, the specialist theatre company for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Conservatoire will present its first ever signed performance of Tommy.

This epic rock opera bursts to life with the graduating year of the BA Musical Theatre programme in this multi award winning adaptation.

“This will be the loudest show ever produced by the Royal Conservatoire and theatre goers are promised an extravaganza, it’ll be a show unlike any other,” added Mr Panton.

The show is directed by Andrew Panton (BBC’s Tonight’s the Night with John Barrowman).  Musical Director is Simon Beck (Sunset Boulevard; Spamalot Rocky Horror Show , choreography by Emily-Jane Boyle (Simply Sinatra, Cabaret, Ben Hur Live (Rome); Matilda (RSC), Matthew Bourne’s Dorian Gray.

Lighting Design by Simon Wilkinson (Scottish Royal Variety Performance, Honk! A Sheep Called Skye for the National Theatre of Scotland. Simon’s lighting has won a Guinness World Record, caused reports of an alien invasion, and attracted tens of thousands of people to a windswept Highland forest).

Set and Costume design by Becky Minto (National Theatre of Scotland, The Royal Lyceum, Visible Fictions, Grid Iron, Vanishing Point, Wee Stories, Borderline, 7:84, The Byre, Tag, and the Citizen’s Theatre).

For further details contact Katie Bell at the Royal Conservatoire on 0141 270 8387 or email

Notes to Editors

The Who’s Tommy opened on Broadway in 1993, London’s West End in 1994 and will now premier in Scotland in March 2011. AP to confirm

Book by Pete Townsend and Des McNuff.

Additional Music and Lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon.

This amateur production is presented by special arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited on behalf of Music Theatre International New York.

The Who’s Tommy was adapted for film in 1975.  It was directed by Ken Russell and starred the Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey as well as the other band members.  The film also featured stage, screen and rock legends  Ann-Margaret, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Oliver Reid, Tina Turner and Jack Nicholson

Anne-Margaret received a golden Globe award for her performance and was also nominated for an Oscar. Pete Townsend was also nominated for an Oscar for his work in scoring and adapting the music for the film.


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RCS contact details….


Contact: Katie Bell
Phone: 01412708387