Tommy’s set to rock the Opera House

A new UK tour of Tommy will premier at the Opera House, Blackpool in September

A new UK tour of Tommy will premier at the Opera House, Blackpool in September

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Get ready to rock...Blackpool Opera House is to host the premiere of a new UK tour of The Who’s classic rock opera Tommy.

The Pinball Wizard production is being directed by stage and screen star Paul Nicholas – who appeared in the original 1975 film alongside Elton John, Tina Turner and The Who’s Roger Daltrey.

Coinciding with the film’s 40th anniversary year, the show runs from Friday, September 11 to Sunday, 27 September, with tickets on sale at 9am today.

Tour producer Peter Frosdick is also behind the month-long run of A Christmas Carol, to star Paul Nicholas, at the Opera House next December, as revealed in The Gazette last Friday.

Managing Director Michael Williams said: “Tommy the legendary rock opera is a fantastic addition to our 2015 programme and for the Opera House to be the UK premiere venue for this new adaption from an incredible creative team is fantastic for Blackpool and the entire region.

“Our 2015 Opera House programme offers an exciting and eclectic mix, offering something for everyone.”

Tommy was first performed by The Who in 1968 and was conceived by Pete Townsend and Kit Lambert with contributions by John Entwistle, Keith Moon and Roger Daltrey, to tell the story of a deaf, mute and blind ‘Pinball Wizard’, who becomes an international messiah.

But it wasn’t until 1993 that it was performed on Broadway, followed in 1997 by a West End run which saw it named best musical revival in the prestigious Olivier Awards.

A spokesman for the Opera House said: “This colourful, exciting, imaginative and thought provoking new production will be enhanced by exhilarating choreography and will feature first class rock musicians.

“Not for the first time will audiences be thrilled by The Who classics; the legendary rockers played the world famous Opera House twice including August 1964 and October 22 1961 to critical acclaim.

“Tommy promises to inspire and thrill audiences including a whole new generation as it bursts onto the Opera House stage this autumn.”

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “This is a real treat for rock and roll fans and fantastic news for Blackpool and the Winter Gardens.

“A really strong and eclectic programme of shows and events is already building for 2015 and that is vital to capitalise on the wonderful summer we had this year.

“There really is something for everyone and I would urge people to jump at the chance to see this exciting premiere.”

Full star casting for the show will be announced in the New Year.

For tickets, visit www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk with a special early bird offer for bookings made by December 31, of £25 for adults and £15 for children.

Also on sale this morning, at 10am, is Diversity’s 2015 Up Close And Personal: The Exclusive Tour, coming to the Opera House on Friday, November 27.