Pete Townshend has penned a new song “Acid Queen 2” for an upcoming UK touring production of his musical Tommy that opens in Ipswich on March 30. The show will be staged by the New Wolsey Theatre in co-production with Ramps On The Moon, featuring a cast of 22 performers and musicians that will include deaf, disabled and non-disabled actors. The production will incorporate a creative use of audio description, captioning and British Sign Language interpretation. The new song will be performed by Peter Straker as the Acid Queen, who previously played the role of the narrator in the 1979 London stage production of Tommy.
Pete told the BBC, “When I heard that there was a new planned production of Tommy, I was pleased of course. But when I heard they planned to do a production featuring actors with disabilities of various kinds, that will actually throw new light on the original story, I became very excited. This is a totally new adventure, and really does refer back to my original story in which a young man, disabled by extreme trauma, finds his way to some kind of spiritual place because he can feel music. I can't wait to see it."
This is the first new music to be added to a Tommy musical since Pete modified many of the songs and wrote “I Believe My Own Eyes” for the 1993 stage production of Tommy produced by Des McAnuff.
Tommy opens at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich (30 March - 15 April), then tours to Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham (19 – 29 April), West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds (4 -13 May), Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham (17 – 27 May), Theatre Royal Stratford East, London (7 – 17 June), and Sheffield Theatres, Sheffield (22 June – 1 July).
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit rampsonthemoon.co.uk
UPDATE: Pete has also added new lyrics to Amazing Journey, which opens the show. The Acid Queen 2 song appears in the second act. Here are links to audience audio recordings of the new Amazing Journey and Acid Queen 2, performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds on 6th May 2017.