Described by The New York Times as a “stunning memoir” back in 1996, the publication of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes caused a literary sensation. The book climbed quickly to the top of that newspaper’s Bestseller lists and remained there for nearly three years, selling 4 million copies in hardback alone. Since then, sales of over 10 million copies worldwide have become a phenomenon continuing to attract a global readership.
As well as a fixture on the bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic, the book won multiple accolades including the Pulitzer Prize and the US National Critics Circle Book Award in 1997, has been listed in The Guardian as one of the top 50 best-selling books of all time and has been translated into 126 languages.
McCourt’s memoir of growing up in the ‘Lanes of Limerick’ was followed by a 1999 Alan Parker film. It is now being retold in a vibrant and memorable piece of musical theatre.
Angela’s Ashes – The Musical is a remarkable story, told with a rare lyricism and a warm inimitable sense of humour as we follow Frank’s escapades and experiences in a Dickensian landscape peopled by a drunken father, a helpless mother, pompous priests and bullying schoolmasters; money-lenders, dancing-teachers and charity workers, culminating in his escape from grinding poverty to the redemption of a new life in America.
A haunting underscore with unforgettable tunes adds to the emotional impact and the humour of the story. Angela’s Ashes – The Musical has that rare gift of bringing an audience to tears one minute, laughing out loud the next – if ever a musical could be said to embody the ‘roller coaster of emotion’, then Angela’s Ashes is that musical.
Originally developed by Theatre Works and Uncontained Arts at the University of Derby.