New actors stage Spring Awakening at Derby

Ted Hughes

The Central School of Speech and Drama present Wedekind’s Spring Awakening at the Guildhall Theatre, Derby, from Wednesday November 28-30.

Wedekind’s most famous play  deals with the themes of teenage sexuality and pubescent anxiety. Written with compassion and energy, Wedekind’s message to the young remains shockingly current. They are using Ted Hughes translation  commissioned by the R.S.C in 1995. It is the nearest to the original German in spirit, catching the humour and lightness of the text. The themes are handled with sexual honesty, humour and bite true to Wedekind’s masterpiece of German symbolism.

It is a test of a great play that the themes remain as relevant to the young today as they did over a hundred years ago.

This project is an exciting first for the London school and is a fantastic opportunity for actors who are about to embark on a professional career, to perform in a professional theatre under touring conditions outside London.

This type of project provides a platform for young actors to take their work back to the communities from which they grew, by which means to inspire and encourage the next generation of young performers.

Director Jenny Quayle said: “Wedekind’s vision of a dark and difficult place for young people to mature in is always tempered with irony and humour. The world of teenage anxiety and sexual honesty, and the adult world of brutality and hypocrisy are exactly observed in Hughes version no other translation comes close to it.

Spring Awakening has often been performed becoming a classic of its time, but after the American Musical version I felt the play needed to be looked at afresh with the values that Wedekind held so dear.”

Jenny has worked extensively in the West End as an actress, working with Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard and Simon Grey. Jenny has also been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English Shakespeare Company and Sir Peter Hall’s Company.

She has worked in France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Canada, and USA and has also directed in Athens and Paris. For the past ten years Jenny has worked with Forma in Warsaw, directing amongst other shows a new version of Hamlet. Her work at Central includes: Jerry Springer – The Opera and The Red Knot, a new opera collaboration with the Royal Northern College of Music. Jenny recently directed Guys and Dolls at Central in 2011.

She trained as a visual artist at Camberwell and shows regularly. She is also a member of New Zealand Academy of Live Art.

Tickets for the show, priced at £11.25, concessions £9.25 are available from the Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800 or online at