News

Townshend Tries Acting

Who guitarist takes role in new musical, The Seeker

By Gary Graff
October 12, 2017

Pete Townshend will be putting down the guitar and hitting the boards next year.

The Who co-founder has announced via TheWho.com that he’ll be taking on “an acting and singing role” in The Seeker, a new touring theater musical written by Townshend’s wife, Rachel Fuller, inspired by Herman Hesse’s book Siddhartha. The musical’s website describes it as “a tale of human passion and spiritual awakening” that’s set in both contemporary New York and ancient India.

Townshend writes that: “The play includes a few songs from me, one I wrote for the Ferryman (the role I am taking on) back in 1976, so the role seems a good fit. I’m not known for my acting, and I have always said I can’t do it — but recently I realized that I have been acting all my life, pretending to love being on stage in a rock band. At various stages of my career with The Who I have appeared happy, joyful, miserable, bored, in the zone, out of the zone, up my own arse and five feet up in the air…none of these states has ever reflected what I have really been feeling at the time. I have been doing my job as a musician (which comes naturally to me) and acting whatever part I think needs to be put over at the time. So I’m hoping I can do justice to the role of the Ferryman. Basically he is an old bloke with a boat, so I qualify pretty well as someone with more things that float than guitars.”

A cast album for The Seeker, featuring Townshend and recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, is due out next year as well. More information about the production can be found at www.theseekermusical.com.