Pop star Kim Wilde is to make her West End debut next March in the new production of Pete Townsend's rock opera Tommy as one of the youngest and most attractive young mothers in theatre history.
The 35-year-old internationally renowned singer has been cast as the second lead, Tommy's mum Mrs Walker, who plays a decisive role in determining the course of the action.
Her wartime dalliance with another man is discovered by her returning husband whom she had presumed dead. When he shoots the offending lover, young Tommy goes deaf, dumb and blind from the shock. Towards the end it is her emotional breakdown which leads to Tommy's recovery.
Delighted producer Andre Ptaszynski says: 'We have now got the perfect balance. We have found a raw new voice in 19-year-old Paul Keating to play Tommy and the experienced, very attractive Kim Wilde as his mother. It could not be better.'
The only slight drawback is that Kim Wilde's recording career, which has embraced 10 albums and 25 top selling singles in the past 15 years, is still a major part of her life. So Ptaszynksi is organising days off to accommodate her. But he reckons that is a small price to pay. 'She has a cracking voice,' he says, 'and there are a couple of ballads and real rock numbers in the show which she will be able to deliver sublimely.'