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Adrian Mole creator Sue Townsend dies aged 68

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Novelist and playwright Sue Townsend, best known for her series of books chronicling the life of Adrian Mole and for her stage play The Queen and I, has died aged 68.

Mole first appeared as part of a Radio 4 drama following the success of Townsend’s first play, Womberang, at the Phoenix Arts Theatre in Leicester in 1979. Nearly a dozen more theatre pieces followed for Croydon Warehouse, the Royal Court, the Library Theatre, Manchester and other venues.

She made her West End debut with The Queen and I, which saw the royal family forced to downsize to a housing estate in Townsend’s native Leicester, at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1994.

A stage adaptaton of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ ran in Leicester in 1984. Towsend had also recently given her blessing to a musical version of the book, which is being developed by Curve in Leicester and the Royal and Derngate in Northampton.

Left blind by diabetes, Townsend’s health had been deteriorating in recent years, culminating in a stroke in 2012.

A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Stage.

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