Don't go expecting a stage version of the film, or a tribute-type show featuring a string of hits along the lines of We Will Rock You or Mamma Mia.

Quadrophenia is far more opera than rock, a musical experience which offers troubled musings on the nature of the choices we all have to make during the journey through adolescence to adulthood, the agonies some people go through in the process and the death of innocence.

Not a relaxing night out then, but why would one expect Pete Townshend’s stage vision to be easier to comprehend than some of his albums?

This version was initially developed at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and has a strong element of devised theatre, with a hard student edge among the young cast.

I found the first act very dark indeed, all 1960s nihilism and Larkinesque. Maybe being a parent gives one more sympathy with the mum and dad who famously mess up their children’s lives, (Larkin’s word – well, almost). Sydney Rae White, as The Girl, produced the standout number at the end with a stunningly powerful Love, Reign O’er Me.

The second act benefited from being brighter, lighter and louder – as my other half said, the best songs are always on one side of the album.

Using four actors to show the four faces of Jimmy, the hypocrite, romantic, tough guy and lunatic, gave a great insight into the meaning of quadrophenia, the word the Who coined to name the album they intended to reflect their individual personalities (work out which one is Moon, Daltry, Townshend and Entwhistle for yourself). The lead action swung from one to another so fast it was sometimes truly hard to tell them apart.

I wondered what the audience of devoted Who fans thought, many of whom had turned up on their vintage Lambrettas for a ‘ride out’ to see the show.

Now many are collecting their pensions, do they feel their life choices have been worthwhile or do they still hope they die before they get old?

Alison Phillips