'Quadrophenia' cast recreate iconic poster for 40th anniversary

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
The cast of Quadrophenia in a 1979 publicity still.

The cast of 1979’s Quadrophenia were reunited this weekend to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary.

Leslie Ash (Steph), Garry Cooper (Peter), Phil Daniels (Jimmy), Phil Davis (Chalky), Trevor Laird (Ferdy), Gary Shail (Spider) Toyah Willcox (Monkey) and Mark Wingett (Dave) appeared together at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire to perform a table read of the original film script in front of a live audience.

Celebrating 40 years since the release of the film - based on a 1973 concept album by The Who - Sky Arts reunited the cast for the first time since 1979.

The actors also recreated the film’s iconic line-up that appears on the film’s poster.

(L-R) Trevor Laird, Toyah Willcox, Phil Davis, Leslie Ash, Phil Daniels, Gary Shail, Garry Cooper and Mark Wingett.

The read-through, Quadrophenia Reunited - 40 Years On, has been produced for Sky Arts by CC Lab and was recorded as part of a night of celebration on Sky Arts which will air around the anniversary in September.

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Hosted by Lauren Laverne, Quadrophenia Reunited - 40 Years On featured the cast reading the script and sharing their anecdotes and stories from their time on the set of one of the most popular British films of all time.

Sky Arts reunite the cast of Quadrophenia, 40 years on, ahead of an evening of celebration on the channel in September.

Noticeable in his absence was pop star Sting, who played Ace Face in the film. The Police front man recently cancelled a number of gigs due to an undisclosed illness.

Phil Daniels who played Jimmy said “As a 19-year-old being involved in the film Quadrophenia was off the scale, a rare acting opportunity for a young working class lad, and for the movie to be held in such high esteem 40 years on makes me feel very proud. Thanks to Sky Arts for their insight and for putting on this celebratory evening”

Photo of Phil DANIELS and QUADROPHENIA; Leslie Ash and Phil Daniels in film (Photo by Jeremy Fletcher/Redferns)

The live recording will form part of a specially dedicated evening in September on Sky Arts celebrating the film’s 40th anniversary, which will also feature the original film, and a brand new documentary Quadrophenia – Our Generation with the cast, writers and producers of the acclaimed cult classic sharing their memories.

Our Generation will tell the story of the maverick filmmaking and the complex themes within the film, and the wider stories of the history of the Mod movements, the music, fashion, youth rebellion and cult of Quadrophenia.

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Released in 1979, Quadrophenia is loosely based on The Who's 1973 rock opera of the same name and was directed by Franc Roddam.

It premiered in the UK in September 1979 and became a massive hit, featuring tracks by The Who including The Real Me, I’m One, Love Reign O’er Me, The Punk and the Godfather and Doctor Jimmy.

(Sky Arts)

It follows the story of Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels), an angst-ridden London Mod, disillusioned by his parents and his dull job as a post room boy in an advertising firm. Jimmy finds an outlet for his teenage angst by taking amphetamines, partying, riding scooters and brawling with their rivals, The Rockers, accompanied by his Mod friends Dave (Mark Wingett), Chalky (Philip Davis) and Spider (Gary Shail). When the Mods and Rockers clash in the coastal town of Brighton, England, it leads to both trouble and an encounter with the lovely Steph (Leslie Ash). Returning to London, Jimmy, who aspires to be like Mod leader Ace Face (Sting), becomes even more disillusioned and longs to return to Brighton.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, said “When Quadrophenia was released 40 years ago I was a teenager and it fast became one of those formative films - I saved up paper-round money for a fish-tail parka and worked stacking shelves in William Lows to save up for a Lambretta (that got stolen within a week) and of course the brilliant, visceral music of The Who was all that played in my bedroom.

“So it’s an amazing thrill and honour to reunite the cast for this one-off journey back through one of the best films of the ‘70s.”