"Ben Chaplin is brilliant as a selfish rockstar"

"Riff on the music biz never hits a false note"
-The Times-

"Striking a resonant chord"
-Broadway World-

Sorry, Mood Music closed on 16 Jun 2018

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About the show

‘Music is medication. The elixir of life.’

Olivier Award-winning playwright Joe Penhall (Sunny Afternoon) presents a world premiere of his latest play as part of the Old Vic 2018 season. Teaming up with acclaimed director Roger Michell, Mood Music is the gripping new drama that sees a battle take place over the popularity of the music industry.

Inviting audiences behind the scenes of a sleek London recording studio, Mood Music sees two songwriters, their lawyers and their psychotherapists enter a battle of wills about the detrimental effects of the ever-popular music industry. There’s music for every mood. But how much can it really affect our innermost feelings?

With the industry becoming filled with large egos, raging narcissism and grandiose personalities, the pertinent and topical play studies just how damaging music can be on its listeners and creators.

Mood Music is penned by multi-award winning playwright Joe Penhall, who most recently wrote the book for the smash-hit Kinks’ musical Sunny Afternoon. His 2000 play Blue/Orange earned multiple awards for Best New Play, including the Olivier, Evening Standard Theatre Award and Critics’ Circle Theatre Award. Penhall’s extensive screen credits also include The Long Firm, Enduring Love and The Road.

Ben Chaplin stars as Bernard, opposite Seana Kerslake (Can't Cope, Won't Cope) as Cat, Pip Carter as Ramsay, Kurt Egyiawan as Miles, Jemma Redgrave as Vanessa and Neil Stuke as Seymour.

Acclaimed theatre director Roger Michell leads the new production, with screen credits including Enduring Love and Notting Hill. Creative team includes set designer Hildegard Bechtler, costume designer Dinah Collin, lighting designer Rick Fisher and sound designer John Leonard, with composer and musical supervisor David Arnold.

Playing at the Old Vic Theatre as part of the 2018 season, which also includes stage adaptations of Fanny & Alexander, A Monster Calls and Sylvia, Mood Music runs at the London venue from May 2nd to June 30th 2018, with previews beginning April 21st 2018.

Who Should See It?

Those who have seen the popular jukebox musical Sunny Afternoon will be delighted by this new venture from the show’s writer. Music and drama fans should absolutely visit this production.

Mood Music is recommended for those aged 12 and up.

Playing at

Old Vic Theatre
103 The Cut
Seating Plan

Old Vic Theatre seating plan

Booking period

21st Apr 2018

21st Mar 2019

16th Jun 2018

Running time

2 hours 5 minutes (including an interval)


Recommended ages 12+