The Road to Ballina is the true story of King Crimson singer Jakko Jakszyk and his journey to discover his real family.

The work is directed by Michael Attenborough, and is a moving, sometimes shocking, piece of storytelling merging music and animation into unforgettable theatre

Jakko Jakszyk, guitarist/singer with King Crimson, was born Michael Curran. Adopted by Polish and French parents, he grew up wondering who he was. On a voyage of self-discovery, he traced his mother to remote Arkansas and found his far-right leaning siblings. In The Road To Ballina, Jakko unravels the secrets of his past, examining the effect of nature versus nurture to reveal a glimpse of who he might have become. 

The Road to Ballina started life over twenty-five years ago as an autobiographical music commission for BBC Radio 3. One of Jakko’s solo projects, it used speech as part of the composition to tell the tale of his complicated family history and his search for his own identity. 

After failing his trial for Watford Youth FC, Jakko’s trajectory into music and acting began, becoming a member of The National Youth Theatre and subsequently appearing in various sitcoms and theatre productions. In the 1980s, while acting in Wedding Song, Jakko met Michael Attenborough – the former principle associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and son of Sir Richard Attenborough. 

A relationship spanning over 45 years has forged a mutual trust in each other’s opinion experience and skill, augmenting The Road to Ballina as a deeply meaningful theatre production. Jakko says: “The idea of turning a piece of composition into a theatrical piece came from Richard Turner, the technical producer. Then when Karen Koren, Artistic Director of the Gilded Balloon,suggested I get a theatre director to shape and mould the overall piece, I responded immediately with “I know just the man!”

The Road to Ballina 3-28 August at the Gilded Balloon

Jakko Jakszyk
Michael Attenborough

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