Tuesday, January 25

Tag: Hope Mill Theatre

In The Spotlight
Blogs

In The Spotlight

Hello North West End Welcome to my new weekly column here on the site, where I will talk all things theatre from local to touring, West End to Broadway and more. My name is Craig, and I am a playwright and director here in wonderful Manchester and also the co-owner of the long running theatre production company Vertigo. I am thrilled to be able to spend a little time with you each week with this column and share what's going on in the theatre world. So, with that said, I thought it might be best to bring you up to date with all that's going on around the world in theatre when it comes to everybody's least favourite party guest... Covid. It's been a dreadful two years for the theatre industry, and today we are still fighting to figure out a way to move forward in this new norma...
The Wiz – Hope Mill Theatre
North West

The Wiz – Hope Mill Theatre

There are a few big secrets in musical theatre. One of the biggest is that aside from one overwrought and over-covered number there’s not a lot of great music in The Wizard of Oz. It’s not the only retelling of L. Frank Baum’s original story, so why is it considered a classic when The Wiz remains unknown to many? Unknown despite having more songs, better music and a lot more heart? Why have there only ever been three professional UK productions of The Wiz on stage? Why has it never made it to the West End, whilst a lordly revival of the Judy Garland movie was deemed worthy of a primetime TV show? Important questions. I will leave the answers to others except to say there was something incredibly powerful about taking a seat in the Hope Mill Theatre in front of a sparse stage and ...
Forgotten Voices – Hope Mill Theatre
North West

Forgotten Voices – Hope Mill Theatre

The adaptable Hope Mill Theatre hosted the one woman show inspired by the life of Eva Moorhead Kadalie the wife of Clements Kadalie first black national trade union leader from South Africa. Shareesa Valentine whose stage and tv credits include Band of Gold, Hollyoaks, The Syndicate, Dumping Ground and Last Tango in Halifax played Eva a strong South African woman who was reflecting on her life and the transitions through the voices in her head that had been forgotten or suppressed that made her the female she was just before she was about to embark on the last journey to a new life in England with her son Victor. ‘Forgotten Voices’ was written by David Moorhead the grandson of Eva who stated in an interview "My grandmother was glamorous and warm hearted but beneath lay a complex per...
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Hope Mill Theatre
North West

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Hope Mill Theatre

What is Shakespeare’s best comedy? Although plenty of people would vote for A Midsummer Night’s Dream it is, in truth, an impossible question to answer. Why? Because the Bard’s plays exist to be performed and any humour in the script is only conveyed to the audience with great direction. With a good director at the helm, Dream is hilarious, fast-paced and emotional. With a poor director in charge, it can feel turgid, long and devoid of comedy. This production has an excellent director in charge. It’s hard to walk out of the theatre thinking anything other than Dream is the best Shakespeare comedy and this must be one of the very, very best telling’s of this timeless tale. All Female Shakespeare does exactly what it says on the tin. Created by Unseemly Women, HER Productions and Girl Ga...
Cast Announced for The Wiz at Hope Mill Theatre
NEWS

Cast Announced for The Wiz at Hope Mill Theatre

Following its sold-out, critically acclaimed production of ‘Rent’, Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre in association with Ameena Hamid Productions announces the cast for a radical new version of the 70s musical The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical “Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Directed by Matthew Xia (‘Into the Woods’, Royal Exchange), The Wiz is a joyous retelling of L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ reflecting contemporary African-American culture. Its 1975 Broadway premiere production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Matthew Xia said: “The Wiz is approaching its 50th anniversary, it now exists within the canon of mainstream musicals and it’s due time for some bold reinvention. Originally a funk and soul-based analogy for the African-American e...
All-female version of Shakespeare favourite set for the stage after Covid delay
NEWS

All-female version of Shakespeare favourite set for the stage after Covid delay

A hugely anticipated modern version of a William Shakespeare classic is set for a busy run in Manchester – with all the roles played by women. The 21st century interpretation of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ will be staged at the Hope Mill Theatre, from October 6th – 16th, following on from two similar sold-out Shakespeare shows in 2018 and 2019. In a twist on the plot of the original play – which revolves around the marriage of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the former queen of the Amazons – this reimagined version is set on Hipppolyta’s hen-do in a Manchester nightclub. Billed as ‘Canal Street’s explosive imagination meets the instability of Love Island and the classiness of the Real Housewives of Cheshire’, the play has been produced by HER Productions in partnership wit...
Act Your Age Writing Festival – Hope Mill Theatre
North West

Act Your Age Writing Festival – Hope Mill Theatre

Douglas Adams wrote, ‘The main thing that flying requires is the ability to throw yourself at the ground and miss.’ Trying to fly was a theme that ran through the three plays on show on the final night of this ‘Act Your Age’ new writing season hosted by Hope Mill Theatre. All the plays had characters that were mostly aged over 40 and were performed as rehearsed reading radio plays. In the play Birdman by Wendy Storer a chicken farmer and part time inventor, called Richard Head, known as Dick (Steve Titley), wants to fly. He thinks he can help solve the environmental crisis by inventing a way for humans to be like birds. Using chicken feathers and a Heath Robinson style contraption of skipping ropes and wood he plans to take to the skies. His wife, who is enjoying French lessons with...
Act Your Age New Writing Festival – Hope Mill Theatre
North West

Act Your Age New Writing Festival – Hope Mill Theatre

In a youth obsessed culture such as ours it was nice to see some plays written for actors over forty. This new writing festival, we were told, had been in the planning for 18 months and now, thankfully, it was here. It was the first of three evenings of new short plays that will be taking place at the Hope Mill Theatre over the next few weeks. The first play was Paper Crown by Laura Harper. It was partly about how we imagine the lives of others to be better than our own. This two-hander was an intriguing take on the familiar trope of the errant husband and the vengeful wife. Hell hath no fury… At first, we think we are watching a play about class. A working-class couple are in their pyjamas getting ready for bed. His are stained by ketchup, hers are cheap and tasteless. She id...
RENT – Hope Mill Theatre
North West

RENT – Hope Mill Theatre

After almost three years in the making, a short run in 2020 which became a casualty of COVID-19 and a very successful online run, RENT at Hope Mill is back and it is explosive, imaginative and full of character. The stage is open with a very minimal set, but it needs no more as the storytelling fills the space and makes the room feel full. As the cast enter and take their seats around the edge of the stage area, you can feel the buzz and excitement in the room, a full capacity audience ready to soak in the story, the music, the love. As soon as the song ‘Rent’ began, you could feel the electricity in the room as the whole stage came to life and we were taken on a journey of friendship, love, life and loss. The cast were visible the whole time, whether on the stage or not and t...
Hope Mill Theatre presents A Celebration of Musical Theatre at Hope Fest
NEWS

Hope Mill Theatre presents A Celebration of Musical Theatre at Hope Fest

Hope Mill Theatre’s summer festival of arts and culture will be closed with four nights celebrating the very best of musical theatre starring a cast of stellar stage performers. Written and conceived by Chris Burgess and directed by Kirk Jameson, A Celebration of Musical Theatre is a new show that will take audiences on a musical journey of song and dance featuring some of the best songs ever written for the stage. It has choreography by Tosh Wanogho-Maud, musical orchestrations by Nick Barstow and musical direction by Greg Last. The show will feature a selection of some of the best loved songs from the genre, including medleys of classics from Gilbert & Sullivan and Rodgers & Hammerstein, to more recent hits like You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen. Other favourites ...