Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre reveals trio of musicals for 2017

Katy Lipson (Producer), William Wh.._

The Hope Mill Theatre’s Katy Lipson, William Whelton and Joseph Houston

Details have been released for the second season of shows from the partnership between Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre and London arts producer Aria Entertainment.

Following on from the success of this year’s productions of the Tony Award-winning Parade and with the venue’s version of the classic rock musical Hair opening on Saturday, the partnership has revealed the three headline musicals lined up for 2017.

The first, the UK premiere of Off-Broadway musical Yank!, is a Second World War love story with book and lyrics by David Zellnik and music by his brother Joseph. Yank!, running from 9 March to 8 April 2017, will be produced with Ben Millerman and directed by James Baker.

Running from 7 until 30 September, the second show will be The Stationmaster, the musical which made its debut as part of Aria Entertainment’s annual From Page to Stage festival of new musicals in 2015. The musical is inspired by Horvath’s Judgment Day, translated by Christopher Hampton with a book by Susannah Pearse and music and lyrics by Tim Connor. Set in a small town in the Lake District, The Stationmaster will be directed by Bronagh Lagan.

The UK premiere of Tony-nominated Broadway musical Little Women will be the third and final production of 2017, running from 9 November to 9 December 2017. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1869 novel, the show has a book by Allan Knee, with lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland.

yank-artwork-1Aria Entertainment’s producer and company director Katy Lipson said: “I am absolutely delighted to announce our 2017 season at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester. I am also excited to be on-board as resident producer on all in-house musical productions and to lead our vision on producing exclusively musical theatre with a focus on new musicals. We hope through our productions of Yank!, The Stationmaster and Little Women we can bring even more audiences into the theatre to discover the intimacy and wonderful work we are investing in.”

The brainchild of Joseph Houston and William Whelton, the 120-seat Hope Mill Theatre in the Ancoats area of Manchester opened in December last year. The venue is part of a converted Grade II listed former cotton mill that also houses studios for writers, artists and designers, events space and a café and bar.

Houston, the venue’s artistic director said: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce our 2017 season of musicals in collaboration with our resident producer Katy Lipson. All three titles are extremely exciting, not only for Hope Mill Theatre – but for the musical theatre industry.

“Staging the UK premiere of two exciting shows such as the Off-Broadway musical Yank! and Broadway hit Little Women solidifies the theatre’s vision for producing never before seen works and, with the staging of new British musical The Stationmaster, we show our commitment to supporting new British musicals. These titles are sure to cement Manchester and the North’s position as a key driving force in musical theatre.”

Angela Thomas


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