Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester announce production of HAIR


Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester’s new independent theatre and event space based in Ancoats’ Grade II listed Hope Mill, today announces dates for its second in house musical theatre production: Hair, produced by Hope Mill’s co-owners Joseph Houston and Will Whelton and, new resident producer, Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment.

With a creative team led by director Jonathan O’Boyle (Four Play, Sense of an Ending at Theatre503, The Surplus at the Young Vic and Associate Director on Mack & Mabel, The Scottsboro Boys and The Judas Kiss) and musical director Gareth Bretherton (The Verb, To Love – Original London Cast at The Old Red Lion Theatre, Seasons of Larson at the Lyric Theatre, London), Hair is a groundbreaking rock musical that tells the story of the tribe; a group of politically active hippies living in New York and battling against conscription into the Vietnam War.

Hope Mill co-owner William Whelton, who choreographed the production of Parade and is now returning to the role for Hair, says “Hair is my favourite musical and it has always been my dream to choreograph a production. Ever since its debut on stage in the 60s it has been a musical that connects with its audiences and deals with heartening issues such as war, acceptance and liberation. Hair really defined a new age of rock musical as we know it today and I look forward to creating and re-imagining this iconic musical in our very own theatre space”.

Aria Entertainment’s residency comes with a commitment to co-producing three more new musicals at Hope Mill in 2017. The partnership has blossomed since the amazing success of their critically acclaimed Manchester premiere of Parade, the first musical that they produced together, as part of the Spring programme. The show had to be extended for an extra week due to sheer demand, completely selling out the final two weeks with standing ovations following every performance.

Producer at Aria Entertainment, Katy Lipson says “Our collaboration grew after hearing about Hope Mill on social media. I visited the venue and said there and then I wanted to co-produce the first in-house musical there. As a producer it excites me to present a piece for the very first time or bring back a piece in a new and interesting way. I was absolutely blown away with the reaction we had to Parade. It achieved everything we could have possibly wanted and more. What we have in store for 2017 is incredibly ambitious but exciting”.

Director Jonathan O’Boyle comments “I’m thrilled to be directing Hair at the Hope Mill in Manchester. The Hope Mill Theatre and the team there have already firmly placed themselves at the forefront of theatre in Manchester and I can’t wait to collaborate with them. Hair was one of my first introductions to musical theatre. It is a truly groundbreaking and iconic musical that has withstood the test of time and we can’t wait to share this brand new, re-invented production with Manchester”.

Saturday 12th November-Saturday 3rd December