The hugely successful partnership between leading London-based theatre production company Aria Entertainment and Hope Mill Theatre one of Manchester’s newest arts venues which brought us the hugely successful Parade earlier this year looks set to go from strength to strength with the announcement an impressive trio of shows for 2017.
Aria Entertainment headed up by Manchester-born Producer and Company Director Katy Lipson, originally joined forces with Hope Mill Theatre, based in Grade II listed mill in Ancoats, brainchild of Joseph Houston and William Whelton, back in January 2016 to spearhead the venue as a platform to showcase, revive and bring new musical theatre to the North. Further cementing their commitment to the partnership came in today’s announcement of three exciting headline musicals for 2017 – Yank!; The Stationmaster; and Little Women.
Yank! is a World War Two love story, with book and lyrics by David Zellnik and music by his brother Joseph. It tells the story of Stu, a scared mid-western youngster who is called up in 1943. He becomes a photographer for Yank Magazine, the journal ‘for and by the servicemen’. With a score that pays homage to the timeless music of the 1940s, the musical explores what it means to be a man, and what it is to fall in love and struggle. Yank will also be produced with Ben Millerman and directed by James Baker who also directed the almighty Parade. Yank! will run from 9 March to 8 April 2017
The Stationmaster is a musical Aria Entertainment first produced a workshop production of in 2015 as part of their annual From Page To Stage Festival Of New Musicals. 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 in 1958, railway stationmaster Thomas Price is the pillar of his local community. But when a young woman unexpectedly arrives on the platform, his well-ordered life begins to unravel. The Stationmaster will be directed by Bronagh Lagan. The Stationmaster will run from 7th September to 30th September 2017.
Little Women will make its UK premiere at Hope Mill Theatre from 9th November to 9th December 2017. The musical originates from a book by Allan Knee, with lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1869 semi-autobiographical novel, Little Women follows the adventures of the March sisters Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested – her friend Professor Bhaer, tells her that she has to do better and write more from herself. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their experience growing up in Civil War America. . This will be the UK premiere of the Broadway musical which starred Sutton Foster who was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance and will no doubt be a highly anticipated production.
Aria Entertainment’s Producer and Company Director Katy Lipson commented: “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.”
Joseph Houston, Artistic Director of Hope Mill Theatre, added: “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 been seen before works and, 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.”
To conclude the partnership’s programme for 2016, next up for Aria Entertainment and Hope Mill Theatre is cult classic musical, Hair, the story of a group of peace-loving hippies living in the shadow of the Vietnam War. Previews begin this weekend on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th November, followed by a three-week run from Tuesday 15th November to Saturday 3rd December.
9 MARCH – 8 APRIL 2107
On sale Thursday 10 November 2016
7 SEPTEMBER – 30 SEPTEMBER 2017
On sale soon
9 NOVEMBER – 9 DECEMBER 2017
On sale soon