Hope Mill Theatre and Aria Entertainment Announce First Three Shows for 2018

New musical THE TOYBOY DIARIES to make its world premiere alongside SPRING AWAKENING and ASPECTS OF LOVE

Following their landmark 2017 season, the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester and Aria Entertainment has revealed the first three productions for 2018.

New British musical THE TOYBOY DIARIES will make its world premiere alongside a revival of the acclaimed modern Broadway hit SPRING AWAKENING and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s romantic classic ASPECTS OF LOVE. Two further productions for the Autumn/Winter will also be announced later in the New Year.

Opening the 2018 season is THE TOYBOYS DIARIES which runs from 18 January to 10 February 2018. Based on the best-selling memoirs of Wendy Salisbury, the new musical comedy charts the hilarious and heart-breaking sagas of mid-life dating and features music and lyrics by Andy Collyer.

Hailed as “one of the great musicals of the last decade” by the New York Times, SPRING AWAKENING runs from 19 March to 3 May 2018. Based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial play, the show follows a group of teenagers in late-19th-century Germany as they navigate the struggles and virtues of blossoming youth. This intimate and bold new production is to be directed by Luke Sheppard (IN THE HEIGHTS, THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE) and features a Grammy award-winning rock score.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ASPECTS OF LOVE runs from 5 July to 4 August 2018. The romantic classic tells the story of passion, love and loss across three generations of a family and their artistic companions, against a background of 1940’s France and Italy. The musical also features the iconic song LOVE CHANGES EVERYTHING which was a huge hit for Michael Ball, who starred in the original production in London and on Broadway.

William Whelton and Joseph Houston, co-founders of Hope Mill Theatre said: “Hope Mill Theatre recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary and we could never have imagined that alongside Katy we would already be announcing our 3rd season of musicals after having five in-house productions and three London transfers under our belt.

“We wanted to make sure our third season was even more ambitious and we feel we have managed to achieve that with the world premiere of the new British musical The ToyBoy Diaries, an exciting revival of Spring Awakening with an Olivier Award-winning creative team and our first staging of an Andrew Lloyd Webber classic – Aspects of love.

“Once again we have proved the power of regional theatre and continue to spearhead Hope Mill Theatre as a leading player in new musical staging, musical premieres and exciting revivals.”

Katy Lipson, of Aria Entertainment, said: “I first stepped into Hope Mill Theatre just under two years ago and was blown away with what a beautiful space Joe and Will had taken on and created. It’s an absolute honour to be joint artistic director of the venue; bringing my passion and knowledge of musical theatre and titles to the table as well as spearheading the venue as a leading producer of high quality musical theatre in Manchester, which is also my home town.

“I have enjoyed working with the theatre on taking our shows to new commercial levels in London and am extremely delighted to announce the first three shows of our 2018 season. The ToyBoy Diaries is an Aria Entertainment commission and world premiere, having been workshopped and developed in our annual From Page To Stage festival. Having worked with Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik on a concert of their work, we are delighted to be bringing Spring Awakening back to Manchester. To close the season we have the beautiful Aspects Of Love, by the most famous British composer of musicals Andrew Lloyd Webber, and it is an honour to share this diverse selection of work with you.

“We hope to continue to champion the genre and bring in audiences from far and wide.”

To find out more about the 2018 season and to book tickets, visit Hope Mill Theatre.