Rehearsals are under way for a landmark revival of British musical The Hired Man that will be staged in Hull, Oldham and east London.
The cast will feature: Jon Bonner (The Commitments, UK tour); Lloyd Gorman (Sunny Afternoon, Harold Pinter Theatre); Oliver Hembrough (Insignificance, Arcola Theatre); TJ Holmes (Two Gentlemen of Verona, Shakespeare’s Globe & Liverpool Everyman); Lucy Keirl (The Crucible, UK tour); Lara Lewis (Daisy Pulls It Off, Charing Cross Theatre); Sufia Manya (Miss Littlewood, Royal Shakespeare Company); Samuel Martin (The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare’s Globe); Lauryn Redding (Oliver Twist, Hull Truck); Tom Self (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch) and James William-Pattison (Once, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch / New Wolsey Theatre).
The musical, with music and lyrics by Howard Goodall and a book by Melvyn Bragg, will be directed by Douglas Rintoul, artistic director of the Queens Theatre Hornchurchin London where the show will premiere from 27 April to 18 May 2019.
Based on Bragg’s novel published in 1969, The Hired Man was turned into a musical in 1984. Inspired by Bragg’s grandparents, it tells of a family’s journey from land labourers to colliers and back to the land, with a folk opera score featuring foot-stomping rhythms.
The new production is designed by Jean Chan with movement by Jane Gibson, lighting design by Prema Mehta and sound design by Chris Murray. Ben Goddard is musical director.
Goodall said: I am absolutely thrilled about this revival: three brilliant regional theatres, a wonderful creative team and a chance for a new generation of theatre-goers to see this piece that Melvyn Bragg and I first put in front of an audience 35 years ago.”
Rehearsal pictures by Jon Bonner. Publicity shot shows Lauryn Redding and Oliver Hembrough.