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Spring Awakening and Aspects of Love lead Hope Mill’s 2018 season

Joseph Houston, William Whelton and Katy Lipson

Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester has announced a season of musicals for 2018 as part of its collaboration with producer Aria Entertainment.

Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment has also been appointed the theatre’s artistic director for in-house musicals.

Simon Warne’s the ToyBoy Diaries, based on the memoirs of Wendy Salisbury, is to have its world premiere and will run from January 18 to February 10.

It will be directed by Tania Azevedo.

The four-time Olivier award-winning Spring Awakening, with music by Duncan Sheik, will also run next year from March 19 to May 3, directed by Luke Sheppard.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love is the third production announced for 2018, directed by Jonathan O’Boyle. First produced in London in 1989, the production will run from July 5 to August 4 at Hope Mill.

Lipson 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.”

Aria Entertainment and Hope Mill have also signed up to the Equity Fringe Agreement, making it the first theatre in Manchester to sign up to the ‘professionally made, professionally paid’ standard.

The agreement ensures actors and stage managers are paid and protected by Equity guidelines, which cover working conditions, hours of work and breaks.