Howard Goodall’s musical The Hired Man is being revived at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch next year, it has been announced.
The musical, based on the book of the same name by Melvyn Bragg, will be produced by the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, Hull Truck Theatre and Oldham Coliseum.
It is directed by Queen’s Theatre artistic director Douglas Rintoul and opens at the Hornchurch venue, running from April 27 to May 18, before transferring to Hull and later Oldham.
Goodall said he was “thrilled” at the prospect of a revival.
“Three brilliant regional theatres, a wonderful creative team and a chance for a new generation of theatregoers to see this piece that Melvyn Bragg and I first put in front of an audience 45 years ago.”
The Hired Man was Goodall’s first full musical and premiered in the West End in 1984.
The revival is part of the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s spring season, which also includes a production of Amanda Whittington’s Kiss Me Quickstep, and the regional premiere of In Basildon by David Eldridge, directed by Rintoul.
This will be part of a new, two-year programme of work “championing positive notions of Essex” and celebrating work made by working-class artists in the area.
The Essex on Stage programme will start with In Basildon, in March 2019, and will also include rehearsed readings of some new plays – Slaying the Essex Girl by Sadie Hasler, Kelly Jones’ Tammy and Legacy by Dan Murphy.
Elsewhere, Essex on Stage will commission new plays, establish a network of venues, tour drama “about Essex across Essex” and organise local events to develop talent and audiences.
It is being funded by the Clothworkers’ Foundation, which awarded the Queen’s Theatre its 2018 award for a regional producing theatre.