Final casting announced for concert version of new folk musical ‘The Regulars’ at Hope Mill Theatre

Final casting has been announced for the new folk musical, THE REGULARS, the headline event of Turn On Fest 2022, Hope Mill Theatre’s 3rd annual LGBTQIA+ festival, which will be presented as a concert at 2pm and 7pm on Saturday 29 January 2022 before moving to a workshop production at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre in 2023. THE REGULARS is being produced and developed by Hope Mill Theatre and has music, lyrics and book by Will Shishmanian, who also heads the cast as Mark Howard. The musical has been developed with and directed by Miss Hazel Jade.

FULL CAST: Will Shishmanian (he/him (Author and playing Mark) is a musical theatre composer, lyricist and singer-songwriter from Queens, New York; Aiesha Pease (she/her, Dani) was in ‘Hadestown’ at the National Theatre and ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’, UK tour; Natalie Paris (she/her, Betsy) has just finished a three-year run as the original cast Jane Seymour in ‘Six’ in the West End, earning an Olivier Award nomination; Idriss Kargbo (he/him, Brandon) was Boq in ‘Wicked’, West End and  Donkey in ‘Shrek’, UK tour; Matthew Facchino (he/him, Derrick) was Anthony in ‘Sweeney Todd’ at English Theatre, Frankfurt, and featured in Sasha Regan’s ‘All-Male Pirates of Penzance’ in the West End; Teddy Hinde (they/them, Jax) is a non-binary performer, currently training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; Mark Lockhart (he/him, Hunter) is a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music’s Musical Theatre Masters; Amy Fleur (she/her, ensemble) was a featured soloist for Hope Mill Theatre’s recent online production of ‘Godspell’; James Markham (he/him, ensemble) was Feste in ‘Twelfth Night’ and  Rafe in ‘Fourplay’ at Liverpool’s Royal Court; Jordan Walker (he/they, ensemble) is a 2021 Graduate from Guildford School of Acting.

Mark Howard moves away from his childhood home to a rural, upstate town in search of a new type of family. When he picks up a stockroom position at the town’s local orchard, he’s met with toxic masculinity and comes to terms with his newfound male privilege. During his first day at work, he befriends Dani Thompson, a Black queer woman who is opening her own gay bar. Over time, these two very regular people form and find chosen family in one another and their community. With a passionate score and a familiar story, THE REGULARS is a captivating original musical about identity and self-love, reminding us that despite our differences, we are all deserving of acceptance for who we are.

The creative team includes: Will Shishmanian, he/him (Author / Composer); Miss Hazel Jade, she/her (Director/Developer); George Strickland, he/him (Music Director); Anessa Marie, she/her (Concert Arrangements); Pearsion Casting (Concert Casting); Josh Evans, he/him (Sound Engineer); Tom Sutcliffe, he/him (Festival Stage Manager); Hope Mill Theatre (Producer)

Hope Mill Theatre will be collaborating with Trans Creative to double bill THE REGULARS alongside new Trans writing. Trans Social Club, a space for trans and non binary people and allies to come together, socialise and share work in a safe trans friendly space to tell our own stories, will showcase new writing by some of the Northwest’s best trans artists along with up-and-coming new talent.

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