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The full line-up of arts and cultural events has been revealed for Hope Mill Theatre’s three-week festival, HOPE FEST, which runs in Ancoats, Manchester from 16th July – 8th August.

The festival will take place inside a large theatre tent which will accommodate 250 capacity, based beside New Islington Tram Station (one stop from Piccadilly Station) on the junction between Pollard Street and Great Ancoats Street.

HOPE FEST, in association with Electric Park, has been made possible through collaboration and an ambition to championthe cultural arts post-covid with a unique programme of community-centric events.

The festival line up offers something for everyone including comedy, music, plays and musical theatre as well as one off special community events.

Highlights of the festival include Jason Manford’s Comedy Club, featuring four hilarious comics all chosen by Manford himself, The Other Guys tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Dolly Show that’s a must-watch for fans of the Queen of Country and Entr’acte’s and Encore’s an evening of movie and theatre icons through interpretations of drag, burlesque and performance.

There’s Yes Queens, the West End’s first female-led improvised comedy, Hope Fest Comedy Gala featuring some of Manchester’s top comedy talent, a screening of cult classic Coyote Ugly complete with cocktails and Hope Mill Theatre’s all-new A Celebration of Musical Theatre, featuring a cast of West End stars singing much loved songs from the musicals.

And our four-legged friends aren’t forgotten thanks to Dog Fest, hosted by Hayley Tamaddon, featuring fancy dress and a doggy DJ.

Hope Mill Theatre has also launched a special FANCOATSscheme for local residents, offering ticket discounts and an invite to a one-off residents gathering, bringing the local community together.

As well as ticketed events, the Theatre Garden & Bar will be open to the public to enjoy food and drink from Tuesday 20thJuly to Sunday the 8th August 2021 from 12noon to 10:30pm Tuesday to Sunday.

On offer will be a range of local produce from Ancoats Gin, 7 Brothers, Shin Digger and Paradiso Authentic Desserts. There will also be a BBQ on site and stone baked pizza available with Vegan and Vegetarian options.

The bar will feature a garden/forest installation provided by local Charity GROUND WORKS.

The event will follow any Covid-secure guidelines in place at the time, and was designed with social distancing in mind – customers will be asked to book in groups of 2,4 or 6 seated at tables (individual tickets also available on request) – meaning the event will go ahead regardless of any further delays to the relaxation of restrictions.

Hope Fest Listings

Friday 16th July, 7.30pm. Manford’s Comedy Clubfeaturing the brilliant stand up comics Sally-Anne Haywood, Matt Rees, James Allen and Julian Deane.

Matt and Phreds Music Sessions: Matt & Phred’s presents 5 of the outstanding bands who play at their Northern Quarter venue. From Brazilian Jazz and Pop, to Swing, to Live Looping, to full-on Funk/Soul/Hip-Hop party-starters; there’s something for everyone. The carefully curated line-up has been selected to reflect the vast array of styles of music that Matt & Phred’s regularly and proudly showcases. With each performance boasting superb musicianship and a sound sure to leave audiences in pure admiration of the talent on-stage, these afternoon gigs are the perfect entertainment for audiences of all ages.

Saturday 17th July, 3pm. Baiana.

Saturday 24th July, 3pm. Swing Commanders

Saturday 1st August, 3pm. John Haycock

Saturday 1st August, 4pm. Polly Virr

Sunday 8th August, 3pm. Full Tilt Collective.

Saturday 17th July, 8pm. The Other Guys, A Tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. This show features the iconic harmonies and unrivalled showmanship of one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s most prestigious groups, ensuring their legacy continues to live on. Performing a collection of classics such as ‘Sherry’, ‘Walk Like A Man’ and ‘Oh What a Night’, The Other Guys take you right back to ‘late December back in ’63’ in smooth style guaranteeing you a night to remember.

Sunday 18th July. 10:30am and 1:00pm. Dog Fest. In partnership with The Barkside Manchester doggy day care, Betty and Butch doggy food and treat store and dog training company C B Dogs. Dof Fest will be hosted by Hope Mill Theatre Patron Hayley Tamaddon and is open to owners and dogs and includes fancy dress competitions and a doggy DJ. Tickets £25 and include 2 people plus 1 dog.

Sunday 18th July, 7.30pm. Judy and Liza. Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli are back together again thanks to a sensational musical experience. This dazzling production by Bill Elms Productions tells the turbulent tale of Hollywood’s biggest starts against the backdrop of their infamous 1964 London Palladium concert. West End stars Emma Dears and Helen Sheals belt out their most famous hits with uncanny resemblance, bursting with elusive star quality. Featuring live performances of Cabaret, Maybe This Time, The Trolley Song and The Man That Got Away to name but a few – spend an evening with the mother and daughter who really did put the ‘show’ into showbiz.

Tuesday 20th July, 7.30pm. Your Mcr. After three years of being Manchester’s most celebrated Guest based online magazine show, Hosts Belinda Scandal, Michelle Eagleton and the entire team are doing it live-in front of a studio audience, no rehearsals, just total live chat and music . Starring legends Denise Welch and Sue Devaney, and featuring music from Shane Nolan and comedy from Mark Bittlestone it promises to be a fantastic night (more guests TBC)

Wednesday 21st July, 7.30pm. The Dolly Show. As seen on BBC, West End Star Kelly O’Brien is Dolly Parton in The Dolly Show. With her fabulous musicians, she performs the beloved hits of country legend Dolly Parton, brilliantly recreating the vitality and voice of the little lady from Tennessee.
Kelly is the best in the business; she sounds like Dolly Parton, she looks like Dolly and she’s as witty and entertaining as Dolly. The show includes up-tempo numbers like 9 to 5, Baby I’m Burning and Islands in the Stream, as well as powerful ballads such as I will Always Love You, Jolene and Coat of Many Colours. Kelly is no stranger to the stage and has been performing all over the world for 20 years and is the only Dolly Parton impersonator to have been invited to sing with Dolly Parton’s band in Nashville, Tennessee.

Thursday 22nd July, 5pm & 8pm. Murder at the Mill. After the success of ‘Who Killed the Lollipop Man?’ UP ‘ERE are back with a brand new interactive murder mystery – this time in person and set during late 19th century Salford. There has been a murder at Mill and it’s up to you to find out who did it!

Friday 23rd July, 2pm. Frozen Sing-a-Long. Come and join us for a screening and sing-a-long of the iconic family film Frozen.

Friday 23rd July, 7.30pm. Coyote Ugly Movie Screening and Cocktails. The Hope Fest tent becomes the Coyote Ugly bar for one night only! Come and join us for a screening of the hit cult classic – with your ticket including TWO cocktails! Violet Sanford leaves her New Jersey hometown, her father Bill, and her best friend Gloria, to pursue her dreams of becoming a songwriter in nearby New York City. Violet tries multiple times to get her demo tape noticed by the recording studios but is unsuccessful. One night, she goes to an all-night diner and notices three girls, Cammie, Rachel, and Zoe, flaunting the hundreds of dollars in tips they earned. After inquiring, she finds out that they work at a trendy bar named Coyote Ugly

Saturday 24th July, 7.30pm. Yes Queens. Yes Queens is the West End’s first female-led improvised comedy night. Featuring top UK impro talent from such Olivier Award-winning productions as Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Austentatious and Mischief Theatre. It is interactive theatre at its best, with the audience playing a key role in a night of games, scenes, sketches and songs – all improvised from their suggestions. Between them, our Queens have also had multiple television appearances/writing credits They also regularly perform with top improvisation groups including: Comedy Store Players, Paul Merton’s Impro Chums, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Live, Hooplah, The Nursery, The Free Association, The Committee and Grand Theft Impro.

Sunday 25th July, 7.30pm. Entr’acte’s and Encore’s. Ever wondered how your favourite movie and theatre characters would be seen through queer eyes? Well look no further!Donna Trump, co-founder of ‘Queeriosity – Manchester’s Curious Cabaret’, presents an evening of movie and theatre icons through interpretations of drag, burlesque and performance. Come join us for some classic staples, hidden gems and showstoppers in ways that you would never expect them in…..

Thursday 29 July, 7:30pm. Through the Mill Finalists Evening. Hope Mill Theatre’s annual playwriting prize which launched last year and received over 500 submissions will see the finalists come together for an evening. The 12 finalists will share an excerpt of their pieces in front of an industry panel and mentor Jonathan Harvey, where the winning play will be announced.

Friday 30th July, 7.30pm. Girls Night Out. Grab your girls and join the gang for a night out at Hope Fest! We’re making it happen for the huns with music, comedy, cabaret, quizzes and cocktails. Celebrating the friendships that have gotten us through, the silliness of our favourite nights out and the power of shared experiences. Girl Gang are proud to present a programme of talented local performers curated from an open call out, compered and soundtracked throughout the evening by our team. Expect entertainment ranging from singers and stand up to spoken word. Dance, hula hoop, magicians, monologues, who knows! Come and find out and celebrate our city’s thriving creative scene and the liveness and LOL”s we’ve been missing so much.

Saturday 31st July, 8pm. Hope Fest Comedy Gala. A star studded line up of comedy comes to the Hope Fest with a magnificent comedy gala, presented in association with Nodding Dog Comedy.

With a packed bill featuring some of the UKs hottest comedy talents, those looking for some laughter after lockdown are in for a treat. MC for the evening is Manchester comedian Vince Atta and somewhat of a phenomenon using a multi track looper, Vince produces on the spot Hip-Hop/Reggae/Techno/anything; hilariously fusing it with natural stand-up, storytelling and audience interaction. Also appearing at Gala is Mike Newall, Elf Lyons, Fern Brady and Boothby Graffoe, who will be joined on stage by the multi award winning comedian David Eagle. Join us for this incredible lineup of comedy superstars!

Sunday 1st August, 12noon. The Sunday Boys Choir Concert. For over a year, Manchester’s LGBTQ+ choir The Sunday Boys have been keeping you entertained with their digital offerings, including videos of Queen’s I want to break free, Joni Mitchell’s Urge for Going, and Distant Dream, a special collaboration with composer Finn Anderson and The Lowry. After all this time locked down, the choir is delighted to genuinely break free and be singing live again. Expect to be taken on an eclectic choral journey from the choir’s back catalogue – with arrangements from the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Joni Mitchell and A-ha, as well as some folk and contemporary classical, plus the first live performance of Distant Dream.

Sunday 1st August, 7pm. Industry Minds and Grad Fest. The Industry Minds has Teamed up with The Grad Fest for an evening at Hope Fest to Celebrate the Best of the Theatre Industry by presenting ‘The Industry Minds Awards’ and showcasing Northern Talent by offering a Platform to recent Manchester Theatre Graduates!

Tuesday 3rd August, 7.30pm. Scripts Aloud Returns. Manchester ADP relaunches their Scripts Aloud events as part of Hope Fest. Reviving successful short plays from their years of play sharing, this promises to be an evening of fun, vibrant, high quality local theatre, bought to life by local creatives. Manchester ADP share new writing by local playwrights, seeking audience feedback and development opportunities.

Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th August, 2.30pm or 7.30pm (please check listings). Hope Mill Theatre presents A Celebration of Musical Theatre.  Hope Mill Theatre produces a new show celebrating the history of Musical Theatre, which will take the audience on a musical journey of song and dance, featuring West End musical performers. Directed by Kirk Jameson. Written and conceived by Chris Burgess.

For more information, or to book a group of 2, 4, or 6 seated at tables please visit www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk. Bookings of 6 receive a 10% discount. To book an individual ticket please contact the box office on 0161 257 9141 or [email protected]


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