Yank!

Yank! is a story which needs to be told, it teaches us about love, and shares a poignant and heartfelt message inspiring audiences to love freely and with no time to waste.

Yank! is the third in-house production born from the hugely successful paring of Hope Mill Theatre and Aria Entertainment, who together brought both Parade and cult classic Hair to Manchester audiences last year, with the addition of third producer Ben Millerman, Yank! further confirms their commitment to delivering new and innovative theatre as this beautiful production is brought to life by Director James Baker and his stellar cast.

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Based on the 2010 Off-Broadway production written by David Zellnik with a score created by brother Joseph, Yank pays homage to Rodgers and Hammerstein and charmingly evokes the time period of the unforgettable 1940’s. The scrip has both great humour and enormous heart as we follow the journey of Stu (Scott Hunter) after he is called up to serve for his country in a war he doesn’t fully understand. As a vulnerable and scared young recruit Stu meets and falls in love with macho and self-assured, all-American guy Mitch (Barnaby Hughes), the two merely want to survive the war so they too can live and love their own American dream, sadly such a simple wish proves to be more of a challenge than any military battle they face, and so an emotional and complex uphill battle just in trying to be true to themselves begins.

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Scott Hunter gives an exceptional performance as Stu, we see how love changes him from a fearful and weak new recruit into an assured and quietly confident man whose inner strength and belief in his right to love is unshakeable. The relationship between Hunter and Barnaby Hughes (Mitch) is heart-warming, delicate and pure with a strong on stage chemistry, you desperately want them to make it. The whole cast are superb, each character is delivered with colour and is strongly defined from the swaggering, larger than life, Czechowski (Kris Marc-Joseph) to the flamboyant and fabulous Rotelli (Tom Lloyd) every single cast member makes their mark. Special mention must go to both Chris Kiely who plays Atrie the toe-tapping photographer who takes Stu under his wing and Sarah-Louise Young who plays multiple female roles and delivers each and every one with style and sass.

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There is stunning choreography from Chris Cuming culminating in the most beautiful of dream sequences which is a real highlight of this lovingly crafted production and again shows the sheer level of talent in this small cast of twelve.

Yank! is a delight, full of emotion and performed with true heart and soul, at a time when division is so rife it is crucial we see the importance of love, are able to love whom we choose and be loved back without question or complication. A truly special piece of theatre which delivers a powerful and honest message, Yank! is absorbing, dynamic and deeply moving.

Tickets available via http://www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk

 

Ali MacGraw & Ryan O’Neal back together in LOVE LETTERS

Ali MacGraw, Ryan O'Neal

Photo credit: Austin Hargrave

Hollywood legends Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal are back together once more to star in the upcoming UK tour of LOVE LETTERS, celebrated playwright A.R. Gurney’s enduring romance about first loves and second chances. Following a critically-acclaimed Broadway run and sell-out US Tour, the production comes to the UK for a twelve-week tour, opening on Monday 11 September 2017 at the Theatre Royal Bath.

Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw are best known for their onscreen pairing in the well-known weepy, Love Story back in 1970 – where Ryan was chosen from more than 300 hopefuls to play the role of Oliver Barrett opposite Ali in the film, proving to be his big break.

47 years on they have another story to tell, in LOVE LETTERS…

Andrew Makepeace Ladd III (O’Neal) wrote his first letter to Melissa Gardner (MacGraw) to tell her she looked like a lost princess; they were both seven years old. For the next fifty years, through personal triumphs and despair, through wars and marriages and children and careers, they poured out their heartfelt secrets to each other. They defied a fate that schemed to keep them apart, and lived for the one most meaningful thing, their undying love for each other.

Producer David Ian said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing two such huge stars to the UK in this wonderful and moving play. Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal ‎are true Hollywood legends and it will be very special indeed to see them live on stage together’.

LOVE LETTERS comes to Manchester’s Opera House from 20-25 November 2017.