Another première for Hope Mill

David Upton

Cast and creatives have been announced for the world première of The ToyBoy Diaries, the new British musical that is to be the first production staged in 2018 at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre.

The production, adapted from the best-selling memoirs by Wendy Salisbury, runs from January 18 to Saturday 10 and is the first of five in-house musicals next year from the collaboration between Joseph Houston and William Whelton, co-founders of Hope Mill and producer Katy Lipson, of Aria Entertainment.

This new musical charts sagas of mid-life dating.

When twice-divorced Lily inadvertently finds herself under a much younger man, it opens the door to a wild new world of inappropriate relationships.

The lead role will be played by Johanne Murdock. Recent stage roles include Brutus in Julius Caesar and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Guildford Shakespeare Company) and Anne Hathaway in The Other Shakespeare (Pitchfork Productions). Film and television credits include Chameleon and Holby City.

The production also features Olivier Award-nominee Nicola Blackman as Lily’s best friend Penny. Matt Beveridge plays ToyBoy 1. Sharif Afifi is ToyBoy 2. Alistair Higgins plays ToyBoy 3.

The ToyBoy Diaries has music and lyrics by Andy Collyer and a book by his regular collaborator Simon Warne.

Director Tania Azevdeo’s recent credits include Tenderly (New Wimbledon Theatre) XY (Page to Stage—The Other Palace) Paper Hears (Edinburgh Fringe and International Tour) and Hello Again (Hope Theatre.)

Following The ToyBoy Diaries is a new revival of acclaimed modern Broadway hit Spring Awakening (March 29 to May 3) and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic Aspects of Love (July 5 to August 9). Two more yet-to-be announced productions will follow in autumn and winter.