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THE REGULARS is The Highlight Of Hope Mill Theatre's Third Annual LGBTQIA+ Arts Festival

Learn more about the festival's full lineup!

THE REGULARS is The Highlight Of Hope Mill Theatre's Third Annual LGBTQIA+ Arts Festival

The full line up has been announced for Hope Mill Theatre's third annual LGBTQIA+ Arts Festival.

Hope Mill Theatre Artistic Director Joseph Houston, said; "We are thrilled to be bringing Turn On Fest back to live audiences in 2022. While we were glad that we managed to go online with this year's festival, we felt the loss of not being able to bring artists and audiences together, especially within the LGBTQIA+ community, that we serve.

The headline event of the festival is a rehearsed reading and concert showing of new musical, 'The Regulars', a folk musical, which is being produced and developed by Hope Mill Theatre, with Music, lyrics and Book by trans writer Will Shishmanian. The musical has been developed with and Directed by Miss Hazel Jade. 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.

Mark Howard moves away from his West Virginia 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.

The Hope Mill will be bringing the team over from America to work with a company of 10 actors on a preview concert showing of the musical, which will then go into workshop and development in early 2023.

Director of 'The Regulars', Miss Hazel Jade, said: "I am unbelievably thrilled to showcase Shish's (Will Shishmanian) beautiful songs at Turn On Fest and continue developing 'The Regulars' with Hope Mill! It is a dream to share the world of Amberland with Manchester audiences."

Hope Mill Theatre will be collaborating with Trans Creative to double bill 'The Regulars' alongside new Trans writing. This event will be a Trans Social event.

Run by Trans Creative, Trans Social Club is 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. Come and
be part of the first 2022 Trans Social Club. Look out for the call out for new trans writers mentoring for this performance . Featuring Maz Hedgehog, Taylor Le Fin and more.

Other Festival highlights include:

Hive North and Hope Mill Theatre present the Turn On Fest Scratch Night, a bumper evening of
LGBTQ+ live theatre dedicated to developing ideas, sharing sparks of creativity with audiences and asking for your feedback.

The Story of Derek Jarman, written and performed by Mark Farrelly; a physical, poetic and moving piece about the English film director and gay rights activist.

Festival Launch night on Saturday 22nd January features 'Dungeness' by Chris Thompson, directed by Esther Dix. The show will feature a cast of young performers, from Hope Mill Theatre School.

The venue will host a Turn On Queer Social in their bar area on, creating an opportunity to bring
together likeminded creatives and individuals from the city. The venue will also be working with DIBBY theatre and The Proud Trust, offering artist development opportunities and workshops.

Hope Mill Theatre will also be opening up a call out for Queer Artists to receive £250 and a slot as part of an artists developemt opporutinuty, which is looking to support a variety of artists who have a piece in devleopemt and want to try it out infront of an audience. ]]Turn On The Mic, will be an evening of LGBTQIA+ song, featuring singers from the community soming together to celebrate queer music from pop and musical theatre. This evening will be hosted by
musical theatre performer Duncan Burt.

The venue wanted to host a queer friendly prom for everyone, allowing people to come together and celebrate being their true selves. The festival will close with Turn On - The Prom, a prom style event for 18+, featuring live performances, a DJ and special guests. In the spirit of recent successes such as Ryan Murhpy's 'The Prom' and 'Everybody's Talking about Jamie.'

Joseph Houston added: "We have an extremely exciting line up of shows and events this festival and as always we are happy to be working with an array of partners including Superbia, Trans Creative and Hive North. Hope Mill Theatre has become known for its musical productions and championing new work so we are truly hoboured to be working alongside the creators of a new trans musical, 'The Regulars' and can't wait to start the journey of bringing this show to life. Since launching the festival in 2020, so many amazing queer artist have already gone on to really exciting careers in the arts, we built this festival both as a spring board for new creatives as well as an opportunity to showcase the best queer art the region has to offer, and I can tell you, there's an abundance. So Turn Up and Turn On!"

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