Watch Hope Mill Rodgers and Hammerstein concert

Writer:

Paul Genty

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Enterprising phoned-in concert gets wide support

Anyone who missed Hope Mill Theatre’s enterprising lockdown-fundraising Rodgers and Hammerstein concert Some Enchanted Evening can still watch it online.

The charming mix of music, fund-raising and Rodgers and Hammerstein history lesson featured cast members from the theatre’s ill-fated production of the Broadway Cinderella, and other theatre friends. The video has already (Mon evening) had almost 4,400 views.

The line-up - all singing individually from their homes - featured West End stars Maria Friedman, Louise Dearman and Sophie-Louise Dann, as well as members of the Cinders cast Matthew Blaker, Julie Yammanee and Cinderella herself, Georgie Buckland.

Also featured were performers from past Hope Mill productions: Joel-Harper Jackson, Laura Harrison and Simbi Akande, plus Any Dream Will Do contestant Keith Jack.

The show, introduced by Hope Mill founders William Whelton and Joseph Houston (pictured), featured brief messages of support from well-known faces on the Manchester theatre scene, interspersed with favourite songs from the composers’ greatest musicals.

The hour came to an end with a spliced-together version of Carousel’s You’ll Never Walk Alone as a tribute to local NHS workers, and a song from Cinderella.

Artistic director Joseph Houston said afterwards: “It is so important to us that we continue to share work and keep engaged with our wonderful audiences. We have had so much support since closing and we are extremely grateful.

“Theatre is such a powerful art form. I think it proves, even more, the importance and sheer joy that live theatre gives and certainly makes me so excited to be back in a theatre seat.”

The concert is available on the theatre’s YouTube channel here until May 3 (free, though donations are requested).

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