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Classic-novel romp for Hope Mill

Hold on to your hats as a cast of six romps through all the classic novels you never had time to read! CLASSIC! at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester (Hope Mill, June 14-18; Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, August 3-28) , is 60 minutes of multiple costume changes and general mayhem as the company races from Wuthering Heights to Moby Dick.

CLASSIC! started life as a fifteen-minute piece at Manchester's JB Shorts new plays platform. With Arts Council England funding it has been developed at Hope Mill into a full-length comedy.

The setup is that a group of actors is trying to break a record for the most novels ever shared on stage. In doing that, they present the stories in unexpected ways: Moby Dick as a sea shanty, Jane Eyre as a silent movie, Oliver Twist as a film noir, Black Beauty as a pantomime… and so on

The script is by Emmerdale and Coronation Street writers Peter Kerry and Lindsay Williams, and the director is popular actress and director Joyce Branagh. It's a co-production by Hope Mill with Manchester-based HER Productions.

Joyce Branagh said: “We first did a chunk of this in Manchester, years ago, and to now have a full show is brilliant – definitely worth the wait!”

Hope Mill's artistic director, Joseph Houston, said: “Hailing from Scotland, the Edinburgh Festival has played a big part in my life. Being able to be a part of the festival, with a Hope Mill production, in what will be a very special year of its triumphant return, is a dream come true.”

Info and tickets here

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