Macclesfield theatre couple’s musical opens in London

William Whelton and Joseph Houston
William Whelton and Joseph Houston in London

A couple from Macclesfield, who transformed a 200-year-old mill in Manchester into an award-winning theatre, have celebrated the opening of one of their musicals in London.

William Whelton and Joseph Houston, who live in Wincle, are the co-founders of Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats, Manchester and attended the opening night of the World War II love story Yank! at the Charing Cross Theatre in London.

It was the start of an exciting week for the pair as Friday sees them tie the knot – with the reception being held at their Grade II listed theatre, which they opened 18 months ago after giving up careers as actors.

Later in the year another of Hope Mill’s musicals that launched in Manchester, the critically acclaimed Hair, will also transfer to London.

And August will see the Manchester premiere of their next in-house production at Hope Mill, the Tony Award-winning musical Pippin.

Yank! – which received its European Premiere at Hope Mill Theatre in April – tells the love story of Stu and Mitch, who meet in the US Army during the Second World War.

The show, written by David and Joseph Zellnick and directed by James Baker, explores what it means to be a man, and what it is to fall in love and struggle to survive in a time and place where the odds are stacked against you.

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