Friday, 26 January 2018

Martyn Hett play returns for first anniversary of Arena attack


A play about the life of Manchester Arena bomb victim Martyn Hett is set to return to Manchester one year since the tragic event, with tickets having gone on sale this week.

#BeMoreMartyn – named after a hashtag that trended online just hours after the 29-year-old’s death was announced – will run at Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats from 21 to 26 May.

The play, which premiered to sell-out crowds in October last year, was produced with the full support of Martyn’s family and was created from transcripts of interviews with eight of Martyn’s closest friends.

In the play, his friends explore what it is to ‘be more Martyn’ and take the audience on a journey from the cobbles of Canal Street to his ‘legendary’ Eurovision parties, celebrating Coronation Street, Mariah Carey and Michelle McManus along the way.


Commenting at the play, former Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, who is also a patron of Hope Theatre Company, said: “This verbatim piece beautifully captured the indefatigable spirit of a very special young man who somehow made the world sparkle a little brighter just by being in it. Beautifully staged and performed, it was a perfect tribute to him and to the city he loved, and left everyone present feeling like they wanted to live a little more fully, a little more proudly, a little less self-consciously, and a lot less seriously. A little more like Martyn.”

Known for his unique take on popular culture, as well as his appearances on Come Dine with Me and Tattoo Fixers, since his death Martyn has become synonymous with living life to the full and being proud of who you are.

Michael Keating, one Martyn’s friends portrayed in the play, said: “It beautifully encapsulated the legacy we’re left with and the message we want people to remember.”


The play has been produced by Hope Theatre Company, which specialises in verbatim theatre and productions for and about the LGBT+ community.

Adam Zane, artistic director of Hope Theatre Company, said: “At the beginning of this project, we didn’t quite understand the power of Martyn and his influence on the people around him. Having spent weeks speaking to his friends and family, we were in awe of how he transformed people. He changed the life of everybody he met and has since influenced so many more.”

Following the dates in Manchester, #BeMoreMartyn will head down south for a four-night stint in Brighton and a final show in London on 3 June.

Mike Lee, co-producer of #BeMoreMartyn, added: “We want to continue to tell Martyn’s story and take his legacy around the country.”

For more information about #BeMoreMartyn or to buy tickets, visit www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk/events/bemoremartyn-boy-deirdre-tattoo/

 #BeMoreMartyn – The Boy with the Deirdre Tattoo, Hope Mill Theatre, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, M4 7JA / www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk / Monday 21 May to Saturday 26 May, 2pm or 7:30pm / Tickets £15



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