Spring Awakening at Hope Mill
Hope Mill’s 7th in-house musical is Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s 2006 Broadway hit Spring Awakening. Based on Wedekind’s 1891 play, it tells a story of sexual and adolescent discovery. The content is challenging – a damning view of adulthood and how devastating their decisions can be. In the Spring of their lives a group of 19th century German teenagers are forced to discover the truth behind their awakening feelings unsupported by the older generation. Finding their own way, they discover sexuality; they learn to love; they learn to cope with shocking tragedy.
Director Luke Sheppard comments: "We made a commitment to seeking out fresh new talent to bring Spring Awakening to life for a new generation." And boy has he achieved that! Darragh Cowley (one of five actors making their professional debut) shines as the wordly-wise Melchior, however there are no weak links. The young cast take to the stage with a confidence beyond their years: strong performances and note-perfect voices that offer some stunning harmonies, particularly in the final number – The Song of Purple Summer.
Gabriella Slade’s stage design is the most impressive to date of productions I have seen here – an excellent use of the space with surprising, clever moments. How do you do that with the sheets of paper?
This is a beautiful, emotional, faultless production – well deserved of its ultimate ovation. I will be back at least once more.
Hope Mill Theatre, Pollard Street, Ancoats: March 29th - May 3rd 2018
Watch our video review here.