David Hunter and Julie Atherton are starring in a forthcoming production of Melvyn Bragg and Howard Goodall's musical The Hired Man, which runs at the Colchester Mercury from 21 March to 6 April 2013 and Leicester Curve from 12 to 27 April.

Set against the backdrop of the Cumbrian lakes in the early 20th Century, the show tells the story of a young married couple and their struggle to carve a living from the land, just as the traditional rhythms of English country life are being swept away by the gathering storm of war in Europe.

David Hunter (John) was in the semi-finals of ITV casting show Superstar in July 2012. His stage credits include One Man Two Guvnors (National and Adelphi) and Seussical (Arts). Julie Atherton's (Emily) stage roles include playing Cinderella in the recent Lyric pantomime in and Kate Monster in Avenue Q at Noel Coward Theatre.

Directed by the Mercury 's artistic director Daniel Buckroyd, the cast also includes Kit Orton (Jackson), Christopher Staines, Gary Tushaw, Jamie Barnard, Jill Cardo, Mark Stobbart, Matthew Rutherford, Jenni Bowden and Rachael Gladwin.