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Hope Mill Theatre to present Classic! in Manchester and Edinburgh this summer

The piece will mark the company's Edinburgh Fringe debut

The cast of Classic!
© Tom Barker

Exclusive: Hope Mill Theatre is set to make its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer with Classic! – a 60-minute "romp" through classic novels from Wuthering Heights to Moby Dick.

Penned by Emmerdale and Coronation Street writers, Peter Kerry and Lindsay Williams, and directed by Joyce Branagh, the piece features a cast of six (and multiple costume changes): Louis Blair, Althea Burey, Amy Drake, Amy Gavin, Robin Simpson and Gareth Tempest.

Branagh said: "I'm so excited to finally get Classic! on stage – we first did a chunk of this in Manchester years ago and to now have a full show is brilliant – definitely worth the wait! The script is hilarious – really snappy – and we've got a great bunch of experienced comedy actors, so the whole thing is going to be very very silly. Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens et al will be disco-dancing in their graves!"

The play follows a group of actors who gather to break a record for the most novels ever shared on stage, including the likes of Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist and Black Beauty.

The production also features music by Louis Ashton Butler and musical direction from Joe Clayton.

Co-produced by HER Productions, Classic! will run at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester from 14 to 18 June, before heading to Pleasance 1 in Edinburgh from 3 to 28 August.

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