Theatre News

New musical ”Drag Addict” to premiere this summer

The artwork for Drag Addict
The artwork for Drag Addict

Exclusive: A new musical, Drag Addict, will have its world premiere in Manchester this summer.

Penned by Matt Cain and David Andrew Wilson, the piece’s concept was developed by WhatsOnStage Award winner Arlene Phillips, who also choreographs this new production.

Phillips said: “When I moved from Manchester to London in the 1970’s, many people found an escape in my dance classes from a society that still frowned upon their sexuality. It became a place where they were free to express themselves through dance in any way they wanted.

“It has been my dream to create a musical that embraces my love of drag and the LGBTQ plus community. I was lucky enough to have two creative friends in my life, Matt Cain and David Wilson, that I could bring together to make it a reality.”

The musical follows Dolly Ravage, who is battling to save a Manchester club in the Gay Village from being closed down – whose life is upended by the arrival of a mysterious American.

Writer, broadcaster and author of Becoming Ted Cain commented: “In my novels and journalism I’ve always loved exploring themes of LGBTQ plus identity, culture and community, asking what it means to be gay or queer in our modern, digital world. So it’s a real thrill to be opening up this new channel for my creativity and exploring the same themes in musical theatre. I’m also overjoyed to be creating a show that pays tribute to my home city of Manchester, a city that saved my life as a teenager and helped shape both the person and the writer I’ve become today.”

Composer Wilson, head of music at the Really Useful Group, added: “I am so excited to be bringing Drag Addict to HOME in Manchester. So much of this musical was written in lockdown when Matt, Arlene and I were just dreaming about what it would be like to be back on Canal Street. And now, here we are, about to open in Manchester!

“Writing pop music has always been my number one passion and I am so excited that I’ve had the opportunity to write a show that incorporates modern pop to 90s dance to Broadway big band in an entirely original score. It’s time to Slay the Runway!”

Jonathan O’Boyle (Top Hat) will direct the show at HOME in Manchester (where it plays from 18 July to 13 August), with further details to be revealed. Tickets are on sale via the HOME website.

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