Theatre News

Denise Welch and Matthew Kelly to star in new Jim Cartwright play

Welch and Kelly tackle the new play in Manchester

Denise Welch and Matthew Kelly, photos supplied by show producers

A new play by Jim Cartwright (Road, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice) will open at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester next spring.

Titled The Gap, the piece follows a pair of former hellraisers who reunite following a chance phonecall. Anthony Banks directs, with the show set to premiere on 9 February 2024, playing through to 9 March.

Set to star will be Matthew Kelly (Big, Waiting for Godot, Noises Off) as Walter, with Denise Welch (Calendar Girls, Steel Magnolias) as Corral.

Cartwright and Banks said today: “It’s great to be collaborating again after our work on Mobile Phone Show in 2013 and Raz in 2016. We’re looking forward to Denise and Matthew bringing these characters to life – two extraordinary lives lived across half a century of changes.”

Kelly added: “Dear Manchester, I’m coming home and I can’t think of a better excuse to return than with actress Denise Welch and playwright Jim Cartwright. Denise and I are to star in the world premiere of Jim’s brand new play, The Gap, at Manchester’s premier theatre, Hope Mill. It’s a funny, moving, exquisitely crafted play which will show off the superb talents of Denise Welch and I shall be showing off beside her all the way. Anthony Banks will direct. It’s a top team embarking on a top project at a top venue. I couldn’t be more thrilled and excited. I’d love it if you could come and share it. Sincerely, Matthew Kelly off the Telly.”

 Welch continued: “I am so excited to be returning to my first love, theatre, working alongside the fantastic team at Hope Mill Theatre next year. To play opposite Matthew Kelly in a new Jim Cartwright play is a dream come true. I hope you’ll all come and see what I hope will be a great production.”