Coming out as a kid in the 90’s was never going to be easy… especially when you’re on the telly. In Moston, Manchester, 1992, Christian Dibmore is the working class 15 year old who’s got it all as the newest child star in the nation’s favourite soap. But Christian has a secret that’s soon to be on the front page of every tabloid…
Presented as part of Queer Contact 2018, Manchester’s foremost queer arts festival, The Newspaper Boy includes an all-star cast: Samantha Siddall (Shameless), Karen Henthorn (Coronation Street), Sam Retford (Hollyoaks, Ackley Bridge), Hollie-Jay Bowes (Hollyoaks), and introducing Daniel Maley in the lead role of Christian.
On screen, Christian is the cheeky local paperboy in northern soap opera, Mancroft Walk. Off-screen, he lives with his single-parent mother Sharon and Nana Jean.
When Christian become friends with his on-screen girlfriend, Mandy, who has played the ‘adorable’ Rosie Chadwick in Mancroft Walk since she was 10 days old, his eyes are opened to a whole new world as Mandy (Manchester’s answer to Drew Barrymore) introduces him to designer clothes, the gay scene, drugs… and her gay half-brother, Max.
Christian and Max start a secret affair but when the tabloid press get hold of the gay underage sex scandal of the decade, Christian finds himself in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
Playwright Chris Hoyle based the storyline of The Newspaper Boy on his own experiences as a child actor playing the part of Mark Redman (Mike Baldwin’s son) in Coronation Street from 1992 to 1994 – a contract that was cut short after the 15-year-old Hoyle was caught in possession of cannabis.
The production also boasts a unique ‘Play-and-a-Rave’ night hosted by 90’s DJs Dave Kendrick and Guy Williams, spinning Flesh and Paradise club classic after the show in homage to the era the play is set.