Hope Mill Theatre, Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, M4 7JA – Visit Now
After a rocky 2020, Hope Mill Theatre is reopening on May 25th with its first event, Meet Me At Dawn, a play from multi-award-winning writer Zinnie Harris. Both theatre and bar will be open in a socially distanced capacity and it’ll be limited to advance bookings only. Opening hours remain the same, 90 minutes before showtime, and other new measures include a one-way system, temperature checks on arrival and masks to be worn until guidance changes. All these Covid measures can be read in full on the venue’s website (link below).
The venue is fully Covid-19 compliant, with perspex screens separating households in the theatre space and sanitiser readily available. Food will only be available at certain times and they recommend booking a table in advance, which can be booked through the website.
Think of Hope Mill Theatre and the words ‘game’ and ‘changer’ spring to mind. Sitting in a Grade II-listed former Mill on Pollard Street, which to those unacquainted is in the New Islington outer reaches of Ancoats, Hope Mill is a new fringe theatre venue in Manchester’s already broad cultural remit.
Far from your typical theatre, there’s also a café and bar in the old engine room
It was founded by Joseph Houston and William Whelton. After spending time working in London’s theatre world, the couple set their sights and ambitions on Manchester. Taking note of the many ‘west of West End’ London theatre companies that stage Next Big Thing-type productions, Houston and Whelton decided it was high time that Manchester saw a piece of the action.
It makes sense. With a recent influx of creatives deserting the capital for the North West, Hope Mill Theatre is the perfect place for such a venture, with its’ Ancoats postcode being ripe for the kind of start-up we like to see.
Having staged a number of plays and musicals since opening its 120 capacity auditorium, Hope Mill Theatre often takes risks in what they stage, leading to the type of theatre you might not find elsewhere in the city. An exciting collaboration with Aria Entertainment, which will see the venue revive the Tony Award-winning musical Parade, is definitely something to put in the diary.
Far from your typical theatre, the impressive backdrop also caters for weddings and events. There are a café and bar situated in the old engine room, stocked with coffee, sandwiches and home-baked goods, so we reckon you should pair a visit with any trip to Rudy’s Pizza, Cutting Room Café and Bar or Café Cotton.