Matthew Kelly and Denise Welch to star in world premiere of The Gap at Hope Mill Theatre

Friday, 7 July 2023

Hope Mill Theatre is thrilled to announce the world premiere of a captivating new play, titled The Gap, written by Jim Cartwright and featuring the talented duo of Matthew Kelly and Denise Welch. Directed by Anthony Banks, this highly anticipated production will grace the stage of Hope Mill Theatre from February 9th to March 9th, 2024, for a limited engagement. Mark your calendars as tickets go on sale starting July 8th.

The Gap delves into the audacious adventures of Walter and Corral, two individuals who haven't crossed paths in half a century. Once inseparable during the vibrant '60s in Soho, Walter finds himself up north while Corral remains down south. However, a chance phone call reunites them for one magical night, and before they know it, they're immersed in their old tricks once more.

Matthew Kelly, renowned for his exceptional performances on both stage and screen, graces us with his presence in this production. With an illustrious career that includes memorable roles such as the original Stanley in Funny Peculiar, Waiting For Godot alongside Ian McKellen and Roger Rees, and a captivating portrayal of Lennie in Of Mice and Men, for which he earned an Olivier Award for Best Actor, Matthew Kelly's talent shines brightly. His recent theatre credits include Noises Off, The Habit Of Art, and The Dresser, among others, showcasing his remarkable versatility. Not only a master of the stage, Matthew has also made his mark on the screen, with notable appearances in various TV shows and presenting credits on beloved programs such as You Bet! and Stars in their Eyes.

Joining Kelly is the esteemed actress Denise Welch, whose upcoming engagement in Diana: The Musical at The Eventim Apollo has already garnered significant attention. Denise's theatrical repertoire boasts impressive performances in productions like Calendar Girls the Musical, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, and Steel Magnolias, to name a few. Her television career includes series regular roles in shows like Coronation Street, Waterloo Road, and Hollyoaks, solidifying her presence in the industry. As a regular panellist on ITV's Loose Women since 2001, Denise continues to captivate audiences with her engaging presence and insightful commentary.

Playwright Jim Cartwright and director Anthony Banks express their excitement about collaborating once again after their successful ventures with Mobile Phone Show in 2013 and Raz in 2016. They eagerly anticipate witnessing the extraordinary lives of Walter and Corral come to life through the exceptional talents of Denise Welch and Matthew Kelly, spanning five decades of change.

Matthew Kelly, filled with anticipation and enthusiasm, exclaims, "Dear Manchester, I'm coming home, and what better reason to return than with actress Denise Welch and playwright Jim Cartwright. We will star in the world premiere of Jim's remarkable new play, THE GAP, at Manchester's prestigious venue, Hope Mill Theatre. This funny, moving, and exquisitely crafted play will showcase the superb talents of Denise Welch, and I will be right by her side, shining throughout. Directed by Anthony Banks, this top-tier team embarks on an exceptional project at an extraordinary venue. I couldn't be more thrilled and excited. I invite you all to join us and be a part of this unforgettable experience. Sincerely, Matthew Kelly off the Telly."

Denise Welch expresses her elation, stating, "I am incredibly excited to return to my first love, theatre, and collaborate with the fantastic team at Hope Mill Theatre next year. Working opposite Matthew Kelly in a new play by Jim Cartwright is truly a dream come true. I hope each and every one of you will come and witness what promises to be an outstanding production."

The Gap is produced by Hope Mill Theatre

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