The theatre has been nominated for one of the UK’s most prestigious theatre prizes – the Empty Space Peter Brook Award 2017.

The award is presented annually by London TheatreReviews with the V&A Theatre Dept and National Theatre Studio. It is awarded for the body of work and in recognition of the pioneering concepts/innovations in the spirit of theatre and film director Peter Brook, achieved by venues that perform in smaller or inventive theatre spaces and receive little or no public funding.

Co-owners and founders of Hope Mill Theatre, William Whelton and Joseph Houston, will attend the awards ceremony at the National Theatre in London on Tuesday 31 October.

It will mark the end of a landmark month for the Ancoats venue, as October also sees the theatre celebrate its second anniversary as well as the opening of the London transfer of its production of Hair, which first premiered in Manchester a year ago to rave reviews.

Hope Mill’s nomination for the Empty Space Peter Brook Award 2017 reads: “Hope Mil Theatre is an exciting new theatre in Manchester that specialises in musicals. Founded by artistic directors Joseph Houston and William Whelton, their much-admired production of Hair transferred to The Vaults and their production of Yank ran for seven weeks in the Charing Cross Theatre.”

William and Joe said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be nominated for The Peter Brook Empty Space Award. We have been extremely fortunate to have been nominated for so many prestigious awards since opening two years ago, but this award really mean a great deal to us.

“This Award was set up solely for pioneering concepts and innovation in theatre and we feel this is exactly what we were aiming to do when opening Hope Mil Theatre, so to even have been nominated for this is already a massive achievement for us.

“The main thing for us is also to bring focus to the regions and the work being created outside of London – which has always been looked at as the home of theatre – so to be the only North-West venue in the category is very heartening. We are also really excited about going to the Awards ceremony at the National Theatre.”

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