The Hired Man

The Hired Man – Hull Truck Theatre, 26-30th April 2016 …

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Show outline

When it first transferred to the West End, ‘The Hired Man’ was dubbed “The British Les Mis” by the press for its dramatic, powerful and soaring score. It is an epic musical love story about the heroic lives of ordinary, working-class northerners at the turn of the century. The show is based on Melvyn Bragg’s novel about his father’s life. There is humour in the show at times, but the main thrust of the story is drama. Earthy, gutsy and honest are words that come to mind.

Originally produced in the West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on Melvyn Bragg’s stirring novel, ‘The Hired Man’ is a tragic love story set against the background of a Cumbrian mining town around the time of World War 1. Howard Goodall’s superb score is strong in the British choral tradition and is overflowing with a marvellous succession of chorales, operatic duets and vigorous foot-stomping rhythms which bring to life the working class hiring fairs, ritual-whippet racing, drinking bouts and union meetings. This beautiful musical brings alive that cavalcade of British history which swept us into a new century and a war to end all wars.

During its West End run, The Hired Man was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Best Musical, earned four Olivier Award nominations, and was voted Best Musical of the Year by the critics of Time Out, The Guardian, Punch & The Stage.