Celebrating its 50th anniversary year, HAIR will arrive in London this autumn. Manchester’s acclaimed Hope Mill Theatre production of the iconic tribal rock musical, directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, transfers to London’s fully immersive Off-West-End theatre, The Vaults, where it will run from 4 October to 3 December 2017, with a press night on 10 October.
This thrilling, young and moving production of HAIR created a huge buzz in Manchester when it opened at the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre, and was nominated for the MEN City Life Award (Best Theatre Production). Two young London producers Aria’s Katy Lipson and Senbla’s Ollie Rosenblatt, and the young owners of Hope Mill, Joseph Houston and William Whelton, knew that their production of HAIR had to transfer to London, to celebrate the musical’s milestone anniversary. HAIR opened off-Broadway in 1967.
Like a mini Woodstock, from the moment the audience arrive, The Vaults will be transformed into a fully immersive 60s venue, with psychedelic innovative creatives, iconic artwork and hippie flower power. With 60s themed pop up restaurants and themed drinks; plus stalls including: vintage 60s and tie dye clothes, 60s smiley badges and memorabilia, hippie wigs and flower headdresses, vinyl’s – everything needed for a legal high. Then the audience move through to the intimate theatre seating just 200, where the youthful cast live their characters, revealing every emotion up close and personal through HAIR‘s drug-fuelled, still ground-breaking, journey.
It’s 1967. A group of hippie-hood youngsters live as The Tribe, in the East Village of New York: yearning to change the world, questioning authority and the American flag. They are wild, colourful, free, sexually liberated beautiful people who join in protest and song – under the shadow of the Vietnam War.
Featuring classic hit songs: Aquarius, Let the Sun Shine In and Good Morning Star Shine – and the story of youth and war still resounds throughout the world making this a topical musical for the millennial generation. 2017 vividly sees the world protesting and marching, fighting for freedom of speech; from Trump to Brexit via Syria – the core spirit of HAIR.
The HAIR immersive Sixties experience will continue nightly post-show in The Vaults with a fantastic 60s vibe and late night bar. Post-show will see a busy programme including: club nights, 60s nights, live bands, special nights (including the Gala Night 17/10 celebrating the actual opening off-Broadway of Hair 50 years ago), guest appearances, a speakers’ corner, beat poets, midnight film nights of iconic 60s movies, 60s art and photography exhibits, a busking area and even a “show and tell” area – to bring your own iconic 60s memorabilia to show & tell!
The team of young producers say:
“We were overwhelmed by the reaction to our vibrant young production of Hair – and it deserved a future. We saw The Vaults and knew this continually topical and moving musical needed to be celebrated in London, as it hits 50.”
HAIR has book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, music by Galt MacDermot. It’s produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Ollie Rosenblatt for Senbla and Joseph Houston and William Whelton for Hope Mill Theatre. Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle (An American In Paris – Ass Director – Dominion, Four Play, Sense of an Ending – Theatre503, Ass Director The Scottsboro Boys Young Vic & West End, The Judas Kiss Toronto & New York, This House – West End, Bull – Young Vic); Musical Director – Gareth Bretherton (The Verb, To Love – Old Red Lion, Seasons of Larson – Lyric Theatre); Choreographer – William Whelton (Our House – Union Theatre); Set & Costume Designer – Maeve Black; Sound – Max Perryment & Chris Bogg.