“The Hired Man” revived

  |  Published: Feb 21st 2017

Winner of the Ivor Novello Award for Best Musical and nominated for four Olivier Awards, in 1984 “The Hired Man” was voted Best Musical of the Year by the critics of Time Out, The Guardian, Punch & The Stage. Based on Lord Melyvn Bragg’s gritty family saga and set to Howard Goodall’s superb score, “The Hired Man” stirs the audience in a vivid portrayal of life in a Northern mining community in the early 20th Century. 

Goodall’s masterful choral pieces, wonderful duets and energetic dance sequences authenticate Bragg’s uncompromising story of his Grandparents’ rugged world of Cumbrian collieries, land labourers and the Great War.

This is the story of John Tallentire and his wife Emily, which begins at the close of the 19th century, when work was scarce and life was hard. With music and ensemble pieces that provoke comparisons with Les Miserables the story line is more akin to Thomas Hardy with its rural backdrop and forbidden romance. Emily has an affair with Jackson Pennington, local ladies’ man, which she soon regrets. After the birth of their two children and moving home, with John now down the pit, the story shifts to World War One with the show’s most moving action and musical highlights revolving around the men in the trenches. Returning from the war, John goes back down the mines and after a family tragedy, the show ends with a moving ensemble piece.

Directed by Ed Blagrove and resident musical director Julie Todd, this powerfully compelling piece of theatre is brought to the intimate theatre at Headington School, Oxford with passion and commitment by the award winning Musical Youth Company of Oxford. MYCO alumnus Blagrove is delighted to be collaborating with Todd some 12 years after leaving the Company "As a director I always look for a musical that contains challenging themes and character development.  The Hired Man has both by the bagful!  To be able to direct the ridiculously talented members of MYCO in this production is nothing short of an honour"

MYCO is a teenage musical theatre group based in Oxford, with over 50 members from 23 different schools in and around Oxford and Abingdon. In 2016 the Company won the prestigious NODA Flame Award for Inspirational Contribution to the Pursuit of Excellence in Theatre.  In the citation, their spectacular interpretation of one of the greatest tap dance musicals of all time was heavily praised; “This performance of 42nd Street was absolutely outstanding”

The Tallentire Family, credit Charlie Landells @Shuttr Media - www.charlielandells.co.uk
The Tallentire Family, credit Charlie Landells @Shuttr Media - www.charlielandells.co.uk
Emily & John Tallentire, credit Charlie Landells @Shuttr Media - www.charlielandells.co.uk
Emily & John Tallentire, credit Charlie Landells @Shuttr Media - www.charlielandells.co.uk
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