OVER the past two nights, The Hope Mill Theatre, celebrated the life of Manchester Terror victim, Martyn Hett by hosting new play, Be More Martyn.
On May 22nd, Martyn and his friend attended the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena as a parting gift as Martyn was due to fly to America soon after.
Since the tragic event, many tributes have flooded in from family, friends, members of the public, Coronation Street stars, Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande herself.
The play is based on eight interviews from Martyn’s close friends and partner, Russell Hayward, to share their own personal stories of how their friend transformed their lives and try to inspire others to ‘Be More Martyn’.
Adam Zane, The plays producer alongside Mike Lee, was amongst guests to attend Martyn’s funeral earlier this year in Stockport.
He said: “We just heard so many incredible and wonderful stories. We wanted to share the stories and thought that a theatre production would be something really special.”
The production was a successful event selling out over 100 tickets on both nights. Zane was astounded by the warm reception the production was met with. “The reaction has been phenomenal, it really was.
“There was a big responsibility to make sure that we shared these wonderful stories of Martyn, but all of his family have been to see the show and it was a really moving experience for everyone involved – it is just wonderful that the family have supported it.”
Actor Carl Blakeley, 26, played one of Martyn’s closest friends, Stuart. He said: “It’s incredible how every person he met has been affected by him and how he lived his life in such a positive way.
“Through the stories we have heard about Martyn, of which there will be so many more, they all showcase how selfless he was and how he’d go out of his way to make someone smile or laugh.
“I think we can all take a piece of what made Martyn so special and use it in a positive way.”
Amongst the sell-out crowd that attended the last two nights, Ex-Coronation Street star, Jennifer James who played Geena Gregory and Julie Hesmondhalgh who played beloved Hayley Cropper.
All proceeds from the event were donated to various charities chosen by Martyn’s family, these included Beacon Counselling, Kidscan and Beechwood Cancer Care Centre.
Angela Gray, Fundraising Manager at Beechwood Cancer Care, said: “We have been completely humbled by the generosity of the family and friends of Martyn who have chosen to support Beechwood.
“All monies raised in Martyn’s name will be used for a child bereavement counsellor enabling children to deal with the serious illness and death of a parent or sibling.”
Due to the success of the production, Zane and Lee have decided to return to Hope Mill Theatre with another production in May 2018.
“We are going to be touring the UK as well – we are just confirming venues now but we’ve confirmed Hope Mill and we are looking at taking it to London straight after.”
If you are interested in the upcoming #BeMoreMartyn production tour – keep your eyes peeled on hopemilltheatre.co.uk
By Becky Waldren & Tilly Marsh