World Premiere of new play The Gap, by Jim Cartwright, starring Denise Welch & Matthew Kelly to launch at Hope Mill Theatre in February 2024

Hope Mill Theatre are delighted to announce the world premiere of new play THE GAP by Jim Cartwright, starring Matthew Kelly and Denise Welch, directed by Anthony Banks. The production will open at Hope Mill Theatre on 9 February for a limited run, closing on 9 March 2024. Tickets on sale from Saturday 8 July. There will be a national press night on 14 February 2024.  

THE GAP delves into the audacious adventures of Walter and Corral. He’s back up north, she’s still down south. They haven’t seen each other for fifty years, not since their Soho days, back in the swinging ’60s.  

A chance phone call reunites them for one magical night and in next to no time, they’re back to their old tricks. 

Matthew Kelly is one of the UK’s most beloved stars of stage and screen. His West End theatre credits include the original Stanley in Funny Peculiar (Mermaid Theatre) - a role he created originally at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre, Waiting For Godot with Ian McKellen and Roger Rees (Haymarket Theatre), Tim Firth’s Sign of the Times the musical (Duchess Theatre), Lend Me A Tenor! (Gielgud Theatre) and Lennie in Of Mice and Men (Savoy Theatre) for which he won an Olivier Award for Best Actor. His other more recent theatre credits include Noises Off (Phoenix Theatre & UK tour), The Habit Of Art (59e59 Theatre, New York & UK Tour), The Dresser with Julian Clary (Theatre Royal Bath & tour), BIG the Musical (The Dominion Theatre), Pride & Prejudice (Regents Park Theatre & UK Tour), The Jew Of Malta, Volpone and Love’s Sacrifice (Royal Shakespeare Company), Toast (Park Theatre & 59E59 in New York), Twelfth Night (Liverpool Everyman), The History Boys (Crucible, Sheffield), The Seagull (Southwark Playhouse) and Educating Rita (Menier Chocolate Factory, tour & Edinburgh Festival). Matthew’s on-screen work includes ITV’s award-winning thriller Cold Blood, Murder They Hope, Going The Distance, Barnes People, The Habit of Art, Benidorm, Bleak House, Egypt: The Pharaoh and the Showman and The Temple of the Sands, MI High, Moving On, Marple, Casualty, Heartbeat, My Family at War and the documentary series Forensic Casebook. Matthew is also known for his presenting credits, such as You Bet!, Stars in their Eyes and Channel 5’s series Top of The Box. 

Renowned actress, Denise Welch, is soon to be starring in Diana: The Musical at The Eventim Apollo this December. Her other theatre credits include the 2018 UK tour of Calendar Girls the Musical, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (The Royal Exchange Theatre), UK tour of Steel Magnolias, Smack Family Robinson (Rose Theatre Kingston), The Ancient Secret of Youth and The Five Tibetans at  (Octagon Theatre Bolton), Grease (Haymarket Theatre Leicester) and Ruby in Yakety Yak (The Astoria). Denise’s television credits include series regular roles in Coronation Street (ITV), Waterloo Road (BBC), Boy Meets Girl (BBC), Hollyoaks (Channel 4), Down to Earth (BBC), Soldier Soldier (ITV) and Spender (BBC), and appearances in Dead Canny (Dave), Benidorm (ITV), EastEnders (BBC), Inspector GeorgeGently (BBC), Born and Bred (BBC) and The Vice (BBC). Alongside her acting career, Denise has been a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women since 2001. 

Jim Cartwright and Anthony Banks said “it’s great to be collaborating again after our work on Mobile Phone Show in 2013 and Raz in 2016. We’re looking forward to Denise and Matthew bringing these characters to life – two extraordinary lives lived across half a century of changes." 

Matthew Kelly said “Dear Manchester, I’m coming home and I can’t think of a better excuse to return than with actress Denise Welch and playwright Jim Cartwright. Denise and I are to star in the world premiere of Jim’s brand new play, THE GAP, at Manchester’s premier theatre, Hope Mill. It’s a funny, moving, exquisitely crafted play which will show off the superb talents of Denise Welch and I shall be showing off beside her all the way. Anthony Banks will direct. It’s a top team embarking on a top project at a top venue. I couldn’t be more thrilled and excited. I’d love it if you could come and share it. Sincerely, Matthew Kelly off the Telly” 

Denise Welch said “I am so excited to be returning to my first love, theatre, working alongside the fantastic team at Hope Mill Theatre next year. To play opposite Matthew Kelly in a new Jim Cartwright play is a dream come true. I hope you’ll all come and see what I hope will be a great production.” 

THE GAP is produced by Hope Mill Theatre. 

More details here: Hope Mill Theatre – Award-winning Manchester theatre

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details and accept the service to view the translations.