Sonia Ibrahim, best known for playing Coronation Street’s Mel Maguire, has joined the cast of Hope Theatre Company’s '#BeMoreMartyn: The Boy with the Deirdre Tattoo.' The play about Martyn Hett, who lost his life in the Manchester Arena bombing, is embarking on its second UK tour which finishes with a homecoming run at The Lowry Thu 20 - Sat 22 June.
The production is verbatim and all of the words spoken on stage are taken word-for-word from interviews with eight of Martyn’s closest friends. They will take audiences on a journey from the cobbles of Canal Street to his legendary Eurovision parties celebrating Martyn’s favourite divas along the way.
Coronation Street star Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts) and Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus are among those celebrities that feature in stories recounted by Martyn’s closest friends.
Nicholls’ portrayal of Coronation Street’s Audrey Roberts and the so-called ‘Audrey Roberts Noise’ was the focus of one of Martyn’s biggest social media hits - with over 580,000 views on YouTube. McManus, meanwhile, was one of Martyn’s favourite performers, the focus of a number of his social media posts, and one of the celebrities to perform at his funeral in June.
Michael Keating, one Martyn’s friends portrayed in the play, said: “This play beautifully encapsulated the legacy we’re left with and the message we want people to remember”
Ibrahim will take over the part of Rachel from Corrie alumni Paula Lane who is currently starring in the national tour of Kinky Boots. Rachel, Martyn’s school friend, talks of their first night out in the gay village, Martyn’s coming out and his idolisation of Coronation Street.
Commenting on the role, Sonia said; "I am truly excited to be joining the talented cast of #BeMoreMartyn. It is an honour and a privilege to share the story of this amazing young man's life.
“The memories and legacy of Martyn and the other beautiful souls who we lost that day are proof that love will always endure against evil. I am thankful for the opportunity to share Martyn's story with the world” she concluded.
The production will open in London during the second-year anniversary of the Arena bomb, prior to visiting Brighton, Newcastle and Sheffield. The tour will close at The Lowry, Salford with a special matinee performance specifically for schools.
Talking about the production Adam Zane, Artistic Director of Hope Theatre Company said; “Martyn’s family have been overwhelmingly supportive of the project from the very beginning, they put us in touch with the eight incredible friends that audiences get to know throughout the production. After hours of interviews with them, we are in awe of how Martyn transformed people and could have listened to them talk of how he changed the life of everybody he met over and over again.
“Rachel’s stories are just fantastic; heart-warming and funny so we’re absolutely delighted that Sonia is joining the cast and will be sharing them with our audiences” he added.
‘#BeMoreMartyn: The Boy with the Deirdre Tattoo’ is supported by Arts Council England and Manchester City Council.
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