New original musical show premieres this September at East Riding Theatre
Through original songs, She Productions will transport audiences back to the swinging sixties this September to celebrate five women who made their mark on Hull’s music scene. The ‘Girlfriends’ are stamping their go-go boots all over the city… It’s Different For Girls is a brand new musical by all female theatre company She Productions and inspired by Hull’s own pioneering ‘garage’ 1960s girl band, Mandy & the Girlfriends. Their all-girl line-up gave them a novelty value that attracted the crowds both in their home town of Hull and at gigs in London.
The show is directed by The Hypocrite’s (RSC and Hull Truck) Becky Hope-Palmer, with Musical Supervision from Wicked UK’s Paul Frankish and choreography by Hull Truck’s Associate Artist, Jon Beney.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be returning to Yorkshire this summer to direct It’s Different For Girls,” said Director Becky Hope-Palmer. “The project interested me hugely from the get go and to work with such a driven and talent group of women is a privilege. The unique story and well familiar music will be a fantastic evening of entertainment.”
The show developed organically after She Productions met some of the original ‘Girlfriends’, and the extraordinary parallels between the two groups set the project in motion. It’s Different For Girls has challenged She Productions to learn new instruments and write drama inspired by history to overcome artistic challenge, just as Mandy & The Girlfriends did 50 years ago.
All the members of the band were aged 16 or 17 after leaving school at 15 and most had ended up in jobs where their passion for music remained unfulfilled. The girls began spending as much of their free time together as possible, practicing in the shed in Mandy’s back garden off Holderness Road.
Although the production follows the narrative of a fictional band, Sindy & the Girlfriends, the essence of the narrative is inspired by these ambitious women who battled against a maledominated industry to find their moment in the spotlight.
Artistic Director of East Riding Theatre, Adrian Rawlins comments: “With funding levels cut dramatically over the last few years these are not easy times for any emerging theatre company, so here at ERT we are very proud to be able to support She Productions; with It’s Different For Girls they are taking us back to 1960s Hull to shine a light on the UK’s first girl band, Mandy and the Girlfriends.
“She Productions’ creativity, enthusiasm and commitment is infectious and they continue to inspire and attract young performers and audience to the theatre. Their last show MissCast had me in stitches for virtually two hours. It’s going to be a cracking evening…can’t wait.”
She Productions, Company in Residence at the East Riding Theatre, was formed in 2015 by a group of local actresses who are committed to devising innovative, multimedia theatre for intergenerational audiences.
It’s Different for Girls runs from 6th to 23rd September at East Riding Theatre, Beverley. Tickets are discounted for the opening two nights at £10 to £12 and are £14 to £16 for the rest of the run.