The Hired Man

The Hired Man by Howard Goodall and Melvyn Bragg

Music & Lyrics by Howard Goodall
Book by Melvyn Bragg
Landor Theatre
2 Aug – 27 Aug 2011


BEST DIRECTOR (Andrew Keates) in the Timeout Awards.

– Best Director: Andrew Keates
– Best Musical Director: Niall Bailey
– Best Lighting Designer: Howard Hudson
– Best Design: Freya Groves
– Best Sound Design: Sarah Weltman
– Best Actor: Joe Maxwell and Sean Paul Jenkinson
– Best Actress: Catherine Mort and Abigail Matthews

The Hired Man is an emotional love triangle taking us right to the heart of Cumbrian life in the run up to the first world war. Itʼs the moving story of a young married couple and their struggles – to carve a living from the land and to survive working in the coal-mines – just as the gathering storm of war in Europe threatens their community, their love and their lives.

In 1984, during its West End run, The Hired Man was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Best Musical, earned four Olivier Award nominations, and was voted Best Musical of the Year by the critics of Time Out, The Guardian, Punch & The Stage. In 2004 its Salisbury Playhouse revival won the TMA Award for Best Musical.

It has a truly exciting score by Howard Goodall, inspired by the music of Kurt Weill, with English choral & folk music, and a band of five musicians. With a gripping and gritty story taking us on a journey of love and adversity, The Hired Man will be an exciting & relevant production for 2011.


May Tallentire: Abigail Matthews. Ted Blacklock: Alistair Barron. 
Harry Talentire: Ben McMath. Emily Tallentire: Catherine Mort. 
Landlady: Emily Barlow. Joe Sharp: Garry Mannion.
Jackson Pennington: Ian Daniels. Josh: James Parkes. Lil: Jamie Birkitt.
John Tallentire: Joe Maxwell. Sally: Kimberly Powell. 
Pennington/Priest: Mark Fredrick. Seth Tallentire: Martin Neely. Tom: Matthew Gent. Bill: Matthew Mcloughlin. Dan: Ruri James. Isaac Tallentire: Sean-Paul Jenkinson


Director: Andrew Keates. Musical Supervisor & New Arrangements By: Niall Bailey
Choreographer: Cressida Carre. Designer: Freya Groves
Lighting Designer: Howard Hudson. Sound Designer: Sarah Weltman
Fight Director: Andrew Ashenden. Accent Coach: Sarah Stephenson
Production Manager: Daniel King. Stage Manager: Rachel Condon
Produced by: Theatrica Ltd


Photography by Scott Rylander.


Photography by Scott Rylander.

Lord Melvyn Bragg

“I’ve no idea how Andrew Keates gets so much action in such a little space” Lord Melvyn Bragg (Broadcaster and Author)

“it is one of the best fringe productions I have ever seen on the fringe”
Mark Shenton, The Stage

“Prove there is more to London than over-priced, over-amplified, soul-less jukebox-musicals. Go!”
★ David Cox, Remotegoat

“It is epic in scale, but Keates’s production fits beautifully inside the Landor Theatre”
★★★★ Miriam Gillinson – Timeout (Critics Choice)

“a barnstorming production of a great British musical that boasts a wealth of performing and creative talent”
★★★★ Theo Bosanquet – Whatsonstage

“one of the most musically thrilling fringe experiences I’ve ever had”
Mark Shenton, The Stage

“My only regret is that this masterpiece is never likely to receive the commercial success it deserves. There is as much drama and a score to match ‘Les Miserables’… Prove there is more to London than over-priced, over-amplified, soul-less jukebox-musicals. Go!”
★★★★★ David Cox, Remotegoat

“However much you love a piece, the devil is in the delivery and here it is pretty heavenly”
Sandra Georgette, The British Theatre Guide

“The musical ambitions of the piece leave me in awe of Goodall’s youthful skill – he composed The Hired Man aged 26 – and in Andrew Keates’ production the big voiced ensemble sweep you away on Goodall’s plush melodic waves. This is unashamedly emotional stuff and the rousing score is as much to blame for the lumps in the throat and the tears as the heart-tugging story”
Mark Shenton, The Stage

“There is something gritty, earthy and defiantly British about this piece that might just be the antidote to the Dirty Dancings of the stage world. I definitely want to see more from the Landor and Andrew Keates after seeing this show…”
★★★★ The Westend Theatre Geek

“This powerful, moving, intimately epic story brings history to vivacious, personal life and proves itself a truly great, British musical”
★★★★ Ian Foster, The Public Reviews

“Director Andrew Keates has pulled out all the stops to create an engaging and richly textured piece of successful musical theatre”
Paul Vale, The Stage

“This impressive company speaks loudest, and, as Goodall’s thumping beats tear through the theatre, it’s as if the stamping feet of the farmers are walking among us”
★★★★ – Miriam Gillinson, Timeout (Critics Choice)

“Perfectly suited to the intimacy of the Landor, Andrew Keates’s direction fully immerses the audience into the characters’ spirit, passion and determination to do the best by themselves and their families”
★★★★ Kate Finburg, Broadway World

“If you’re looking for a masterclass in what can be achieved by Off-West-End theatres, then The Hired Man is a must see”
★★★★ Sam James, The Fringe Review

“Productions of this quality of material this good don’t come along every day. Now is the time to get to the Landor…”
Sandra Giorgetti – The British Theatre Guide

“The production value achieved by all of the creatives here could not have been bettered, and this is one of the best musicals I have seen on the Fringe in quite sometime. The performances, therefore had to reach this standard in order to not be overshadowed, and fortunately they do not disappoint”
★★★★ Sam James, The Fringe Review