The UK premiere of Yank!, a moving love story set in World War Two will start the 2017 season of the collaboration between London-based theatre production company Aria Entertainment and Hope Mill Theatre.

Yank!, which has been performed off Broadway, will receive a four week run from Thursday 9 March to Saturday 9 April at the Ancoats theatre which was opened in December 2015 in the Grade II Listed Hope Mill.

The show is the first in a hat-trick of productions for 2017 through a proven partnership between Aria Entertainment and the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre. They first joined forces in January 2016 to spearhead the arts venue as a platform to showcase, revive and bring new musical theatre to the North.

Tony award winning Parade was the first collaboration between Aria Entertainment and Hope Mill Theatre. The musical featured 15 actors and a nine-strong orchestra. It ran for four and a half weeks, which included an extra week due to public demand and following rave reviews.

Following the success of Parade, came the team’s critically acclaimed production of American tribal rock musical Hair, which closed only in December.

Yank! is a World War Two love story which tells the story of Stu, a scared Mid-Western youngster who is called up in 1943. He becomes a photographer for Yank Magazine, the journal ‘for and by the servicemen’. The musical explores what it means to be a man, and what it is to fall in love and struggle.

With the book and lyrics by David Zellnik and music by his brother Joseph Zellnik, the score pays homage to the timeless music of the 1940s. Yank! will be directed by James Baker, and co-produced with Ben Millerman from Mr Millerman Presents.

Completing the creative team for Yank! are James Cleeve as musical director; choreographer Chris Cuming; designer Victoria Hinton; lighting designer Aaron J. Dootson; sound designer Chris Bogg; and casting director Ben Newsome.

Aria Entertainment’s Producer and Company Director Katy Lipson commented: “We are delighted to be opening our 2017 season with the European Premiere of the beautiful new musical Yank! I discovered Yank! almost three years ago and, after starting to collaborate with Hope Mill Theatre in 2016, I knew it was the perfect venue for its premiere – and that James Baker who directed Parade last year would also be the right director for production. We are extremely excited with all we have planned for 2017 and beyond.”

Yank! is one of three Aria Entertainment productions set to run at the 120-seat theatre in 2017.  August and September will see the northern premiere of Pippin (directed by Jonathan O’Boyle).  The multi award-winning musical about a young man’s magical, unforgettable journey to be extraordinary comes from the composer of blockbuster show Wicked!  Pippin replaces the previously advertised The Stationmaster.

This is followed in November with the UK premiere of the hit Broadway musical Little Women, based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1869 novel Little Women following the adventures of the March sisters.