Stuart’s ready to unveil the wonder of Walt

Stuart Hutchinson on stage in Top Hat earlier this year
Stuart Hutchinson on stage in Top Hat earlier this year

Theatre front man Stuart Hutchinson, star of Betty Blue Eyes and Top Hat, has returned to directing for the Harrogate Operatic Players winter show Walt and Friends.

It is a musical collaboration for the Players and their junior arm.

Working alongside Stuart is musical director, Craig Ratcliffe. Craig, who is also head of music at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Harrogate, has devised a fantastic programme of classic and contemporary movie classics that everyone will know, love and enjoy.

It promises to be a real feel-good programme for family audiences.

Stuart said: “Craig and I took a weekend out over the school summer holidays to work out a programme that was exciting and challenging for the group and would appeal to a wide audience.

“There is a great deal of musical content that has been arranged especially for the show and we’re extremely lucky that Craig has taken this on. The results are outstanding.”

The junior section has been running for more than three years and continue to thrive under the direction and guidance of HOPS members who are also drama and musical professionals.

Led by Helen Mills, Fern Leah Summerton and Stuart Hutchinson – the Juniors continue to surprise their audiences with their performances.

Stuart said: the team behind HOPS Juniors work so hard with the young students each week and aim to produce productions of their own as well as joint ventures like Walt and Friends to showcase their talent.

“Working alongside the adults has been invaluable. When you have such talented members in the cast such as Jennifer Hirst, who plays our Mary Poppins, you can see how inspiring it is for them.”

Walt and Friends plays at the Crown Hotel in Harrogate on Friday November 16 and Saturday November 17, daily at 7.30pm and a Saturday matinee at 2pm.

Tickets online at: www.ticketsource.co.uk/harrogate-operatic-players