Martyn Hett was a 29-year-old who loved life, pop music, and Manchester. He was known for how much he adored the culture of the city – everything from turning the Audrey Roberts Noise into a YouTube sensation to having a tattoo of Deidre Barlow on his calf.
Tragically, Martyn died during the 22 May terror attack on Manchester Arena but his creative inspiration lives on. A new Hope Theatre Company play, #BeMoreMartyn, will celebrate Martyn’s life, interests and friends’ memories of him.
It will also see his favourite divas and their songs performed by local artists.
Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus will be among those celebrities to feature in stories recounted by Martyn’s closest friends. She was one of his favourite performers, the focus of a number of his social media posts, and one of the celebrities to perform at his funeral in June, which was attended by hundreds of people.
It’s set to be a big celebration of a bright life. The hashtag in the title pays homage to the Corrie superfan whose personality and leftfield sense of humour touched many.
Within 24 hours of the bombing, his name was trending online as people came together to reflect on the life of a young man who made people around the world smile with his sparkling personality.
His video compilation of much-loved Corrie character Audrey Roberts has had over 580,000 hits on YouTube and he appeared on ITV to talk about his affection for Deirdre Barlow.
Adam Zane, artistic director of Hope Theatre Company and director-producer of #BeMoreMartyn, had the idea for the play after going to the vigil for Martyn in Heaton Park.
“My friends knew Martyn and they told me so many wonderful stories and memories of him, that I wanted to share those memories on stage to create a lasting legacy,” says Adam.
“This is a unique event celebrating Martyn’s extraordinary take on popular culture. The play isn’t a funeral, it’s a celebration of Martyn’s life and we want the audience to be inspired by his story.
“The more people I interview, the more I feel like I’m getting to know Martyn and understanding what it means to Be More Martyn.
“He was passionate about the things he loved, he was out and proud and living his life to the full. I wish throughout my life I’d had that kind of attitude. Martyn inspires me personally to be braver and bolder and I hope the play will inspire our audiences to Be More Martyn.”
#BeMoreMartyn – A Celebration of the Life of Martyn Hett
Sunday 22 & Monday 23 October 2017, 7.30pm
Hope Mill Theatre, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, M4 7JA
All profits will be donated to Martyn’s favoured charities – Beacon Counselling, Beechwood Cancer Care Centre and Kidskin – in his memory.