The Exonerated, Hope Mille Theatre, Theatre, Manchester, TotalNtertainment

Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester to stage ‘The Exonerated’

“I want this to be a unique theatrical experience that integrates documentary-style filmed footage, but without losing the impact of live theatre.”

Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester is to stage the Northern Premiere of The Exonerated – a gripping death row drama that is to be reimagined in the style of a television true crime documentary.

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s play The Exonerated, directed by Hope Mill Artistic Director and co-founder Joseph Houston, will play at the award-winning fringe theatre from Thursday 6 June to Sunday 16 June 2019, with a press night on Tuesday 11 June.

The production will blend live theatre and filmed footage to create a unique, fully integrated multimedia experience, with staging inspired by true crime documentaries currently popular on television streaming services.

It is Hope Mill Theatre’s second in-house play directed by Houston, following a highly successful run of David Auburn’s Proof in 2018.

Taken from interviews, letters, transcripts, case files and the public record, The Exonerated tells true stories of six wrongfully-convicted survivors of death row in their own words.

Moving between first-person monologues, courtrooms and prisons; six interwoven stories paint a picture of an American criminal justice system gone horribly wrong – and of six brave souls who persevered to survive it.

The Exonerated premiered Off Broadway in 2002 (where it won a Lucille Lortel Award and a Drama Desk Award as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award), was made in to a 2005 film starring Susan Sarandon and Danny Glover, and then a production ran at the Riverside Studios in London in 2006. Artistic Director Joseph Houston, said: “I am thrilled to be directing the Northern Premiere of The Exonerated. When I first read the play I was instantly inspired by these heart-breaking stories of six people wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death row.

“Knowing the power of documentaries like Making a Murderer and The Staircase in highlighting legal injustices and the emotional connection we have to such stories, I knew that Hope Mill was the perfect venue for a ‘Netflix-style’ reimagining of The Exonerated.