Wigan’s multi-million pound concert venue will open its doors with a star-studded locally-themed production, the Post can exclusively reveal.
Auditions are already under way at the custom-made facility on Southgate for The Deal, The Musical, based on the council’s flagship scheme.
The production, which is tabled to have an initial one month run, will tell the upbeat story of how the Deal was launched, implemented and then celebrated as a shining example of how public services can adapt against a backdrop of austerity.
This will all be set to several musical showstoppers making full use of the brand new lighting rig and special effects provision at the 1,000 seat venue. Rumours are also rife council bosses are trying to persuade son of the borough Sir Ian McKellen to star as his fellow Bolton School alumnus council leader Lord Smith.
Meanwhile, the Wigan Post also understands local favourite Maxine Peake is in line to play the lead role as council chief executive Donna Hall.
Strict security measures are in place around the auditions as those behind the production seek to keep further details a surprise until opening night.
Several Wigan Post reporters have attempted to go undercover at the auditions but failed to get through to the latter stages of the process for being either “tone deaf” or having “two left-feet”.
A show insider, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals such is the strict security around the production, said all efforts are being made to get the show ready for when the concert hall opens in June.
They added: “I can’t tell you who the director is but think of the biggest name you can and it’s that person.
“We’ve had to sign confidentiality clauses.
“They’re really pulling out all the stops, the show is a four-hour extravaganza with a 10-minute interval.”