Take That musical The Band to kick off in Manchester
The new musical based on the music of Take That will kick off in Manchester on September 8.
The Band, which will feature the winning boy band from BBC talent show Let It Shine, will begin a UK tour at the Manchester Opera House later this year.
The show follows a group of teenage girls growing up in 1992 as devoted fans of a boyband and revisits them 25 years later when they are 40-something women who try to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.
It was written by Tim Firth and will be produced by Take That stars Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams, as well as David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers.
Take That said: "We are incredibly proud and excited that our first production as theatre producers is The Band - a musical that we think will touch the hearts of not just our fans, but everyone."
Owen said the girls the show features are an homage to the fans they met when Take That was starting out.
He said: "We met those kids when they were 16 years old, when they were outside our houses and outside our gigs and screaming and we've seen them grow up. And that is the story, to be honest, of Take That."
The band will be played by AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Yazdan Qafouri Isfahani, Curtis T Johns and Sario Watanabe-Solomon, who won Let It Shine as group Five To Five.
Barlow, who served as a judge on Let It Shine, said it is a new experience to hear other people singing Take That songs.
He said: "This is all new for us, to be able to sit in an audience and watch our music being performed."
He added: "To anyone who's been involved in music at any point in their life, this turns the table and pays respect to those who loved it, supported it, made it part of their lives."
The show will travel to Sheffield, Bradford, Southampton, Llandudno, Stoke-on-Trent, Cardiff, Liverpool, Norwich, Canterbury, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Bristol, Birmingham, Plymouth, Northampton, Nottingham and Glasgow before concluding at the Edinburgh Playhouse in July 2018.