Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester has released a video of Jodie Prenger singing the song that inspired the title of Jonathan Harvey’s Hushabye Mountain
Jodie Prenger sings much-loved lullaby Hushabye Mountain ahead of online performances of Jonathan Harvey’s play of the same name.
Prenger co-stars in the revival of Harvey’s 1999 play, Hushabye Mountain, at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester alongside Matt Henry, Layton Williams, Nathan McMullen, Amy Dunn and Harrison Scott-Smith.
Directed by Nick Bagnall, the production will be available to watch online from 5 to 20 June 2021 with a live gala screening at the theatre on 21 June.
The play takes its name from the ballad in musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, with music and lyrics by Robert and Richard Sherman. With a nod to Judy Garland, Prenger was recorded singing the song at Hope Mill Theatre.
In Harvey’s play, Danny is a young man waiting to be let into heaven. There seems to be some difficulty about it but Judy Garland reassures him as she passes by in a boat full of stars. But away from the dreamlike and unexpected version of the afterlife, the people who were closest to Danny struggle with his death from Aids.
His partner Connor is flattened by grief and groping awkwardly towards a new relationship. Connor’s brother Lee and his wife Lana, who was Danny’s best friend, find their new marriage overshadowed by the hole Danny’s absence has left in their lives. And Danny’s mother Beryl, who had kept in contact via increasingly paranoid letters after Danny’s father disowned him, is now in a mental hospital and being updated by Judy Garland about her son’s progress towards heaven.
First performed in 1999 at the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe, Hushabye Mountain reveals a world that has learned to live with Aids. It is a world full of love, pain, laughter and friendship, where drugs in their various combinations are exhilarating, destructive, costly and even life restoring.