#BeMoreMartyn: Play inspired by arena attack victim Martin Hett opens in Manchester
Exactly a year on from the Manchester Arena bombing, a new play has opened at the city's Hope Mill Theatre celebrating the life of a much-loved social media star who was killed in the attack.
#BeMoreMartyn is piece of a verbatim theatre based on interviews with friends of Martyn Hett, a 29-year-old writer and PR manager from Stockport who earned a large following online with his humorous Youtube videos and tweets.
As Hett was a dedicated Coronation Street fan – and even had a tattoo of the character Deidre Barlow on his leg – the play promises to mark his love for the show with "surprise guests" from Corrie, including actress Paula Lane, best known for playing Kyle Platt in the ITV soap.
The play, which will tour to Brighton and London after its Manchester run, will raise money for the local charities Beacon Counselling, Beechwood Cancer Care Centre and Kidscan.
“We want the audience to leave inspired by Martyn and feel empowered because he didn’t just like things, he loved things,” producer Adam Zane told the Huffington Post. “And he was proud of the things he loved.”
Hett became a local celebrity after his appearances on the reality TV shows Tattoo Fixers and Come Dine With Me. Hundreds attended a vigil for him in Stockport after his death, while the singer Mariah Carey and comedian Russell Howard were among those who shared tributes to him online.
Hett was one of 22 people who lost their lives in an attack during an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 last year. Ahead of a memorial service in Manchester Cathedral today, 24-year-old singer Grande shared a social media post marking the anniversary. "Thinking of you all today and every day," she wrote. "I love you with all of me and am sending you all of the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day."