Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new musical The Band launched yesterday at the Manchester Apollo Theatre.

Friends and fans were invited to the launch event which included a rehearsed reading of the new musical with performances from The Band.

The musical features an original story by Tim Firth about a group of girls whose dream at 16 years old is to meet The Band. Fast forward 25 years and the girls, now 40-something, re-unite and once again try to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.

The show will open on 8 September 2017 at the Manchester Opera House prior to a major UK tour which includes Sheffield, Southampton, Llandudno, Cardiff, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Plymouth, Northampton, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

No dates for the West End transfer have been announced as yet.

The Band will be played by AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Yazdan Qafouri Isfahani, Curtis T Johns and Sario Watanabe-Soloman, who, as Five to Five, won BBC’s Let It Shine. Playing the parts of Rachel and Young Rachel will be Rachel Lumberg and Faye Christall respectively.

Full casting is yet to be announced.