Hull Truck Theatre are excited to be kicking off the second half of their 50th anniversary season with Ladies Unleashed. Amanda Whittington’s third instalment of the Ladies Trilogy follows the popular Hull Truck Theatre hits, Ladies Day and Ladies Down Under, and celebrates friendship, growing older and living for today.
Directed by Mark Babych, Ladies Unleashed opens from 29 September – 22 October 2022 and reunites audiences with the four friends as their story continues back at Hull Truck Theatre where it first began its journey with Ladies Day in 2005, followed by Ladies Down Under in 2007. Audiences will meet the characters as they are now, in the magical surroundings of Lindisfarne. Prepare for laughter, secrets and a wonderful reunion.
“I can’t believe it’s 17 years since we first went to Ladies Day with the fish factory foursome, and to Australia in Ladies Down Under a few years later. Creating these stories for Hull Truck was a magical time and the audience response was unforgettable. Since then, the two Ladies plays have been a firm favourite on the amateur circuit across the UK. Barely a month goes by without a production somewhere in the country, keeping the play alive since its original production. It’s such a gift as a writer to know what affection your characters are held in.”
Ladies Unleashed returns to the stage original characters Pearl, Jan, Linda and Shelley as a peaceful retreat turns into a reunion, and pretty soon a riot. Shelley has not seen the other three women for years, find out if their friendship has changed over time! quite a lot, they’ll discover. With a full cast of women who know Hull and Yorkshire well, exploring this next chapter in The Ladies story will be told authentically and from the heart. Shelley will be played by Hull-born Gemma Oaten, known for her TV roles in Emmerdale (BBC); and Coronation Street (ITV). Gemma recently stepped into the role of co-host for the Viking FM Breakfast show and continues her vital work around eating disorders.
Gemma Oaten, actor, said:
“I am overjoyed to be returning to Hull and working in the best theatre, performing for playwright Amanda Whittington and creating theatre with such a talented cast, I simply love how much Hull and East Yorkshire has to offer, the pull of Hull if you will! As a young girl I always dreamed of being on the Hull Truck Theatre stage after seeing my first show there at the age of 7 years old. 31 years later it’s happening, and I couldn’t be happier. This piece means such a lot to me and I hope Hull gets behind us ladies all the way!”
Fenella Norman will take on the role of Pearl, also excited to be back in Hull where she grew up. She is an actress, known for the film The Gathering (2002), Coronation Street (1960) and Fortysomething (2003). Theatre credits include: The Offing, Stepping Out (Stephen Joseph Theatre); The Lady in the Van (Hull Truck Theatre and National Tour); Noises Off (Derby Playhouse); Into the Woods (York Theatre Royal); The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (Sheffield Crucible); A Christmas Carol (The Young Vic); It’s a Girl (West Yorkshire Playhouse and York Theatre Royal), and many more.
The character of Jan will be played by proud Yorkshire lass, Allison Saxton, hailing from the West Yorkshire city of Bradford, Allison now lives in the lovely seaside town of Bridlington. She has been performing professionally in theatre, film and television for almost 25 years. Theatre credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (CattyWhampus); Mr Brown’s Directions (LitUp); Blithe Spirit (Less is More). Screen credits include: Coronation Street, The Royal (ITV); The English Game, The Irregulars (Netflix); and Hush (Film4).
Sara Beharrell will play Linda, she is originally from East Yorkshire and currently producing & performing in a 2023 tour of the award-winning play Bathwater, by Hull writer Vicky Foster. Theatre credits include: Honeymoon Suite (The Royal Court/English Touring Theatre); The Crucible (Birmingham Rep/National Tour); Hay Fever (Theatre Clwyd); Goodnight Mister Tom, Little Women, Frost Hollow Hall (East Riding Theatre). TV credits include: London’s Burning (ITV); He Knew He Was Right, Better (BBC).
Ladies Unleashed will also introduce audiences to two new characters, Mabel and Daisy, whose friendship stirs from the past as the island itself becomes restless.Returning hot on the heels of her performance in Teechers Leavers ’22 (Hull Truck Theatre), Martha Godber will play Mabel. Other Theatre credits include: Great Adventures (Hull Truck Theatre); Sunny Side Up (UK Tour, John Godber Company); Up N Under, The Remarkable Tale of Dorothy Mackaill (Hull New Theatre); I Want That Hair (East Riding Theatre); Three Emos (UK Tour); Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs (Spotlight Prize); Pop (Oldham Coliseum); Right (The Old Vic).
Nell Baker will play the role of Daisy. Nell is an actor who lives in Beverley whose writing & directing debut, Nightingale, screened at Underwire Film Festival 2022 & emerged as one of the top 10 Outstanding Short Films of the Festival. Theatre credits include: Shudder (Soho Theatre); Our Town (North Wall Arts Centre); Gospel Street (National Tour); All’s Well That Ends Well, Kaleidoscope, & Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Riding Lights Theatre Company); The Lightless Pumpkin (SHE Productions/ERT); Snow (Theatre Chipping Norton); The BBC Proms.
Mark Babych, Artistic Director at Hull Truck Theatre said:
“It’s been a real joy working with Amanda on the development of this final instalment of her much-loved Ladies Trilogy which sees Pearl, Jan, Linda and Shelley on their final adventure together on the magical Island of Lindisfarne – a weekend of celebration that takes unexpected and surprising twists and turns. I’m truly excited to be directing another world premiere of a play at Hull Truck Theatre that celebrates and shares the lives of real women on our stage for audiences to love and enjoy.”
Tickets for Ladies Unleashed are on sale now by visiting www.hulltruck.co.uk or calling the Box Office on 01482 323638.