Hull Theatre Company wins two Northern Enterprise Awards

The Hull company that brought ‘Turn and Face the Strange’ and ‘Turning the Tide’ to the stage has won two prestigious awards.

‘Tafts’ at Hull Truck Theatre, April 2019. Photo: Tracey Taylor.

The Centre for Contemporary Storytelling has been awarded Best Cultural Heritage and Theatrical Entertainment Production Company 2022. Company Director Rupert Creed has also picked up the Freelance Theatre Director of the Year 2022 Award.

‘Turn and Face the Strange’ celebrates the life and music career of Hull-born guitarist, album producer and David Bowie collaborator Mick Ronson. Written by Rupert Creed and Garry Burnett, the show has gained cult status since its premiere for Hull City of Culture in 2017. With a talented team of creatives and musicians, the show has enjoyed sell-out performances at Hull Truck Theatre, and has led to the publication of the book ‘The Mick Ronson Story’ by Creed and Burnett that details Mick Ronson’s roots in Hull and his rise to rock stardom.

‘Turning the Tide’, written and directed by Creed, tells the story of Hull’s Headscarf Revolutionaries and their heroic campaign to improve safety for fishermen following the Triple Trawler Tragedy in 1968. Based on interviews with Yvonne Blenkinsop, Christine Smallbone and Mary Denness, the show portrayed the women’s fight for justice, safety and fair treatment in the wake of the tragedy. With original songs by Hissyfit duo Hazel Richings and Linda Kelly, alongside live storytelling from Shonaleigh, the show has had a moving impact on audiences throughout its many successful outings over the past eight years.

In their award citation, the Northern Enterprise Awards team states: “From the very beginning, the company has been built around sharing the stories of the East Yorkshire region. With a rich cultural heritage that is seldom drawn upon, the creative team have portrayed numerous subjects which have been brought vividly to life using an innovative mix of live music, projected film, archive photos, audio stories and live storytelling. When people turn to the Centre of Contemporary Storytelling, they know that they’ll be part of a stunning live experience. High quality without being highbrow, audiences find themselves swept away by the scope and scale of these wonderful tales, each rooted in the fabric of East Yorkshire. We can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Company Director Rupert Creed said: “We are so proud to win these two awards, and they are an acknowledgement of the wonderful team of creative professionals who made these shows possible. We collaborate with a fantastically talented team of local musicians, writers, designers and film makers. They are all part of the rich cultural fabric of our city and region and they thoroughly deserve these outstanding awards.”