Hull Truck Theatre partners with Freedom Festival 2022

There is so much to explore in 2022 as Freedom Festival makes a welcome return, with Hull Truck Theatre once again partnering to present a unique series of indoor theatre and performance events.

The Little Things © Luca Rocchi

The Freedom Festival programme at Hull Truck Theatre will be the perfect way to experience extraordinary world class and unique performances and discussions about what really matters. This year (Wednesday 31 August – Saturday 3 September), it looks to the future with new and contemporary theatre live performances, original music scores, puppetry and dance to inspire audiences and artists.

Janthi Mills-Ward, Executive Director at Hull Truck Theatre said: “Freedom Festival is such an exciting part of Hull’s year, and we relish being a key venue for the indoor programme bringing new and exciting work to the city.  Work includes White Sun and Bloody Elle, both of which are new sole contemporary pieces created during lock down.  We will also open our stages to young people across the city to work with La Mechanica presenting The Little Things as well as Arcadia, mixing a live score from Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) presenting 100 years of archive footage that captures Britain’s countryside.”

Will Dickie will present White Sun (Wednesday 31 August), set against a backdrop of a nation that continues to bask in the light of its colonial legacy, hooked on profits despite the costs. White Sun a is lo-fi solo symphony of words and movement. Conjuring the ghosts of the men who have dominated the stage before him, Will takes us on a journey, navigating the tensions of inheritance, privilege, and addiction.

Bloody Elle – A Gig Musical (Wednesday 31 August) is stuffed full of those stomach-flipping-time-stopping moments, a touch, a glance, a kiss, that everyone will recognise. Lauryn Redding (71 Coltman Street for Hull Truck Theatre) plays Eve in this one-woman show about Elle – a young, working-class girl growing up and coming out in the North. This heart-warming and belly achingly funny story, directed by Bryony Shanahan, is set to an original score, building loops and layers of sound that make you feel like there is a ten-piece band on stage.

This is Lauryn’s gig version of her smash-hit gig-musical, following its WhatsOnStage nomination for Best Regional Theatre Production. If you missed it in Manchester or Edinburgh, make sure you catch this feel-good, funny, stunningly performed gig before it’s gone. Featuring all the songs from the shows, plus a few cheeky extras, Lauryn will guide you through the highs and lows of Bloody Elle, from why she put pen to paper to where it’s heading next.

La Mecànica & Teatre Principal de Palma present The Little Things (Friday 2 – Saturday 3 September), a sassy and fast-moving performance for both children and their parents, that is seen by children and adults on two very different levels. Born from a view of the world as seen at knee-height, by children, and the world they discover, The Little Things transforms from the innocence of a hungry caterpillar into a majestic butterfly, exploring and dazzling the world.

Using puppetry and dance, physical theatre and music, The Little Things blends the comic directness and sincere naivety of childhood with the often-absurd struggle of parents to be great role models whilst also stretching to keep the very grown-up pleasures and releases of adult life. This is a riotous, fresh and inspiring piece of physical theatre for anyone who is a child, has ever been a child or has children in their lives. A perfect celebration of a festival which aims to involve adults and children, through puppets and visual theatre.

A live soundtrack performance and screening of director Paul Wright’s acclaimed film Arcadia (Saturday 3 September) will explore our complex connection to the land that we live in. Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) bring the captivating film and their critically acclaimed soundtrack to life with a specially curated nine-piece band featuring Adrian and Will, together with folk singer Lisa Knapp and a line-up of exceptional musicians and singers.

Originally released in cinemas UK-wide in 2018 by the BFI to outstanding reviews, Arcadia is an electric and eclectic mash-up of 100 years of archive film footage. Looking at the past from the future, it examines the rich and strange history of the British countryside. With Adrian and Will’s powerful score of folk, classical, electronic dance music and archive recordings, Arcadia Live goes on a sensory, visceral journey through contrasting seasons. Exploring the beauty and brutality, magic and madness of our changing relationship to the land and each other.

A folk horror wrapped in an archive film, it’s a very strange trip indeed… Arcadia reminds us of what happens when our connection to nature, and indeed each other, frays and unravels. By exploring and asking ourselves what we have gained and lost in the last century, perhaps we will discover something of what we’ll need to survive in the next.

Adrian Utley, guitar/keyboards in Arcadia said: “I think Arcadia seems more relevant now than it was when it was made five years ago. We are seeing the effects of climate change and destruction of countryside more and more every day.”

Mikey Martins, Artistic Director at Freedom Festival, said: “We are delighted to be working with our friends and partners at Hull Truck Theatre again this year to present a unique and varied indoor offering inside this wonderful building. There are exceptional examples of innovative solo work made during the pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, we look forward to welcoming you to the Freedom Festival programme at Hull Truck Theatre.”