This autumn Hull Truck Theatre presents a variety of exciting visiting work, from musicals and poetry to plays about power and knowledge. As the theatre collaborates with Freedom Festival, Hull Independent Cinema, NT Live and Heritage Open Day Tours, it welcomes new and returning partners to present quality theatre and talent this September.
Adam Pownall, Senior Producer at Hull Truck Theatre, said:
“We are proud to present a mix of visiting companies this September as we welcome a range of unique and varied productions to our venue. As we continue to celebrate our 50th Anniversary year we welcome you to be inspired, listen to stories and enjoy the entertainment that is live theatre, together with partners old and new, welcoming local amateur companies and performers.”
September begins with the continued long-standing collaboration with Hull’s Freedom Festival, building local, national, and international alliances that help to create cultural experiences.
The Little Things (Friday 2 – Saturday 3 September) started life as a show for children, but rapidly transformed into a sassy and fast-moving performance for 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, it blends the comic directness and sincere naivety of childhood with the often-absurd struggle of parents to be great role-models themselves. With cutting new technology provided by The Difference Engine, closed captions will be accessible throughout the performance of The Little Things using a free app on your mobile device.
Arcadia (Saturday 3 September) will be a live performance and screening of the acclaimed film Arcadia by BAFTA-winning director Paul Wright. The captivating film will come to life with a specially curated 9-piece band. Released to outstanding reviews in 2018, BAFTA-winner Paul Wright’s Arcadia is an exhilarating study of the British people’s shifting relationship to the land. Through 100 years of archive footage the film explores the changing face of the British countryside over the last century. Set to a powerful score of folk, classical, electronic dance music and archive recordings, Arcadia captures the beauty and brutality, the magic and madness of rural Britain.
Jenni Harrison, Head of Marketing and Creative Media @ Freedom Festival Arts Trust, said:
“We are in our 16th year of the festival now and it is fantastic to be able to work with brilliant local venues, like Hull Truck Theatre, to bring audiences more ticketed indoor events alongside our huge outdoor offering. That includes late night shows such as the acclaimed film Arcadia with a live soundtrack from a 9-piece band, as well as family-friendly performances like The Little Things from La Mechanica, a riotous, fresh and inspiring piece of theatre using puppetry and dance – this is for anyone who has ever been a child!”
If you are a musical theatre fan, you have probably heard of Urinetown (Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 September), but if you are unfamiliar, Hessle Theatre Company invites you to join the desperate crusade in this riotous musical comedy that will have you laughing all the way to the bathroom… In a world that has faced a 20-year drought, private toilets are banned, and the population is forced to answer the call of nature in public conveniences. Join the heroic Bobby Strong and his down and out crew as they fight against corporate greed in a hysterical revo-LOO-tion.
Carousel (Wednesday 14 – Saturday 17 September) will also please any musical theatre fan as Northern Theatre Company in association with Green Ginger Productions reimagine the Rogers and Hammerstein musical. Transporting from the American classic to 1950s Hull, this version will feature the much-loved songs of the original as well as new characters from Hull’s past to tell this much-loved story where smooth-talking carnival worker Billy falls in love with local girl Julie. Find out if this tale of star-crossed lovers will see Billy’s rebellious streak lead to tragedy.
Running in partnership with Hull Independent Cinema, Hull Truck Theatre will present Pleasure (Wednesday 7 September), directed by Ninja Thyberg this English and Swedish language film with English subtitles will provoke on more than one level as Bella Cherry, performed by actor Sofia Kappel peels back the curtain on the adult film industry in a compelling, persuasive manner and a powerful performance leading the way. Bella Cherry arrives in Los Angeles with dreams of becoming an adult film star. She soon learns that fame won’t come easy, and she must harness all her ambition and cunning to rise to the top of this mesmerizing and singular world.
Following the success of National Theatre Live’s Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night and Antony and Cleopatra, director Simon Godwin returns with NT Live: Much Ado About Nothing (Thursday 8th September), an irresistible comedy, broadcast live from the National Theatre stage. Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) and John Heffernan (Dracula) lead the cast in Shakespeare’s romcom of sun, sea and mistaken identity as the legendary family-run Hotel Messina on the Italian Riveria has been visited by artists, celebrities and royalty. But when the owner’s daughter weds a dashing young soldier, not all guests are in the mood for love.
HIC will also present Brian & Charles (Thursday 15 September), Directed by Jim Archer we are introduced to Brian, a lonely inventor in rural Wales, who spends his days building quirky, unconventional contraptions that seldom work. Undeterred by his lack of success, Brian attempts his biggest project yet. Three days, a washing machine, and various spare parts later, he’s invented Charles, an artificially intelligent robot who learns English from a dictionary and is obsessed with cabbages. What follows is a funny and heart-warming story about friendship, family, finding love, and letting go.
Heritage Open Day Tours (Saturday 17 September) back by popular demand, you can once again go backstage at Hull Truck Theatre as we celebrate Heritage Open Day, England’s largest festival celebrating history and culture. We are opening our doors to the public once again where there will be guided tours of the building at 9am, 10am and 11am. Tour places are limited to 25 per tour so early booking is advised. Get ready to explore behind the scenes of our vibrant purpose-built theatre, which combines state-of-the-art facilities and striking design with the unique atmosphere of the city’s largest producing theatre.
Now in his 100th year, Hull-born poet Maurice Rutherford will join us via video link to share his collections of intelligent, subtle and moving poetry. Celebrating Maurice’s 100th birthday, The City Speaks (Sunday 18 September) will Join on stage some of Hull’s finest talent. Get ready for a night of poetry, songs, and stories from around the region. Artists will include Lucy Beaumont, Martin Barrass, Eliza Carthy, Roland Gift, Barrie Rutter and Dean Wilson.
The Lesson (Thursday 22 September), presented by Icarus Theatre present Eugene Ionesco’s classic dark comedy as it returns to the stage. A comically surreal story about a mild-mannered professor who takes on a new pupil, swiftly descending into tyranny, becoming bent on her destruction. This is set to be a comically surreal expose about power, knowledge and those who hoard both.
Every performance will be accessible for deaf and hard of hearing audiences by using Creative Captioning technology and a dynamic projection design which encapsulates the beating heart of Ionesco’s text.
Following the popular Hull Truck Theatre hits, Ladies Day and Ladies Down Under, Amanda Whittington returns with her third instalment of the Ladies Trilogy – Ladies Unleashed (Thursday 29 September – Saturday 22 October). In Ladies Unleashed the group of friends are reunited on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, as they face growing older and the next stage of their lives with typical humour, drama, and some ghostly goings on. Directed by Mark Babych this moving comedy about friendship, growing older and living for today will celebrate new writing, female voices and continue to champion people from the city of Hull.
My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored (Friday 30 September), written by emerging playwright Nana-Kofi Kufuor and directed by Dermot Daly will finish September with ripping tussle of power and an urgent interrogation of racial identity. 15-year-old Reece is roughly accosted by the police outside M&S, he wants his teacher to pay – and to fully understand the pain her inaction of stepping in caused.
Dermot Daly, Director, said:
“My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored is a play about identity, about love, and how both of those things intersect with race. We don’t talk about race. We shout about race, we worry about it, we ignore it, we politicise it, but we don’t talk about it and the experiences and quality of life that are impacted by being ‘other’. This play investigates what race can feel like; how it touches everything, including a tangible sense of self. Given the recent past that we’ve individually, collectively experienced, there’s a sense of wanting to be ‘together’ so as to better understand where we’re individually coming from.”