You could be Hull Truck Theatre’s next ‘Be Our Guest’ resident

Hull Truck Theatre recently announced the continued development of local artists or theatre companies by offering three bursaries once again through their Be Our Guest residency in connection with Grow Festival 2024.

Jim Norris

Grow Festival aims to support artists and develop local talent with a programme of sharing workshops and networking opportunities. The festival offers a platform for artists of all ages and at any point in their careers to share their work with local audiences and make new industry connections. Each successful Be Our Guest bursary recipient receives £1,500 along with five days of rehearsal space at Hull Truck Theatre to develop their work.

Hull Truck Theatre has reconnected with writer Jim Norris, one of the 2023 bursary winners, to find out why he applied, how he found the experience, and what he is doing now, one year later. 

Q. Why did you apply to the Be Our Guest residency?

Jim: “I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could really do it, to get a bit of writing out there on stage!  I wanted that challenge to be in a supportive environment that would give me an amazing opportunity to watch and learn as much as I could about theatre and this opportunity provided that. It was nerve-racking but amazing and I am so glad I put my application in.”

Jim Norris has lived and worked in Hull his whole life and uses his home city and the people he has met as inspiration to tell relatable stories with a local focus. Jim worked on the Middle Child Writer’s Group and was mentored by playwright Tom Wells, which gave him confidence to apply for the residency and to keep writing.

Q. What was it like being at HTT and sharing your work in front of a live audience?

Jim: “From the welcome on the first day to the night my piece was shown, the care, support and time the staff gave me at HTT was incredible. I felt like every day that I was there I was constantly learning and developing, and it completely changed my approach to writing. Regarding the live audience, nothing really could have prepared me for the excitement, nerves, but ultimately the warmth of the audience. It was wonderful to be part of it.”

Jim developed ‘No Scrap No Chips’ (working title), where brothers John and Colin are rag and bone men, collecting scrap using a horse and cart. All John wants is his brother by his side, the open road and maybe just maybe a grandfather clock. Colin wants out, a new world awaits. He just needs his brother’s blessing, grandfather clock optional.

Q. What have you done since?

Jim: “I have continued to write and learn, it’s just now I am doing it with more confidence. I was asked by Middle Child Theatre to write something for the Freedom Festival, which went well, and right now I am working on a digital short for HTT as part of this year’s Grow festival. Grow was such a great opportunity, and I would advise anyone thinking about applying to do it!”

There are three bursaries available as part of Be Our Guest 2024 for anyone aged 18+ who lives in (or is originally from) Hull or the East Riding of Yorkshire. Hull Truck Theatre is looking to support and develop bold new work that has not been performed before, offering a platform to present something inspiring, important or uniquely fun and entertaining.

Applications are open to writers, directors, actors, movement directors – either as individuals or a collective. Please note that pieces of work that have been fully staged before and adaptations or revivals will not be considered, unless you can demonstrate that your approach to the story is new and innovative.

Successful artists will spend a week in residence at the theatre and at the end of the week share their work with a live audience in the Godber Studio. There will be access to the theatre’s artistic, production, communications and technical departments for support and mentoring if required.

For more information and to apply for this exciting opportunity, please apply online by Friday 15 March. Visit Get Involved | HullTruckTheatre

If any of this process is inaccessible to you, please contact Hull Truck Theatre at to let them know how you would like to apply, such as by video, and they will work with you to accommodate your requirements.

Tickets for the Be Our Guest sharing will be made available to buy from April via the Hull Truck Theatre website and will be priced on a Pay What You Can (PWYC) basis.

Grow: Be Our Guest – Artist Residency

Key dates

Deadline for Applications: Friday 15 March 2024

Residency: Monday 17 – Friday 21 June 2024

Sharing: Friday 21 June 2024


Successful applicants will be expected to commit time to planning the residency, supported by Hull Truck Theatre’s producing team.

The £1,500 bursary is to be used to cover costs for any delivery and planning of the residency and sharing, including artist fees and equipment, inclusive of actor fees.

The week in residency will be w/c 17 June.

The sharing is to be no longer than 30 minutes and each successful applicant will have access to 1.5 hours of technical time in the studio theatre, if required.