Our 2018 season begins with the world premiere of The Culture – A Farce in Two Acts (26 Jan – 17 Feb) by Olivier Award nominated playwright and Hull alumnus James Graham (Ink and Labour of Love currently in the West End) and directed by Hull Truck Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Babych. Set in the offices of Hull 2017 on the day of the ceremonial handover to the next UK City of Culture, this new production takes a satirical look at Hull’s year in the spotlight. James was given behind the scenes access to the running of the year-long festival whilst writing this unique and unmissable production, presented with Hull UK City of Culture 2017.
Hull Truck Theatre, Oldham Coliseum and New Vic Theatre present an all-female production of Compton Mackenzie’s classic comedy Whisky Galore (2 May – 12 May). The islanders of Great and Little Todday are dismayed to find their whisky supply dwindling as the UK government diverts the precious stuff to the Americans, and when the whisky runs out completely it seems like the end of the world. Directed by Oldham Coliseum’s Kevin Shaw, this new production, set in 1955, is a tribute to the all-female touring theatre companies of the post-war years.
Hull Truck Theatre present the world premiere of Clown Klub (14 June – 7 July), a dark comedy from award-winning Hull comedian Lucy Beaumont. It follows 63-year-old North Hull resident Keith, who has been given the chance of a lifetime – he’s going to be on the biggest TV talent show in the world. But there’s a problem. He’s told a tiny white lie and now he’s got to recruit and train a clown troupe worthy of a million-pound cash prize. Getting laughed at is easy, it’s being taken seriously that’s hard. Directed by Hull Truck Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Babych, this is a clown show to remember.
Performances from Hull Truck Theatre Supported and Associate Artists
Hull Truck Theatre welcome productions from two of their Associate and Supported Artists this season. The multi award-winning company Silent Uproar present The Bold Knights of Britain (20 – 24 Feb), a raucous comedy about what it means to be British, following their successful Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 run ofA Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad). And The Roaring Girls’ are getting Beach Body Ready (18 – 19 July) in a night of stigma-breaking, patriarchy-smashing body positivity.
Productions from Hull Truck Theatre’s performance groups
Hull Truck Youth Theatre’s 16+ plus groups join forces for the first time with three of Hull Truck Theatre’s Supported Companies, some of the most exciting independent theatre makers in the city. The result will be three unique productions celebrating the diversity of work being made in Hull: with Bellow Theatre (8 – 10 Mar), with The Roaring Girls (8 – 10 Mar), and with Silent Uproar (5 – 7 Apr). The 14 – 16 Youth Theatre groups present a double bill of Bryony Lavery’s It Snows (12 – 14 April) and Judith Johnson’s The Willow Pattern (12 – 14 Apr).
Act III over 55s theatre makers present Are We There Yet? (28 – 30 June), a new show exploring some of the momentous social changes the performers have lived through.
Performances from local theatre companies and artists
The Centre for Contemporary Storytelling present two popular shows this season. Turning the Tide (6 – 10 Feb) returns for the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Triple Trawler Tragedy, telling the remarkable story of the Hull women who fought for fishing industry reform, whilst Turn and Face the Strange (21 – 24 Feb) takes audiences on a journey through the life of music legend and David Bowie collaborator Mick Ronson – the Spider from Hull. The performance features a powerful live band with members who played alongside Bowie and Ronson, a classical string quartet, film projection and live storytelling.
Ensemble 52 present Dark Winter (13 – 17 Mar), a world premiere adaptation of David Mark’s thrilling crime novel set in Hull, and Chameleon Players bring Edgar Harrison’s spoof on the Great British detective story Too Clever By Half (10 – 14 July). Hull-born actor Hester Arden (The Gaul at Hull Truck Theatre) presents her debut play The Ballad of Paragon Station (21 – 22 June), a one-woman story which chronicles the lives of four people struggling for identity, intimacy and escape.
Musicals from local companies include One Off Productions’ Oliver (27 – 29 March), NAPA’s Thoroughly Modern Millie (4 – 7 Apr), and Park Street Performing Arts’ Les Miserables (25- 28 July).
A wealth of visiting drama from across the UK
New drama includes Black Men Walking (27 Feb – 3 Mar) presented by Eclipse Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre, which follows Thomas, Matthew and Richard on one of their monthly walks through the Peak District. But they are forced to go backwards through two thousand years of history before they can move forwards. This is the first national tour from Revolution Mix, a three-year movement that will spearhead the largest ever national delivery of Black British stories. Pilot Theatre and York Theatre Royal present Bryony Lavery’s new adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel Brighton Rock (20 – 24 Mar), following two teenagers embroiled in a vicious gang war in Brighton.
Comedy drama includes The John Godber Company and Theatre Royal Wakefield’s The Scary Bikers (27 Feb – 3 Mar), a new play about life, love and cycling performed by John Godber and Jane Thornton, whilst London Classic Theatre presents Noël Coward’s most popular and enduring comedy Private Lives (10 – 14 Apr). And a new musical is created every night based on audience suggestions at Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (16 Mar).
Lyric Hammersmith and Filter Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (17 – 21 Apr) arrives after its critically acclaimed London and international festival appearances. Featuring original live music, Shakespeare’s classic tale of young lovers and warring fairies is given a unique and irreverent twist.
Shows for children and families
There’s plenty on offer for children and families this season. The popular Great Adventures in Storyland (one Saturday a month) returns for children aged 3 to 6 and their families. Stories are missing beginnings and ends, and the Story Menders need help to save them. Puppetry experts Little Angel Theatre prove that there are two sides to every story in Red Riding Hood and the Wolf (27 – 19 Mar) a new spin on the classic tale which is perfect for children aged 7 plus. And Watershed Productions present Polka Theatre’s production of
Chocolate Cake (26 May) based on the well-loved poem by former Children’s Laurette Michael Rosen, following the adventures of two brothers and the mysterious night-time disappearance of a chocolate cake.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s First Encounters: Julius Caesar (8 – 10 Mar) is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for 7 to 13-year-olds. These engaging 90-minute adaptations use the Bard’s original language and ask audiences to participate in the story.
Family Open Day (2 June) returns next summer following the success of this year’s event, which welcomed 1400 people to the theatre. There will be a range of free activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, says:
‘Hull Truck Theatre have been a brilliant partner in this important year for the city and it’s is wonderful to see Mark, Janthi and the team going into 2018 with similar vision and energy. It will help ensure that the theatre’s reputation continues to grow, not just regionally, but nationally. We are also delighted to be involved in commissioning James Graham as part of our ambition to continue supporting new work.’