Wednesday, August 10

Tag: Hull Truck Theatre

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Hull Truck Theatre

The only puck I have ever had dealings with was the one that landed in my lap during my days as an avid follower of the Humberside Seahawks ice hockey team, in Hull. In other words, I’m no fan of anything William Shakespeare wrote. So, reviewing A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Bard was never going to be on my bucket list. But, not one to shirk my theatre duty, I went along to the Hull Truck Theatre on Monday evening. Well, bloomin’ ‘eck, as Shakespeare wouldn’t say, I really enjoyed watching a talented group from the community bring that very play to life. The opening stage setting was very sparse, consisting of just a metal park bench. However, the most dazzling costumes soon emerged and from then on it was colour all the way. As well as the psychedelic costumes, fairy li...
Teechers Leavers ’22 – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Teechers Leavers ’22 – Hull Truck Theatre

Zoom, Netflix, Wordle, Covid 19, sanitising, face masks, Til Tok were all clues that playwright John Godber’s production Teechers, first performed in 1987, had been brought up to date with his re-imagined version - Teechers Leavers ’22. The Hull Truck Theatre was very well attended on Tuesday evening, as theatregoers not only looked forward to watching this rewrite, but also to the fact that Godber had been honoured with having the theatre’s Studio space renamed the Godber Studio. I arrived early on the night so I could be privy to the, admittedly short and sweet, speeches by the production’s director, Mark Babych, and Godber, in what is this popular theatre’s 50th anniversary year. Then it was showtime. As the lights dimmed, the deliberately unfussy stage setting came into view,...
71 Coltman Street – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

71 Coltman Street – Hull Truck Theatre

As a theatregoer, when you’re handed a complementary tub of chip spice along with your tickets, it does pique your interest. The chip spice came courtesy of Hull Truck Theatre, whose world premiere production of 71 Coltman Street brought to life this local theatre’s creation, 50 years ago. This week I have almost made myself ill by laughing so much at a Hull theatre production, but on Wednesday evening, at this intimate city centre venue, my chuckle muscles took a real battering. The play centres around Hull Truck founder, Mike Bradwell, who at 23, arrived in our city in 1971, renting the run-down house of the production’s title, setting up the theatre from there the following year. Written by Richard Bean, Bradwell admits not a word in the script is true, but that made not a ...
Acosta Danza – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Acosta Danza – Hull Truck Theatre

If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought the dancers I saw on the Hull New Theatre stage on Friday evening had molten rubber running through their veins, not blood - so supple were they. Acosta Danza 100% Cuban, the brainchild of international ballet star Carlos Acosta, is a mesmerising concoction of fast & furious and slow & sensuous - with effortless acrobatics thrown in. The most fantastically hypnotic and unforgettable music assaulted our senses throughout each performance, of which there were five. Liberto, Hybrid and De Punta a Cabo were all UK premieres, and according to the programme, Impronta and Paysage, Soudain, la nuit were both back by popular demand. So, five rousing chapters, each telling a different story. However, I have to confess that I coul...
The Railway Children – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

The Railway Children – Hull Truck Theatre

Once in a while, a theatre event comes along that, in the words of Mary Poppins, is “truly scrumptious”. Those two words perfectly sum up the festive concoction served up by the Hull Truck Theatre, with its production of The Railway Children. This magical experience tells the story of three quite posh children from London, who find themselves living in poverty in Yorkshire. The children - Roberta, aka Bobby (Gina Jamieson), Phyllis (Robyn McIntyre) and Peter (David Fallon) - included us in the audience from the off, as they were the storytellers describing their own young lives. This inclusive concept was a stroke of genius. I usually hate audience participation but, in this case, these crafty little monkeys reeled us in so cleverly, I found myself quite happily waving at an i...
Lone Flyer: The Last Flight Of Amy Johnson – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Lone Flyer: The Last Flight Of Amy Johnson – Hull Truck Theatre

I came away from the Hull Truck Theatre on Thursday night, full of admiration for all involved in The Lone Flyer - The Last Flight Of Amy Johnson. How on earth could just two people create so many different atmospheres - happy, sad, scary - that kept us theatregoers hooked for almost two hours. Admittedly, the two - Louise Willoughby as Amy Johnson, and Benedict Salter as every other character on the night - were aided and abetted by suitable lighting, music, background sounds and the odd cloud of steam. I’m not downplaying in any way the importance of such effects; this production would have obviously been greatly diminished without any of them. But from “curtain up” it was the two actors who commanded the audience’s complete attention. Hull-born Willoughby was perfect as ...
Romeo & Juliet – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Romeo & Juliet – Hull Truck Theatre

Sunglasses? Tick. Suncream? Tick. Raincoat? Tick. Cushion? Tick. Blanket? Tick. Was I packing for a staycation weekend? No, just for a trip to the theatre. Let me explain … Hull Truck Theatre’s production of Romeo & Juliet is being staged at the city’s open-air theatre, Stage@TheDock. Hull, on the east coast, can get every type of weather in one day, so the above were just some of the items we theatregoers were advised to carry with us for the performance on Wednesday afternoon. As the temperature hit the high 20s, this fascinating outdoor theatre began to fill up with people of all ages. We were all here for the most famous love story of all, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. A jolly accordion player (Nicholas Goode) musically opened proceedings and he was quic...
Hull & High Water – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Hull & High Water – Hull Truck Theatre

Listening to the pre-show chatter of the Hull Truck Theatre audience, awaiting the start of the world premiere of Hull & High Water, made me realise just how much I have missed the live theatre atmosphere. I watched this, the third of the theatre’s socially distanced Homecomings Season monologues, online but, no doubt, I’ll be back in that cosy theatre before too long. As in the first two monologues (The Greatest Play In The History Of The World and Everything I Own), the stage setting was a tad too dark for my liking. Dim lighting and dark furniture added to the gloom. Luckily, Emmerdale actor John Middleton lit up the stage the minute he set foot on it. I warmed to him immediately. Although his character, Frank Piddock, is getting on in years, suffering from dementia and...
Everything I Own – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Everything I Own – Hull Truck Theatre

Shall I tell you the first thing that came to mind when I laid eyes on actor Gabriel Paul, on the Hull Truck Theatre stage this week? Mmm … very attractive man, muscly in all the right places, glint in his eye - obviously good fun to be around (but the vest has to go). Oh, and he is black - this last piece of info, as an afterthought. However, as this second in a trilogy of monologues at the theatre - a world premiere, no less - wore on, I realised my reaction was far from the norm experienced by Errol (Paul), in his lifetime. The central character never appears - but his presence is felt throughout. He is Errol’s dad, who has died of Covid, leaving Errol, one of his seven children, to sort out his belongings. The action takes place in Errol’s dad’s sitting room - a cosy af...
The Greatest Play In The History Of The World … – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

The Greatest Play In The History Of The World … – Hull Truck Theatre

Hallelujah! Theatres are open again and I had a front row seat at Hull Truck Theatre. Best of all, because of social distancing, I was the only occupant on that row. However, the “front row” in question was my sofa; yes, I was watching online. Julie Hesmondhalgh, she of Coronation Street fame, was the only human on the stage - a stage she shared with numerous pairs of shoes held in cardboard boxes on two large metal frames. This very plain setting, though at times a bit too unlit for my liking, was welcome as it didn’t detract from Hesmondhalgh’s amazing performance, in this first of a trilogy of monologues at the theatre in the near future. Dressed casually, Hesmondhalgh (who happens to be writer Ian Kershaw’s wife) recounts, in a loud, clear and, for want of a better word, m...