The Meanwhile Festival

We’ve missed the hustle and bustle of a theatre audience in our auditorium and we’re looking forward to welcoming audiences back into the building next month to enjoy some more unmissable live theatre.


Behind the scenes we’ve been working with some of Hull’s most talented writers and performers to create an engaging and thought-provoking digital theatre festival. Over the next few weeks we are going to be releasing five short digital plays right here on our website. Hyperlocal and utterly contemporary, these creative pieces set out to inspire, bring joy and start important conversations with audiences remotely.


The Meanwhile Festival Curator, and Associate Director, Tom Saunders, said:

It was important to us to give Hull artists the chance to do what they do; make fantastic theatre and performance. Figuring out how to do this online without being in the same room proved a challenge, but it has created work that we’re incredibly proud to share.

Hull’s artists continue to inspire us to interrogate the world around us, making positive changes in our lives and offering us joyful experiences. With live performance being at the heart of what we do, we’re not filmmakers but I hope the spirit of this work shines through; even though theatre’s across the country have been closed, we – the theatre artists of Hull – are still here and we’re not going anywhere.”



Has anyone asked if the outsider feels ok this afternoon?

A sensitive exploration of race, identity and Yorkshire-ness in this self-penned poem by Hull rapper and grime artist Chiedu Oraka.

About Chiedu Oraka:

Chiedu Oraka, aka the black Yorkshireman is a musician and poet from Hull. Chiedu burst on to his local scene in 2011 where he released his first mixtape “Not your Average Spitting Vol. 1”  Since then Chiedu has gone on to become the pioneer of his own city’s black music scene. He has cut his own path with his lockdown collective into a UK scene which is dominated by London centric artists. His sound could be described as “ A commentary on the UK’s real nightlife culture combining, Hiphop, Grime and UK bass with a trademark of Yorkshire humour”

Chiedu music has millions of streams on Spotify and other DSPs and has had support from BBC Radio 1, 1xtra and 6 where his music has been played. He has also featured in publications such I-D mag, mixmag, The guardian and the Quietus.

Written and Performed by Chiedu Oraka

CRYSTAL CLEAR by Kerrie L Marsh

She’s only just got the kids to bed and has hastily prepared the room.

Flustered and fed up, she sits down at her computer and logs on.

Clare has always been attracted to the mystical and spiritual and now with every other option exhausted she has had to turn her interest in to an occupation. She has had to become an online clairvoyant.

Kerrie L Marsh’s new one-woman play explores the changing nature of work in a digital society and places we search for answers.

About Kerrie L Marsh:

From a young age Kerrie loved to perform, if she had a willing audience or not and her passion for performance stayed with her through life and took her from her working-class roots to Theatres, radio, television and film companies all around the UK.

She’s not shy of a couple of stints at the Edinburgh & Brighton Fringe Festivals with her all-female comedy theatre troupe she co-founded with friends from University, Scarlet Lights.

Kerrie has always been a bit of a secret writer too and over recent years had the confidence to start sharing her scribbles with the creative world. Thanks to companies such as Middle Child, the Royal Court and being an artist in residence at Hull Truck Theatre she has had many opportunities to explore her writing much more over the last couple of years with great support and encouragement. Written and Performed by Kerrie L Marsh

Written and Performed by Kerrie L Marsh

Directed by Tom Saunders

WHISPER by Joe Hakim


I’m not joking, I’ve never told anyone, not a soul. Not even my wife.

November 1988 – A night out in Hull meant only one thing: Romeo’s & Juliet’s. This ‘den of vice’ on Jameson Street was central to late 80’s nightclub culture, a place where people came to find themselves, find love, and drink their problems away.

A young man in crisis steps on the dancefloor. He’s out to forget his troubles, but something happens to him, something he’ll always remember.

Something he hasn’t shared for 32 years.

Until now.

Writer and performer Joe Hakim collaborates with The Broken Orchestra and visual artist Anna Bean to create this eerie and experimental ghost story.

About Joe Hakim:

Joe Hakim has performed at venues and festivals around the UK, including Latitude, Big Chill and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and his work has featured on The Verb on BBC Radio 3 and the Cerys Matthews show on BBC 6 Music.

He was a Hull 2017 and 2018 poet at the BBC Contains Strong Language spoken word festival.

The albums Cultural Thrift and The Science of Discontent, collaborations with musician and artist Ashley Reaks, were released by Metal Postcard Records in 2015 and 2018.

His first novel The Community, a sci-fi/horror novel, was published by Wild Pressed Books in 2019.

He is the writer and dramaturg of Omni-Science, an interactive theatre show developed with Brick-by-Brick theatre company, which was performed Assemble Fest in 2016 and at Humber Street and Bean Street Community Centre in Hull in September 2019.

Written and Performed by Joe Hakim.

Sound by The Broken Orchestra       

Visuals by Anna Bean                      

Additional Voices Ruth Getz              

ANGEL by Ellen Brammar

Apathetic. It’s not a nice thing to be called. It’s pathetic with an ‘a’.

 Angel is on a mission to show everyone how passionate she can be and is ready to fight for what she believes. Only one thing can stand in her way; she hasn’t figured out what it is she’s fighting for yet.

Ellen Brammar’s firecracker of a play explores how you stand up against the injustices around you when it feels like there’s too many to take on.


About Ellen Brammar:

Ellen is a Hull-based writer and founding company member of Middle Child Theatre. Her theatre credits include, I HATE ALONE (2017) with Middle Child Theatre, WALK IN THE PARK (2019) with Back to Ours, TEN with Hull Truck Theatre (2019) and ORDINARY PEOPLE (2016) with Middle Child and Leeds Playhouse. She is currently writing a new show for Middle Child. She was longlisted for the BBC Comedy Script Room in 2016 and shortlisted in the same year for the CBBC sketch show, CLASS DISMISSED.

Ellen is part of the 2020 BBC Writersroom Northern Voices cohort, an initiative that helps a writer to create their first TV script.

Written by Ellen Brammar

Performed by Erin Findlay

Directed by Tom Saunders

A Natter of Life and Death by Matt Sutton 

Are we born knowing how to love? Or like language: you have to see it and hear it before you can do it yourself?

A mother reflects on how her relationship with her husband may have impacted her now grown up children. 

Matt Sutton’s thoughtful one-woman play explores family, loss and loneliness and how we try to find light in dark times.

About Matt Sutton:

Matt is an actor, voice over, and stand up.

He started writing properly a year ago when he took part in the Middle Child Theatre Writers’ Group, run by Tom Wells. His first play, Evacuee, about the Hull Blitz in 1941, was performed at the NYMR War Weekend in 2019. He wrote a short two-hander, Bad Date, for Out Loud (Middle Child/Silent Uproar scratch event) which was broadcast on BBC Radio Humberside’s Culture Night with Joe Hakim in May this year.

He hopes we can get back to doing this in a theatre again very soon.

Written by Matt Sutton

Performed by Kate Anthony

Directed by Mark Babych