I hope audiences old and new will find lots of events to look forward to in our upcoming season. As well as continuing to present our own productions with a Northern Voice and welcoming back established partners, we’ve introduced new strands of programming in music and cinema. My vision is for our theatre to be a vibrant, cultural hub, and I think our new season reflects that.
Mark Babych directs two large scale productions this season. The first is Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis (11 Feb – 5 Mar), a co-production with the Bolton Theatre Octagon. This hilarious and heart-warming show follows birthday girl Josie, an ageing dominatrix who’s in no mood to celebrate – even when Elvis impersonator Timothy Wong enters the building.
Mark is also directing the iconic coming of age story Educating Rita (16 Jun – 9 July), telling the tale of a Liverpudlian hairdresser with a hunger for knowledge. This hilarious comedy deals with the universal themes of society, education and the joy of self-discovery. Hull Truck Theatre presents Tom Wells’ Folk (3 – 14 May) in a co-production with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre, directed by Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Associate Director Tessa Walker. This poignant and heart-warmingly funny play follows Winnie, a nun who’s fond of swearing, smoking and Guinness.
Grow Festival (25 – 29 May) is back for the third time as a development programme for artists of any age at any stage in their career. The five day festival includes professional development workshops from companies such as Spymonkey alongside a showcase of performances from artists including Dan Bye (Going Viral, 25 May), Josh Coates (Get Yourself Together, 26 May), and Jackie Hagan (Some People Have Too Many Legs, 27 May).
The latest instalment in the Hull Truck Theatre programme is Thank Truck it’s Friday, featuring a series of musicians at the top of their game who take inspiration from across the world. Artists include 21st century folk band the Hillybilly Troupe (22 Jan), the Brazilian inspired Bossa Revista (8 Apr) and the acclaimed Keep It Cash Acoustic (8 July). The successful Hull Truck Screen programme continues this season, streaming live theatre broadcasts in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre Live and the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, whilst Hull Independent Cinema present the best of independent and world cinema.
Hull Truck Theatre are proud to be hosting many visiting companies from around the UK. Season highlights include The Merry Wives from Northern Broadsides - a light, funny and wickedly entertaining version of Shakespeare’s comedy. Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Cast in Doncaster and New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich present Matthew Bugg’s Miss Nightingale – The Musical (26 – 30 Jan) on its final UK tour. And Graeae and Theatre Royal Plymouth bring The Solid Life of Sugar Water (18 – 20 Feb), a tender and intimate new play from award-winning writer Jack Thorne.
Local favourites Hull Playgoers’ Society present Cyrano de Bergerac (10 – 14 May), an imaginative take on the well-known comedy, whilst Hessle Theatre Company bring The Hired Man (26 – 30 Apr) and the notorious adult puppet musical Avenue Q (12 – 16 July).
Contemporary drama pieces this season include the ARC Stockton’s production Learning How to Die (27 Jan), about the actuality of dying and how an acceptance of mortality can drive a passion for life. Punching the Sky (16 Mar) by Lizi Patch is a multi-media play about the democratic space of the internet, sex, censorship and parenthood, and 2Magpies Theatre tell the tale of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani’s drug-fuelled Tour de France race in Ventoux (19 – 20 May).
Dance and movement also feature in the new season. Britain’s hottest young acrobats Barely Methodical Troupe present Kin (26 – 28 May), their second offering after hit debut Bromance. They combine exceptional circus skills with contemporary dance, parkour and acrobatics.
Hull Dance present a triple bill from Ceyda Tanc (2 Feb), a company with an international reputation for dynamic dance with a Turkish folk influence, and Jasmin Vardimon’s JV2 2016 (20 Apr) showcase of international young dancers.
The comedy line up this season includes Jenny Eclair (21 Mar), whose November appearance sold out, as well as Lucy Beaumont (17 Mar and 23 May), Mark Watson (4 June) and Iain Stirling (10 June).
Children’s entertainment comes in the shape of Sing-a-Long-a Frozen (1 June), a full screening of Disney’s hit animation complete with lyrics, and Freehand Theatre’s gentle Frogs and Snails and Teddy Bear Tales (4 June).
As well as Thank Truck it’s Friday, Hull Truck Theatre are hosting the best of the jazz world in the Hull Jazz Festival (21 – 24 July) presented by J-Night. Other music this season comes from 1950s rock and roll duo Two Pianos (11 June), Ruby Turner Band (16 April) with a soulful blend of gospel and R&B, and Pan Jumby (30 April), an evening of calypso and Caribbean rhythms, to celebrate International Jazz Day.
Hull Truck Youth Theatre return with two exciting adaptations of literary and drama classics: The Circle of Chalk, adapted from Bertolt Brecht’s play The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and The Castle based on the novel by Franz Kakfa. Both pieces have been adapted by young people’s writer and self-confessed punk poet Henry Raby.
Hull Truck Theatre’s Associate Company Middle Child present the world premiere of Ten Storey Love Song (2 – 12 Mar), based on the novel by Richard Milward. It is peppered with beauty and delivered with glorious abandon.
The ‘Drama Deal’ returns to offer great value for money - 3 shows for £30 on selected shows, whilst the ‘Dinner and a Show’ package includes a main course meal, ticket, programme and parking from £23.