Community company performing in The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca

Community company performing in The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca

Hull Truck Theatre and Hull UK City of Culture 2017 opened The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca last week, a new production written by Maxine Peake especially for the fourth season of Hull 2017. This unique site responsive piece charts Lillian Bilocca and her crew of head-scarfed women as they campaigned for fishing industry reform during the 1960s.

Twenty local volunteers are performing in the show as the community company alongside the acting company and band. They will help to bring the performance to life through a series of dance and movement sequences, led by Co-director/Choreographer Imogen Knight and Associate Movement Director Jon Beney. The community company were recruited through a series of workshop auditions.     

The community company are playing several characters in the show, including a group of trawler owners, local fishermen, women from the Hessle Road community, and dancers at the Silver Cod Ball - the trawler owners’ annual slap on the back.

Almost half of the community company are Hull 2017 volunteers who wanted to play an active part in a production during 2017, and there are a mixture of people who have previous performance experience and those who have never performed in a theatre production before. A few members of the community company have personal links to the fishing industry, including one member who met Lillian Bilocca whilst working in the fish processing factory on West Dock Street, Hull.

The community company are Rachael Abbey, Tim Allison, Joe Beckett, Martin Bott, John Cant, Andy Hammond, Zoë Jones, Sirgius Mchunu, Syeda Nudrat, Vicki Pellatt, Pauline Phillips, Mandy-Lee Porteous, Lei Qian, Shaun Rennison, Rob Spivey, Elizabeth Stanforth-Sharpe, Brian Swallow, Graham Till, David Turner and David Wilberforce.

They are joined by four members of Hull Truck Theatre’s 8 – 10 Youth Theatre.