Taking place from Thursday 10 until Saturday 12 May, the festival presents eleven exciting events ranging from entertaining scratch sessions that welcome public feedback, to a Masterclass with Bryony Kimmings, in which the performer teaches how to create watertight concepts and mind-blowing projects. Whilst providing artists with insight, resources and inspiration to explore ideas and make connections, for audiences it’s an opportunity to influence the creation and growth of new work. This collaboration between writers, directors, actors and audiences is integral to Hull Truck Theatre’s commitment to producing inspiring theatre that reflects the diversity of a modern Britain.
Three events in particular invite audiences to engage with new work and offer feedback to influence future development:
Taking the form of three punchy 15-minute plays by emerging writers, Hull Truck Shorts are fresh from the pens of Jim English, Lydia Marchant and Josh Overton, and directed by Artistic Director, Mark Babych. Joining them as part of a team of actors is Samuel Edward-Cook, known by fans of Peaky Blinders as Danny Whizz-Bang.
New Year New Work is a creative project that connected six Hull writers with six Hull directors earlier this year. The group took part in a day of workshops led by writer James Fritz (winner of Bruntwood Prize 2015), and directors Charlotte Bennett (Associate Director Soho Theatre) and Amy Leach (Associate Director West Yorkshire Playhouse), followed by a one-week deadline to draft a scene. Following a mission to experiment with their imagination, the sharing of these scripts will be truly unique and is guaranteed to entertain.
First Time Out unleashes new theatre through scratch sessions and encourages honest feedback during the early rehearsal process. Whilst offering a chance to see how drama is shaped, this is also a valuable exercise for the theatre makers in growing their work in response to public input. Bellow Theatre, Tess Seddon and Laura Turner show us what they are working on, and invite audiences to influence the next steps.
For artists, the festival begins with the Artist Development Tradefair, a chance for artists to meet programmers and promoters from the wider region to connect and find out about support on offer. Collaboration Speed-dating brings together performers, producers, designers, directors, writers, dramaturgs and choreographers to meet, greet, go forth and collaborate. Meanwhile, Slate Social is run by Eclipse Theatre and provides a place to network with artists of colour, exchange tips and enjoy motivational talks by guest speakers Siddi Majubah and Yvie Holder. The festival sees experienced promoter Mark Makin run his How to book a tour course, suitable for artists and companies looking to learn about getting a show on the road.
Grow Festival 2018 sees Hull Truck Theatre’s foyers being subject to an original installation from designer Anna Bean who brings her trademark quirky gold and cat-themed style, whilst Winner of the Hull Dance Prize Ed Grimoldby has also been commissioned to create an interactive digital installation, allowing the public to manipulate and experience HD projection – along with a workshop on ‘motion sensor tracking’ in performance.
Grow Festival is as much for audiences as it is for artists, combining a range of styles to present a vibrant and open platform of experience and collaboration. Visitors can either book to see shows separately or take advantage of the Grow Festival 2018 Pass, giving people an access all areas ticket for just £40.