Hull Truck Theatre’s Next ‘Be Our Guest’ Resident Could Be You!

06 Mar 2024 | Press Release

Hull Truck Theatre recently announced the continued development of local artists or theatre companies by offering three bursaries once again through their Be Our Guest residency in connection with Grow Festival 2024.

Grow Festival aims to support artists and develop local talent with a programme of sharing workshops and networking opportunities. The festival offers a platform for artists of all ages and at any point in their careers to share their work with local audiences and make new industry connections. Each successful Be Our Guest bursary recipient will receive £1,500 along with five days of rehearsal space at Hull Truck Theatre to develop their work.

Hull Truck Theatre have reconnected with Writer Jim Norris, one of the 2023 bursary winners to find out why he applied, how he found the experience, and what he is doing now, one year later. 

Q. Why did you apply to the ‘Be Our Guest’ residency?

Jim: “I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could really do it, to get a bit of writing out there on stage!  I wanted that challenge to be in a supportive environment that would give me an amazing opportunity to watch and learn as much as I could about theatre and this opportunity provided that, it was nerve wracking but amazing and I am so glad I put my application in.”

Jim Norris has lived and worked in Hull his whole life and uses his home city and the people he has met as inspiration to tell relatable stories with a local focus. Jim worked on the Middle Child Writer’s Group and was mentored by playwright Tom Wells which gave him confidence to apply for the residency and to keep writing.

Q. What was it like being at HTT and sharing your work in front of a live audience?

Jim: “From the welcome on the first day to the night my piece was shown the care, support and time the staff gave me at HTT was incredible. I felt like every day that I was there I was constantly learning and developing, and it changed my approach to writing completely. Regarding the live audience nothing really could have prepared me for the excitement, nerves but ultimately the warmth of the audience, it was wonderful to be part of it.”

Jim developed ‘No Scrap No Chips’ (working title), where brothers John and Colin are Rag and Bone men, collecting scrap using a horse and cart. All John wants is his brother by his side, the open road and maybe just maybe a grandfather clock. Colin wants out, a new world awaits. He just needs his brothers blessing, Grandfather clock optional. 

Q. What have you done since?

Jim: “I have continued to write and learn it’s just now I am doing it with more confidence. I was asked by Middle Child Theatre to write something for the Freedom Festival which went well and right now I am working on a Digital Short for HTT as part of this year’s Grow festival. Grow was such a great opportunity, and I would advise anyone thinking about applying to do it!”

There are three bursaries available as part of Be Our Guest 2024 for anyone aged 18+ who lives in (or is originally from) Hull or the East Riding of Yorkshire. Hull Truck Theatre is looking to support and develop bold new work that has not been performed before, offering a platform to present something inspiring, important or uniquely fun and entertaining.

ApplicationS are open to writers, directors, actors, movement directors – either as individuals or a collective. Please note that pieces of work that have been fully staged before and adaptations or revivals will not be considered, unless you can demonstrate that your approach to the story is new and innovative.

Successful artists will spend a week in residence at the theatre and at the end of the week share their work with a live audience in the Godber studio. There will be access to the theatre’s artistic, production, communications and technical departments for support and mentoring if required.

For more information and to apply for this exciting opportunity, please apply online by Friday 15th March. Visit Get Involved | HullTruckTheatre

If any of this process is inaccessible to you, please contact Hull Truck Theatre on to let them know how you would like to apply e.g., by video, and they will work with you to accommodate your requirements.

Tickets for the Be Our Guest sharing will be made available to buy from April via the Hull Truck Theatre website and will be priced on a Pay What You Can (PWYC) basis.

Jim Norris

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