The Hypocrite company will take up residence in the church from early January 2017 to start intensive rehearsals. It is the biggest show ever to grace our stage; there will be a cast of 18 actors, a large production team, and a set including innovative stage trickery and illusions.
Members of the production team recently went on their first site visit of the church to discuss the practicalities of rehearsing in a non-theatre space. They all remarked that the building was perfect for rehearsals – it’s only a fifteen-minute walk from the theatre and has ample room for the large team.
The church was purchased by the Goodwin Development Trust earlier this month. It will be used as a rehearsal and performance space for various projects throughout Hull’s year as UK City of Culture, providing a much-needed facility for local theatre companies and artists. The building will be redeveloped into an arts and performance based community centre during 2017, becoming the civic heart of the Thornton Estate. The Goodwin Development Trust have received funding from Power to Change and Garfield Western to carry out the capital development work on the building.
Renovations will include a two-storey extension, with a full refurbishment of the kitchen and toilets, as well as the installation of a lift to improve access. They will also include a foyer, exhibition space and new offices on the ground floor. The main rehearsal spaces will be refurbished to include new lighting, improved heating, electrics and fresh interior decoration, and the outside grass area will be landscaped to create a ‘village green’ atmosphere.
The Hypocrite will be the first production of 2017 to rehearse in the church, helping to transform ideas on how disused buildings can be repurposed by the local community.
Communities are at the heart of our work at Hull Truck Theatre, so it’s exciting that we’re going out into the local area to rehearse our first show of 2017. The company will be a visible part of Thornton Estate - they’ll be using all the local amenities, from the Goodwin Community Café at the Octagon Centre to the fish and chip shop opposite the church. The Goodwin Development Trust are giving Holy Apostles Church a new lease of life by transforming it into an arts and community centre for local people. It’s going to be a wonderful legacy for Hull and we look forward to our ongoing work with them.
We can think of nothing better than to allow Hull Truck Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Hull UK City of Culture 2017 full use of the building while we wait for the refurbishment work to commence. It is the perfect way for the building to begin its brand-new future as a thriving cultural centre. The rehearsals for The Hypocrite will set the bar high and hopefully show the creative community that the church is fit-for-purpose, even before the refurbishment. This is the beginning of many more successful collaborations and new ways of working. It feels like we are trail-blazing!