The Humber Bridge is an important landmark for anyone who lives in Hull. Stretching out across the Humber, it looms over and beyond the motorway, serving as a welcome reminder that home is only a few short miles away. I’ll always remember arriving back at 5am after our first preview of Weekend Rockstars at Underbelly in 2015, the sun spectacularly rising over the water and its span, greeting our return.
That drive back from Edinburgh was a long one, and anyone who’s seen the Humber Bridge from the east will know that, in fact, any drive from Hull can take its time. Hull’s celebrated poet Philip Larkin described the city as being ‘the end of the line’, and both as a resident and theatre maker it can certainly feel that way; trying to get a reviewer or programmer to see your work when the last train leaves at 9pm is no mean feat!
In that respect, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival offers a lifeline to companies such as Middle Child like nothing else can. Hull is our home – it is where we live our lives and make our work – but Edinburgh serves as our stage to the rest of the world.
This year will mark the company’s fifth year at the Fringe since 2011, and there is no denying that without that exposure we would not be where we are today. We’ve forged relationships with writers, resulting in several commissions; we have won a few awards, which is always nice to stick on a poster; we’ve been reviewed by The Guardian, and we were lucky enough to be asked to become an Associate Company of Paines Plough. None of these things would have happened were it not for the Fringe. Fact.
2017 is a special year. Not just for us but the whole city, and all the theatre companies working within it. Hull UK City of Culture 2017 are supporting a number of us taking work up to Edinburgh: Silent Uproar with A Super Happy Story; Bellow with Bare Skin on Briny Waters; Pub Corner Poets with Sad Little Man; and a new commission by curious directive, who will premiere Frogman. Plus, keep an eye out for our wonderful Hull 2017 volunteers on the 7th August, who will be taking over the Royal Mile in Edinburgh!
We can’t wait to demonstrate the breadth and quality of work that is being made in Hull, at the biggest arts festival in the world.
All We Ever Wanted Was Everything runs at the Paines Plough Roundabout @ Summerhall from 4-27 August 2017. Tickets on sale now.