Middle Child supporting #HullTakeover companies to head to Edinburgh Fringe

The Hull Takeover companies. Photo by Thomas Arran.

This summer, Hull is heading back to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as Absolutely Cultured’s Hull Independent Producer Initiative, in partnership with Middle Child, supported by Hull Truck Theatre and Back to Ours, support shows by five, highly acclaimed and exciting theatre companies from Hull.

The Hull Independent Producers Initiative supports and develops Hull’s performing arts sector through training and mentoring, along with championing emerging theatre companies living and working in the city.

Taking place from 2 to 26 August, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will once again see a Hull Takeover as Hull-based theatre companies The Herd, Middle Child, The Roaring Girls, Just Club and international acrobats Casus Circus, commissioned by Back to Ours take to the stage to show the world what Hull is made of.

Support at the Fringe

Three of the visiting companies – The Herd, Just Club and The Roaring Girls – will receive financial support from Absolutely Cultured.

In addition all companies will benefit from in-kind support including PR and marketing from Absolutely Cultured as well as wellbeing support from Middle Child.

Middle Child artistic director Paul Smith, said: “The Fringe has played a huge role in raising the profile of Middle Child by putting a company from Hull in front of audiences, critics and producers from further afield, no more so than in 2017, when we enjoyed huge success with All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, as part of the first Hull Takeover.

“To be able to help a new wave of Hull-based companies in 2019 to follow suit, with particular support for wellbeing and mental health at the Fringe, really excites us.”

The Herd, Middle Child, Roaring Girls, and Just Club will also be supported by Hull Truck Theatre to preview their shows as part of their ‘Grow’ season and will benefit from the peer support they can provide each other.

Both Middle Child and Casus will be able to offer the benefit of their previous successful experiences at Edinburgh fringe to the other companies in the Takeover programme.

This will be the second Hull Takeover at the Edinburgh Fringe following the success in 2017, where the Hull-based companies scooped accolades and received praise across the national media.

It was here that Hull theatre company Silent Uproar performed their show A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad), which has gone on to receive rave reviews everywhere it has performed on its current tour, and Middle Child sold out the Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall with the multi-award winning All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, which later transferred to the Bush Theatre in London.

Five unmissable shows

The Canary and the Crow

The return of the Hull Takeover sees Hull’s award-winning theatre company Middle Child return to the Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall to present their new lyrical, semi-autobiographical piece, The Canary and the Crow.

Written and performed by Daniel Ward, with music by Prez 96 and James Frewer, this grime and hip-hop inspired gig theatre performance is about the journey of a working-class black kid who is accepted to a prestigious grammar school.

Original live music and theatre combine to tell a story of the struggle between a new environment that doesn’t accept you and an old one that has no opportunity.

31 July – 25 August, 7.50pm, Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall

Standing Too Close on Our Own in the Dark

Formed by University of Hull graduates, founding members and best mates, Jamie Nowell, Matthew Collins and Jake Marsden, Just Club is a new theatre company established in Hull in 2018.

The Hull Takeover will see the company take their first ever show, Standing Too Close on Our Own in the Dark, to the Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall for one night only.

Standing Too Close on Our Own in the Dark was supported by Middle Child’s First Show Fund.

7 August, 10.30pm, Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall


Perfectly pitched to engage the youngest of audiences, The Herd will perform Slime, the story of a slug, a caterpillar and the quest for a leaf.

This squishy, squelchy, hilarious play for two to five-year-olds is a unique, accessible theatrical experience with immersive and colourful play for the very young.

2-24 August, Edinburgh Central Library, 11.15am

Beach Body Ready

The Roaring Girls create work that is fierce, feminist and fun. They will take their radically and riotously joyful new show Beach Body Ready, to this year’s Fringe, defiantly championing body positivity and sticking two fingers up at how the media says you should look.

This is The Roaring Girls Fringe debut and Beach Body Ready is also supported by Pleasance Futures.

31 July – 26 August, 1.10pm, Pleasance Courtyard Above

The Herd and The Roaring Girls are Supported Companies at Hull Truck Theatre and The Herd are a Hull Libraries’ Associate Theatre Company.


Originating from Brisbane, Australia, Casus Circus will take its Back to Ours co-commissioned DNA to the festival.

Casus is recognised as a leader in contemporary circus on the international stage, and DNA is a show of physical theatre in which the acrobats explore, wrestle and nurture their real-life stories.

1-25 August, 3.15pm, Palais du Variete, George Square Gardens

The Edinburgh Fringe takes place from 2 August until 26 August 2019, but Hull audiences will have a chance to see previews of four of the shows (Slime, Beach Body Ready, Standing Too Close On Our Own In The Dark and The Canary and the Crow) at Hull Truck Theatre between 13-17 July as part of the theatre’s Grow Artist Development Season.

For further information about the takeover visit absolutelycultured.co.uk.