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A white woman with long dark hair, in lilac dungarees, yellow jumper, gold party hat and pink cape makes a superhero pose, against blue background with white clouds and text that says "There Should Be Unicorns"

There Should Be Unicorns to open in Hull

By | Events, News, Shows, Uncategorised
A white woman with long dark hair, in lilac dungarees, yellow jumper, gold party hat and pink cape makes a superhero pose, against blue background with white clouds and text that says

Flutter your capes and zhuzh up your rainbows – we have a new show coming to town!

There Should Be Unicorns is a hip hop family musical coming to Stage @ The Dock in Hull from 7-8 May, made in association with Beats Bus.

Join 11-year-old Jasmine on an adventure to make the world a better place, powered only by her imagination and a belief in unicorns.

Come dressed as the superhero version of yourself and help Jasmine take on the bullies, villains and ideas that shape the world around her.

There Should Be Unicorns is inspired by the story of Beats Bus co-founder, Steve Arnott, who was the subject of Sean McAllister’s 2018 documentary, A Northern Soul.

Steve stars as Jasmine’s dad, alongside Beats Bus co-founder Kobby Taylor, who you may also recognise from The Canary and the Crow and The Little Mermaid.

In the show Jasmine’s dad inspires her to rebel against the pressure to conform and put herself first as she gets ready to move to senior school.

We’d love to see families from across Hull turn out in fancy dress to support Jasmine in her quest and free face painting will be available all weekend, from Fantastic Faces.

A Black man applauds a white boy on a microphone. In the background lots of children watch.

Kobby Taylor leading a Beats Bus workshop

Free tickets, available 30 March

Free tickets have been made possible thanks to the support of Wykeland Group, Without Walls and Freedom Festival Arts Trust.

They go on-sale through the Middle Child website at 12 noon, Wednesday 30 March.

For the first time at a Middle Child show we are providing integrated audio description in all performances, alongside BSL interpretation on Sunday 8 May.

The venue also opens an hour before the show and you’re welcome to bring in food from the many independent shops and cafes around the Fruit Market.

There Should Be Unicorns premieres in Hull, before heading on a national tour of outdoor festivals, including a return to Freedom Festival, so come join us for a kick-ass opening weekend!

There Should Be Unicorns is supported by Wykeland Group, Without Walls, Freedom Festival Arts Trust, Hull City Council, Foyle Foundation and Garfield Weston.

Fantastic Faces logo

Five new people join the Board of Trustees

By | News

Middle Child are delighted to welcome five new faces to the Board of Trustees.

Collage of the five new trustees

Clockwise from top left: Jack Heaton, Rozzy Knox, Amanda Smethurst, Magda Moses and Jay Mitra

Jack Heaton is head of marketing at Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and has previously worked at Arts Council England, Paines Plough and New Diorama.

Rozzy Knox is head of finance at Battersea Arts Centre and previously worked as the executive director (maternity cover) at Middle Child and assistant producer at the Bridge Theatre in London.

Jay Mitra is a non-binary British Indian punk poet, writer and artist based in Hull and Manchester. They wrote for Middle Child on we used to be closer than this in 2021 and took part in the 2019 Writers’ Group.

Magda Moses is artistic director of the National Initiative for Creative Education in Hull and an examiner and writer of GCSE and A-Level Polish.

Amanda Smethurst is a community artist and Clore Fellow who has previously worked at Artlink in Hull and Arts Council England in London.

The new trustees join existing board members Jane Fallowfield, Fiona Hope, John R. Wilkinson, Emma Tucker and chair, Martin Green CBE.

A young woman in a movement workshop with text that says "Kickstart Scheme"

Work with Middle Child through the Kickstart scheme

By | News

We are looking for two people to join the Middle Child team as part of the government’s Kickstart scheme, for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit.

The scheme offers paid work for 25 hours per week over six months and we have two roles available:

Digital Marketing Assistant – flex your social media and web skills to speak with our audiences and the wider theatre industry, about the work we are doing in Hull and beyond.

Production Assistant – get stuck-in behind the scenes to keep the cogs turning on our upcoming shows and workshops, as well as help manage our rehearsal space and library in Hull.

Both roles will start by 31 March 2022, ahead of our big outdoor family musical in the spring and the opening of our creative space to the public in the summer.

We are prioritising potential over experience and these positions will be an ideal entry point to a career in the arts.

See our recruitment page for more details about the Kickstart roles and how to apply, before the deadline of Monday 7 March.

A white man in blue t-shirt leaning against a wall

Free 1:1 feedback for Hull playwrights

By | Artist Development, News
A white man in blue t-shirt leaning against a wall

Are you writing a play and looking for feedback on your latest draft?

Starting in March, Middle Child literary manager, Matthew May, is offering 1:1 Script Support meetings with writers local to Hull to provide notes and support.

The sessions are aimed at writers without current access to dramaturgical support, such as those not under commission or attached to an existing project.

Writers will be chosen at random from a pool of applicants to attend a one-off, two-hour meeting with Matthew.

Meetings will run throughout the year and applications are now open to bag one of the first three spots.

See the 1:1 Script Support page for more details, including how to apply.

Panto voting booth with four buckets recessed into a piece of wood painted with stripes

Revealed: our 2022 Hull panto, as chosen by you

By | News, Panto

Every year our panto audience decides which fairy tale they’d most like to see us bring to life the following Christmas.

Rapunz’ull was no different and you voted in your droves, with Robin Hood, Aladdin, Snow White and Cinderella in the poll.

Panto voting booth with four buckets recessed into a piece of wood painted with stripes

After counting your votes, checking, double checking, and bloody well checking again, we are now able to announce this year’s show.

The 2022 Middle Child panto, as chosen by you, will be…

Robin Hood in yellow text on a green background

Yes, revolutionary fever has gripped Hull and you want to see some good old fashioned stealing from the rich, so who are we to argue with that?

Robin Hood will go on-sale later in the year. Stay tuned for ticket details and dates.

We’ll be back soon with Out Loud, a new writing night at Humber Street Gallery, in association with Silent Uproar, and There Should Be Unicorns, a spectacular outdoor family show coming to Hull in the spring.

A white woman in stripey top, dungarees and backwards baseball cap holds a placard that says 'viva la revolution'

What Plan B means for panto

By | News, Panto

The government last night introduced new measures against Covid-19 that affect theatres, such as mandatory face masks for indoor public venues.

This includes Social, where our panto Rapunz’ull runs from 16-24 December.

Vaccine passports do not apply, however we are still kindly asking if you could do our team and fellow audience members a huge favour and take a lateral flow test before you leave home.

What else we’re doing

As we wrote last week, our cast and crew are taking lateral flow tests every day, while some of the wider Middle Child team have now returned to home working.

Social will also be deep cleaned every day throughout the run and has a ventilation system, while contactless e-tickets are the default and contactless payments are accepted at the bar.

We’re so excited to be back and part of your Christmases again, but we also want to keep everyone safe, so please follow the guidance and help keep pantoland magical.

Lots of love,
Middle Child x

Rapunz'ull Covid Measures

A message for our panto audience about Covid-19

By | News, Panto

This post was updated on 8 December 2021 in line with new government measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Panto season is almost upon us and, after cancelling last year’s live show due to covid, we’re chomping at the bit to get back on-stage in front of an audience.

The pandemic is still here though and it’s something we are taking seriously in our preparations for Rapunz’ull, which also happens to be our 10th anniversary panto.

We want to make sure the show goes ahead, but most importantly that our audiences and company are kept as safe as possible.

We’re certain you feel the same too. Middle Child fans are a warm and wonderful bunch of people who care for each other and show off the best of Hull.

That’s why so many of you have already bought solidarity tickets, so that people who otherwise wouldn’t get to experience a festive show can enjoy Rapunz’ull this Christmas.

So, in that same spirit of solidarity and community, we’d like to make a pact with our audiences this year: to look out for each other over the next few weeks, so that the show may go on and we can have a banging Christmas night out together.

We will do what we can to protect the cast, crew and show itself. In return, we’d like you to do a few things to help us out.

Take a test

First, we’d like you to take a lateral flow test before attending the show, for peace of mind that you are unlikely to be infected.

We won’t be asking for you to prove these tests on the door, though, nor do vaccine passports apply to a venue of Social’s size. We’re all adults and we trust that you will do the right thing by yourself and other people.

If you can’t attend Rapunz’ull because of a positive test, please contact the box office at Hull Truck Theatre, who are managing ticket sales, to discuss options, including transferring your tickets to an alternative performance.

Please do so at least an hour before the performance begins and note that, for evening performances, the box office at Hull Truck closes at 5pm.

Wear a mask

Second, while we had previously encouraged audiences to wear masks in the venue, unless exempt, a face covering is now mandatory following the government’s move to ‘Plan B’ on 8 December.

We will have masks available at the box office as you enter Social.

The magic of panto is in the audience interaction, which we can still enjoy with a little piece of cloth over our faces.

The bar will also remain open to serve drinks, alongside the delicious Neapolitan-style pizza from Costanza’s, making for the usual panto experience.

How about Middle Child?

Our performers and production team will take lateral flow tests every day from the start of rehearsals to the end of the run and will act responsibly in any social situations throughout.

We have an understudy – an additional performer who learns other people’s roles – who will be kept separate to the cast, ready to step-in should a performer fall ill.

Middle Child and Social will also provide hand sanitiser throughout the venue and maintain a high-level of cleanliness during the run, while the building itself is also fitted with a ventilation system.

Should the worst happen and shows be cancelled, audiences will be refunded for their tickets, as per our refund policy.

As we blogged before, our pantomime isn’t subsidised, unlike our other work, which makes it a financial risk at the best of times.

That’s why we need to take extra care in this of all years, to ensure Rapunz’ull goes ahead without a hiccup and we keep people as safe as possible.

We are also monitoring the situation with the new variant closely and will respond accordingly should the government introduce any further measures.

We’re sure you agree and will understand.

As always, we love to hear from our audiences about the work we’re doing and if there’s anything we can do differently.

Please do get in touch through social media or by email if you have any other questions or suggestions.

Rehearsals start tomorrow and the whole team is excited to get in the room again after two years away. We can’t wait to see you all soon!

Middle Child x

Headshots of the eight performers of Rapunz'ull

Meet the cast of Rapunz’ull

By | News, Panto, Shows

We swear it’s still September, but the calendar don’t lie and rehearsals for this year’s panto, Rapunz’ull, start a week today. Ye gads!

In which case, we better introduce the talented performers who will be taking to the stage at Social this Christmas, from 16-24 December.

Alice Beaumont returns to panto to play the lead role and hero with the magic hair, Rapunzel.

Alice’s previous work with Middle Child includes pantomimes, The Little Mermaid and Cinderella, as well as All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

Jack Chamberlain will be tapping those toms and slapping those snares in musician’s corner, as well as getting up to mischief on the stage itself as Dogbreath.

Jack has appeared in numerous Middle Child Christmas shows, including as the Mirror in last year’s animated panto.

The multi-instrumentalist Alex Turner aspires to be, James Frewer will lead musical proceedings as Piano James and the show’s musical director.

Frew, as he likes to be known, has written music for Middle Child since the beginning on various shows, including All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, Us Against Whatever and The Canary and the Crow.

Marc Graham returns as Pattie Breadcake, Hull’s favourite guitar-shredding, husband-shedding panto dame.

Marc won a Stage Award for Excellence for his turn as the MC in All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and has handled more hecklers than Social has been called Fruit.

Making his panto debut under the lights at Social, as villain Mayor Gothel, is Angelo Irving.

You may recognise Angelo from his Black Boris viral videos, as well as Netflix’s Death to 2020, for which he also has a writing credit.

Angelo also reviews theatre for the likes of Exeunt and The Stage, after participating in our New Critics Programme in 2019, and also wrote for our summer cabaret, we used to be closer than this.

Anna Mitchelson joins the cast as understudy, part of our Covid-19 precautions to ensure the show can go on, ready to step-in should a performer fall ill.

Anna starred in our 2019 production of One Life Stand and also appeared in our comeback cabaret earlier this year, we used to be closer than this.

Panto regular Josie Morley stars as Ace Ladd, the Hull botanist in search of his radical roots who wants to start a revolution.

As well as appearing in countless Middle Child pantomimes, Josie also performed in our karaoke cabaret, Us Against Whatever and starred in The Roaring Girls’ Beach Body Ready.

The man whose face launched a thousand squeaks during Cinderella, Andrew Ross is the deadpan extraordinaire bar none.

Andrew will double-up stage management and clowning duties as Baron von Stagehand and has previously appeared as Pattie’s sister, Chips, in The Little Mermaid.

And joining us on Saturday 18 December as BSL interpreter for three performances, including family and late-night shows, is Dave Wycherley.

Dave has interpreted our pantomimes every year since 2017 and we are delighted to have him join us again this Christmas.

Production team

Working their wizardry behind the scenes is our amazing production team.

Natalie Young is the brains behind our set, props and costume design, bringing Hull Fair to Social, with special thanks to the University of Hull drama department for building the set.

Adam Foley is working wonders with the lights to capture the neon atmosphere of the fair on the usual modest budget.

Danielle Harris joins the rehearsal room as deputy stage manager and will run the show from the tech desk in the venue.

Paul Smith, Middle Child’s artistic director, has not only penned the script but will once again direct the show.

And finally the Middle Child core team will produce, production manage, dramaturg and market the show.

  • Tickets for Rapunz’ull are on-sale now, available from £10.50-£16.50.
Rapunzull Hull Panto

BSL-interpreted performances at Rapunz’ull

By | News, Panto

This year’s panto, Rapunz’ull, will include three BSL-interpreted performances on Saturday 18 December.

Interpreter Dave Wycherley will be on-stage for the family shows at 3pm and 6pm, plus the late-night, adult-only version at 9pm.

Discounted tickets for BSL-users are available for £10.50 for children and £13.50 for adults, with no additional booking fees.

Book now through the Middle Child website for the family shows or the late-night version.

Solidarity tickets available for Rapunz’ull

By | News, Panto

Every year at our rock’n’roll Hull panto we make over 200 solidarity tickets available to local community groups and charities, so that people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy a Christmas show can attend one of our performances for free.

These are subsidised by our audience members, who are forever generous with our bucket collection after each show.

Now this year, for the first time, you can contribute to these solidarity tickets when you purchase your own online, by adding extra tickets worth £5 each when prompted online, or by asking to make a contribution when ordering over the phone.

If you choose to add solidarity tickets to your order, Middle Child will gift them to local community and charity groups in Hull to attend Rapunz’ull this year.

With your help, theatre can be made even more accessible and you can change who gets to participate in the arts – something Middle Child have been striving to do since our founding in 2011.

  • Book now for Rapunz’ull, at Social on Humber Street from 16-24 December.
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