Thank you, Hull

By | Uncategorised

Dear Hull,

I’m writing to say thank you for responding so unequivocally since my previous letter.

In that piece, I explained how our ticket sales for Baby, He Loves You were well below what we’d hoped, with 32% of tickets sold just one week from opening.

Since then, we have been absolutely blown away by the response, with so many of you sharing the post, shouting about the show, booking tickets and a number of groups and individuals even donating so that people who couldn’t otherwise afford it could see the show. It has been nothing short of incredible and everyone at Middle Child has been really moved by it all.

Now, as Baby, He Loves You closes, we’re delighted to say that we have reached 111% of our income target, selling 532 more tickets than what we sold for our show this time last year, Modest, and with thanks to a number of anonymous donors who paid for free tickets to be shared with people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.

Not only that, but we have also been completely stunned by the volume, positivity and enthusiasm of your feedback at shows and online. It is safe to say that this has been one of our most positively received shows to date, and we’re absolutely delighted.

Thank you for supporting new writing, and taking time out to come and watch the show. It is important to say that while the sales for this show have been a huge boost, times remain tough for Middle Child, for theatres and theatre companies like us.

We know letters like this one and urgent appeals aren’t sustainable long-term and urge you to continue valuing and supporting live performance however and whenever you can.

We still have a £40,000 fundraising target to meet this year both through private fundraising and our pay what you can supporters’ scheme. Your support helps us to better make our case to funders during increasingly competitive funding rounds and the feedback we’ve received on this show proves the value of our work – and of the importance of locally-rooted new writing in general.

In the interest of paying it forward, we’d love to highlight some other new work and theatre companies in Hull, which equally deserve your support:

Dead Girls Rising – Maureen Lennon / Silent Uproar, 4-7 June at the Welly Club

Guts! The Musical – Maureen Lennon / Hull Truck Theatre, 29 June-6 July at Hull Truck Theatre

The Herd Theatre

From Below Theatre

She Productions

Wolfpack Theatre

Last Pick Theatre

Hull Urban Opera

Concrete Youth

There’s also going to be plenty more opportunities to support new plays by local writers at our upcoming Fresh Ink Hull playwriting festival, which begins this July. Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you get all the info straight to your inbox!

Thanks again, Hull. We love you and will continue working our arses off to create ambitious and high-quality new work which speaks directly to the people of this city.

Paul Smith, artistic director and CEO, Middle Child

A fat white woman with red hair in bunches dressed as Red Riding Hood dances with arms outstretched. In the background a panto dame plays guitar.

Red Riding Hood rides again with Back to Ours

By | News, Panto, Uncategorised

That’s right: our panto will return for four-days only in the February half-term, as we embark on a mini-tour of Hull with Back to Ours. Awooooo!

Red Riding Hood, Pattie Breadcake and the gang will visit community centres around Southcoates, Hessle Road, Orchard Park and Marfleet, with the family-version of the show on the following dates:

  • Wed 14 Feb – St Aiden’s Church, Southcoats Ave
  • Thu 15 Feb – Edinburgh Community Centre, Woodcock St
  • Fri 16 Feb – St Michael’s Church Hall, Orchard Park Rd
  • Sat 17 Feb – St Stevens Neighbourhood Centre, Annandale Rd

Performances will be at 2pm and 7pm at all venues on all dates.

This is the first time we’ve toured our panto and we can’t thank Back to Ours enough for the opportunity to head out of the city centre with our daft little show.

Tickets are on-sale now through the Back to Ours website.

Jay Mitra, a South Asian nonbinary person, is sat on the steps outside looking directly at the camera. They have black hair and are wearing a white t-shirt, a studded black and red leather jacket, and black leather trousers. The photographer Jeanie Jean is credited on the bottom right of the photo.

Jay Mitra: What I learned as a young trustee

By | News, Uncategorised

Outgoing trustee, Jay Mitra, shares a behind the scenes view of being a young trustee for Middle Child

Jay Mitra, a South Asian nonbinary person, is sat on the steps outside looking directly at the camera. They have black hair and are wearing a white t-shirt, a studded black and red leather jacket, and black leather trousers. The photographer Jeanie Jean is credited on the bottom right of the photo.

As a writer from Hull, applying for a position on the board of Middle Child was an easy decision. Middle Child played a monumental part in my own career as a writer – of course I’d want to give back in any way I could.

It was in 2019, when I had just lost the Hull heat of the prestigious Roundhouse poetry slam, that I first encountered Middle Child. They reached out to me in a moment of defeat.

Little did I know, the artistic director of Middle Child was in the audience that night and saw something in my poetry. Paul Smith requested my contact details from the organisers and then emailed me with a paid writing retreat opportunity.

Why am I telling you this? Because it speaks to where Middle Child’s heart is—with the underdogs. The people who don’t necessarily succeed first time around. The person whose voice trembles on stage. The performance poet who may still have to read from the page. Those who have something important to say and just need a little help saying it.

If you are interested in theatre, writing, and most importantly, the development of people, why wouldn’t you want to be a small part of a theatre company that actively makes a positive difference to their local city?

Anti-Racist, queer-friendly and compassion driven: Middle Child has made waves in Hull and inspired many budding playwrights, poets, and writers — me included.

But what does it mean to take on the responsibility of Young Trustee?

As a young trustee, you are a part of the board of Middle Child – a charity and Arts Council England national portfolio organisation (NPO).

It is an unpaid position, but you will be offered free tickets to incredible shows, food and drink will be provided on board meeting days and your travel will be reimbursed too.

All they want from you is a few hours every few months to attend board meetings, which you can do virtually if need be, and your insight, both professional and personal. They will give you board meeting dates several months in advance so you can book time off work if need be.

The only reason I am stepping down from this position is because I am starting my career in teaching, so will be unavailable during school hours in the work week and thus less able to make it to board meetings.

This is something to keep in mind before applying for the trustee position—the board meetings are where important decisions are made in running the company, so make sure your job and work/life balance is flexible enough to attend.

What if I don’t have much to contribute? I’m just a student!

If I’m honest, as a young trustee, I was mildly intimidated at my first board meeting. I felt I didn’t have a huge amount of industry knowledge to make a massive difference to the proceedings and discussions.

If you’re a young person who is relatively new to theatre, this may well be one of the reasons who are putting off applying for the position. To that I say: do it anyways! Apply! Especially if you come from a marginalised background like me!

Even though I didn’t have a lot of knowledge around accounting or avenues of fundraising, I did have my lived experience around being a disabled, brown, queer person. A diverse board is important and can help an NPO like Middle Child reach demographics it might not have.

I distinctly remember having a conversation about the problematic term ‘BAME’ and the move towards discussing the inclusion of alternative terms like ‘Global Majority’. It’s a small thing, but an important conversation to have.

Similarly, as a transmasculine person, playing a small part in the production of a show like Modest — which showcased some of the UK’s best drag kings — was incredibly inspiring and exposed me to new possibilities for queer theatre.

Everyone on the board is friendly and understanding — they are not expecting you to be an expert on all things theatre and business; they just want you to be present and contribute any way you can, even if it’s in a small way.

The benefits of learning the mechanics of it all

I was never all that clued up on what goes on behind the scenes of running a theatre company — spoiler alert: a lot! However the board offered me valuable insight into fundraising targets, operating reserves, and the importance of spreadsheets.

I learnt about the way funding has changed over the years, the intricacies of applying for Arts Council applications and how to deal with deficits and surpluses.

As a Middle Child trustee, you begin to have a much deeper understanding around the dips and troughs of finances in the theatre scene and how to navigate alternative avenues of investment.

I learnt about efficient fundraising and how it is much more difficult to secure money from trusts and foundations, as opposed to working alongside your local city council.

In the board meetings, you also get clear insight into budget breakdowns and you can have a say in how much is set aside in productions, salaries, artist development.

You see the steps the company is taking in terms of inclusivity, for example, how they have contacted transport organisations to sponsor and provide travel to shows, or creating an Acting Gym that gives actors a space to try out new material and exercise their skills.

The trustee position allows you exclusive access to the behind the scenes of Middle Child and if you are still young and don’t have lots of experience in creative industries, it’s certainly a good one for the CV.

Being on a board exposes you to different areas of expertise and allows you to build your network with various industry professionals—all of whom you can learn immense amounts from.

  • See the recruitment page for Middle Child trustees. Applications close on Tuesday 7 November.
Hull Audience Survey

2023 Hull Audience Survey results

By | News, Uncategorised

Audience development manager, Jamie Potter, shares some of the headline results from our recent Hull audience survey and what it means for Middle Child as a company

A few weeks ago we invited Hull audiences to take a survey about our work and theatre in general, to help us plan for future activity. We hoped that 100 people would respond and you smashed that, with 181 responses.

We have some headline insights to share below, but first of all thank you to everybody who took the time to complete a survey.

Monitoring and evaluation, that wonderful term of jargon, is the least sexy part of theatre. It’s often laborious and usually a buzzkill for those on the receiving end, but it can also be invaluable.

Already, the results from this survey are helping to shape some of our plans, just as your response to our world cup survey last year gave us the confidence to shift the dates of our 2022 Christmas show. So again, thank you.

The results

Those 181 responses were across four ever-so-slightly different versions of the survey: one for people who have seen both our panto and new writing work; one for people who have only seen panto; one for people who have only seen our new writing and one for people who have never seen any of our work.

By new writing we mean a new script, that has never been produced. No Shakespeare or Churchill here. Not that there’s no place for that kind of work, it’s just not what we do as a company.

Now, onto the sexiest bit of the least sexy bit of theatre: what you said.


People are going out less frequently in the past 12 months compared to the previous year, especially our audiences who only come to panto. That’s unsurprising, given the ongoing cost-of-living (horrible phrase) crisis.1

As it happens, sales for Red Riding Hood continue at the same pace as Robin Hood did last year. While we may be cutting back on nights out elsewhere, people still want to celebrate those big occasions, like Christmas. It does however pose a challenge for theatre makers away from the draw of Pattie Breadcake.

Middle Child style

We were particularly keen to know what people who have seen our work before enjoy the most about our style. At this point we’d like to say thank you especially for all of the additional comments about your favourite Middle Child productions. These are really useful for us to understand exactly what makes a good night out for our audiences.

Back to the stats and for people who have only seen our panto, live music (93%), liveness (89%) and a local cast (86%) are the most appealing elements of our panto. When looking at respondents who have seen new writing, or new writing and panto, a majority consider “a new script” (68%) and “challenging subject matter” (52%) somewhat or very important. Similarly, 96% of new writing fans agree or strongly agree that they “like to take risks and would aim to see a play where the content or style is new to me.”

That’s validation of our mission to creating work not is not only a good night out, but which centres big ideas, working towards a world where anybody’s story can be told and heard. As theatre continues to adjust to the impact of covid, we will nail our new writing and good night out colours to the mast.

To our surprise, only 3% of people who have seen our new writing work consider large sets somewhat or very important, and only 9% consider large (six or more) casts somewhat or very important.

Our most recent shows, such as Modest and There Should Be Unicorns, were both “mid-scale”, featuring larger casts and more complicated sets. While these were huge successes for us and we are proud of what they achieved, mid-scale work is also expensive and complicated to make. Expensive mainly.

As Middle Child and the wider industry grapple with higher costs and overstretched budgets, it’s interesting that our audiences don’t see mid-scale work as vital to our identity as a company, despite loving the shows we have created at this level.


Firstly, I need to hold my hands up to making a pig’s ear of this question. The intention was to understand demand for certain offers, rather than the value people place on each. I also forgot to include wheelchair access, as we always ensure this as a given and have done for many years now. When we next run this survey, we’ll make sure to improve that question.

Despite that error we were still able to find out that performers using microphones was the offer most people thought somewhat or very important (46%), followed by afternoon shows (41%) and relaxed performances (37%).

We remain committed as a company to providing BSL interpretation (26% thought somewhat or very important) for all our pantomimes and major productions, while literary manager Matthew May has now undertaken training in audio description, which will be integrated at every pantomime performance this Christmas.

Reviews and feedback

Audiences place more value on positive feedback from other audience members, including those they don’t know, than four or five-star reviews.2

Whether there should be more reviews, to engage in critical debate around a show and to document work for future generations, is another question entirely.

Word of mouth is how most people hear about our work (so please shout about us)


Our email and Facebook page are the most popular channels that we manage, in terms of where people have heard about our activity in the past year. Meanwhile word of mouth and Facebook are the most popular non-Middle Child channels.3

Word of mouth is always by far the most popular in our post-show surveys too, reflecting the importance of feedback in the previous point. One of the best ways you can support our work as an audience member then is to tell anybody who will listen to come see our work.


£15-19 is the median ideal price for a standard ticket for a two-hour play, as chosen by 46% of respondents. This also happens to be what we charged for Modest back in May and for Red Riding Hood, coming up this Christmas.

Finding the balance between making theatre affordable and covering our costs is always tricky, so it’s reassuring to know that we are on the right lines with that.

We also continue to make performances financially accessible through things like pay what you decide shows, solidarity tickets and partnerships with local community groups and funders to offer free tickets.


There is a strong appetite to see work-in-progress theatre, especially among new writing audiences, where 92% agree or strongly agree they would like to see some.

This is already proving the case with our Out Loud scratch night: 75% of audiences who attended Casino and 67% who attended 1988 and Shit Life Crisis did not work in the arts.

What next?

We continue to dig into the results further and bear them in mind as we start work on Red Riding Hood and our big show for next year Baby, He Loves You, as well as longer-term thinking. This includes future big show commissions and an exciting new writing programme coming next summer, which we’ll have more details about next month.

We are confident that as that work unfolds, you will be able to join the dots between this survey and the shows we stage in the future, so thank you once again for sharing your feedback.

  1. 46% of all respondents said they are going out less frequently to some degree, compared with 28% going out about the same amount and 25% going out more frequently to some degree. For people who’ve only attended panto, the figure going out less frequently to some degree is 51%.
  2. 32% of all respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I am more likely to want to see a Middle Child show if I read a four or five-star review of it first”; whereas 70% of all respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I am more likely to want to see a Middle Child show if I read/hear a positive response to it from another audience member that I know.”
  3. 70% of respondents who have seen our work have heard about us through our email and 68% through our Facebook page. 57% of respondents who have seen our work have heard about us through word of mouth and 52% through other Facebook sources.

Sarah Penney and Danielle Harris join the team

By | Uncategorised

Middle Child welcome a new senior producer and general and production manager to the team

Sarah Penney, who has been working as interim senior producer part-time since February, takes on the role full-time from 12 September.

Danielle Harris will also join the company as general and production manager, starting in January 2024.

Sarah Penney

Sarah Penney. Photo by Matthew Booth.

Sarah is the previous producer for Absolutely Cultured, part of fierce, feminist, fun company The Roaring Girls and chair of Hull-based theatre company Concrete Youth.

She is also a graduate of the University of Hull’s theatre and drama programme.

Sarah said: “I feel very privileged to join Middle Child permanently as their senior producer during this pivotal time for the company, as it looks forward to developing more brave, brilliant work and supporting local artists to reach their potential.

“Being both an audience member and an actor supported by Middle Child in the past, I know first-hand the impact that they have on the local and national arts ecology.

Sarah will also star in this year’s panto, Red Riding Hood, taking a short break from producing duties to appear on stage at Social.

Danielle Harris, general and production manager

Danielle Harris. Photo by Matthew Booth.

Meanwhile Danielle Harris has worked with Middle Child in the past as deputy stage manager for Modest, There Should Be Unicorns and The Canary and the Crow, as well as various pantomimes.

Her other recent work in a variety of production roles includes Dante (From Below), Mumsy (Hull Truck Theatre) and The Awakening (Leeds 2023). She is also a graduate of the University of Hull theatre programme.

Danielle said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the team as general and production manager in 2024. Middle Child are a brilliant company whose work and ethos I truly admire, so I’m very excited to become a part of it all on a permanent basis.”

Sarah added: “Bringing Danielle on board as general and production manager is also super exciting, and I can’t wait to work together on some really explosive upcoming work.”

Photos from Out Loud: 1988 and Shit Life Crisis

By | Uncategorised

Our most recent edition of Out Loud, a scratch night in association with Silent Uproar, took place with a double-bill on 28 and 29 July.

Writers Hannah Scorer and Olivia Hannah got to see work-in-progress version of their respective scripts, 1988 and Shit Life Crisis, performed script–in-hand by professional actors, in front of a friendly audience in the Middle Child rehearsal space.

Check out the gallery below of images by Anete Sooda and keep your eyes peeled for info about our next edition, featuring Cuckoo by Chris Pearson, in October 2023.

Trans Joy with the Modest Team

By | Uncategorised

It seemed like only yesterday that Modest wrapped, but there’s one last treat for you.

We teamed up with a local photographer Alex Costin to capture our wonderful trans creatives involved in Modest and to explore what trans joy means to them. Trans Hull, a group who arrange social events for trans people in the city, then shared our teams’ feelings on their Instagram page and now we’d like to bring them all together into one place for you to enjoy.

“To me trans joy is feeling like I don’t give a fuck I’m walking around here having a bloody great time!”

Eliyana She/Her

Sound Designer and Music Producer

“Trans joy is finding pockets of people who are so diverse in so many ways but all share the same collective goal. Authentic self to the front!”

LJ They/Them


“Trans joy comes in many wonderful shapes and sizes and feels unique to each individual. To me trans joy is the adventure of rediscovering what it meant to be you. The exciting feeling if peeling away all the heavy perceptions that have been pushed upon you and finally being able to breathe in your own skin. To be given permission to wear what you want and like what you want, to no longer be trying to fit into someone else’s box. Because what else brings more joy than seeing people flourish?”

Jessie They/Them

Lighting Designer

“Trans joy to me, is the feeling of freeness and comfortability by being myself in the spaces outside of my home. It’s the final touches of makeup, and seeing my reflection slowly mirror who I am inside. It’s the smiles you get from across the street and the friends that hold you together, support and love you. It’s about being happy.”

Libra She/They


“Trans joy is dancing with my queer family. Being at peace. Getting by. Seeing trans sibling thrive. Trans joy is resilience.”

Luke They/Hey


“Trans joy to me is finding the confidence to live unapologetically as myself and finally felling valid. It is being seen as who I am by the people closet to me. It is finding a piece of clothing, character in a film, or lyrics in a song that you connect with, that gives you that euphoric feeling of excitement like butterflies in your stomach. It is being yourself and the journey of discovering who you are.”

Celeste They/Them

Embedded Artist

“Trans joy means taking up space unapologetically, not waiting in the wings like a thief in the night. Not avoiding life, running and hiding when faced with insurmountable odds but staying the course, finding strength and support, belief and love from friends. Really believing there is a place for you in society now and in the future.”

Michelle She/Her

Q&A host

Modest: Production Photos

By | Uncategorised

Modest is finally out there in the world, having premiered at Hull Truck Theatre 23-27 May.

This “outstanding piece” uses “a potent mix of drag, searing comedy, indignant fury and tenderness” (★★★★ The Stage) to tell the story of Elizabeth Thompson, superstar Victorian artist.

See below for the production photos by Tom Arran and catch this brand new show, created in collaboration with Milk Presents, on tour at the following venues:

  • Crucible Theatre, Sheffield – 9-10 Jun
  • Northern Stage, Newcastle – 12-13 Jun
  • New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich – 16-17 Jun
  • Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough – 19-21 Jun
  • The Warehouse in Holbeck, Leeds – 23 Jun
  • Kiln Theatre, London – 29 Jun-4 Jul

See our listings page for more details, including how to book tickets.

Modest: So Much Queer Joy

By | Blog, Uncategorised

Hull writer, performer and poet Michelle Dee responds to seeing Modest at Hull Truck Theatre this week.

Michelle was invited to host our post-show discussion and kindly shared her thoughts with us after seeing the performance not just once, but twice! 

CW: the following may contain moments of unbridled joy, effusive praise and “Oh my God, I feel seen…”

During the Q&A at Modest on Wednesday night, we discovered through assistant director Prime Isaac that the team saw over 2,000 queer performers, before settling on the present cast. And I, as the invited chair of the post-show panel, said: “Over 2,000 queer performers? I thought I was the only one.” An off-the-cuff remark, but one that goes to the heart of the isolation that trans people can experience throughout their lives.

When Emer Dineen, who plays Elizabeth, breaks into the ovation during the curtain call and says “support your trans siblings”, it feels like a torchlight or a touchstone in theatre-making in Hull. Five years ago as dancers in Gary Clarke’s Into the Light, we issued a rallying cry to the throng during LGBT50: “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re showing no fear!” Tonight, with heart similarly busting and a glowing, feels like another breakthrough.

Modest, a queer drag king cabaret, co-directed by Paul Smith of Middle Child and Luke Skilbeck of Milk Presents, feels radical and relevant to what is happening today. At its heart is the story of the real-life Victorian artist Miss Elizabeth Thompson, later Lady Butler, evocatively described as, “the baddest, bitchin’ babe of art” and her fight in 1879 London, to be accepted into the Royal Academy.

Elizabeth is a woman at the top of her game, not being given the recognition she deserves; a woman reluctantly becoming inspiration and trailblazer; a woman trying to break down patriarchal barriers; a woman trying to be seen and heard when men rule the roost and crow about it. Where have we heard that before? Answer. Almost every activity, industry, creative pursuit that ever there has been, from the arts to the sciences and everything else, ever.

The show’s title Modest refers to a particular trait that Elizabeth does not display. The aforementioned baddest babe of art is anything but modest. However, she knows to play it demure when occasion demands. Trained in the classic style of the Florentine school, she also knows she is a damn good artist. Furthermore, she has captured the public’s imagination and the attention of the press, even royalty. Now the top hats at the Royal Academy are spitting feathers and champagne down their waistcoats.

Let us remind ourselves that Elizabeth comes from a family of privilege. If she had been a working class woman these kind of opportunities would not have been within her grasp. As it is, through hard work and undoubtable talent and skill, she is destined to become a very fine painter. Setting herself yet further apart from the rest is her subject matter.

It is not enough for her to be a woman artist; Elizabeth is a war artist. And not enough is it to be a war artist, no. She eschews the charger riding heroism, for deeply moving depictions of humanity, painting the abject futility of war. So much radicalism, so much to admire in one woman. Was Elizabeth really like that? It doesn’t matter. The Elizabeth created by Modest writer Ellen Brammar is this and much more besides.

This Elizabeth is unapologetically arrogant. She is bloody good and she knows it, and what’s more, she knows that everybody else knows it too. Talent runs in the family. Her sister Alice Meynell is an eminent essayist and poet, and in a curious echo of her sister, will twice be turned down for poet laureate during her lifetime. And have we heard of Alice or Elizabeth before? Not likely, because history is written by the victors.

I said this play was radical and relevant and it is. Casting Alice as transgender, brilliantly played by Fizz Sinclair, is a stroke of genius. Her activism and desire for her sister to be that trailblazer; to raise the rest of the sisterhood; to be a figurehead of emancipation, just because she has one foot in the door at the Royal Academy, opens up all manner of debates.

Namely, an artist’s role is always to use their talent to better the lives of others. Two, a minority owes it to the world to be a spokesperson and role model for their people. Three, an artist should use their art to talk about the important issues of the day. I could go on.

Elizabeth is doing some of that. Her paintings pricked the ridiculous pomposity of the upper classes, shone a bright light in the face of the patriotic fervour found in canvases where boy soldiers prance about on horseback on foreign soils, getting enlisted men killed by the thousands, in foolhardy skirmishes.

Then there is Bessie, an aspiring young artist played with great affection by Libra Teejay – who, if asked, would certainly describe themselves as Elizabeth’s biggest fan – who also just happens to be non-binary. The way they describe how they see themselves just touches my heart. So that’s at least two gender queer characters, in one play, on one stage, from opposite ends of the social ladder, doing, saying and feeling different things at different times, who are not in any way tragic, and don’t get murdered. I’d say that is pretty damn radical.

During the interval I said to the woman in front of me: “The men appear to be having more fun.” She nodded, remarking: “Isn’t that always the way?” The men, to whom I am referring, are the RAs. The Royal Academicians (so not easy to say) who view the Royal Academy of Art as their own personal fiefdom, wielding their power and privilege and delighting in petty gamesmanship at every turn.

These wily mutton-chopped heads of the table – stuffed shirts so bloated with superiority and supercilious air – are deliciously portrayed and undercut by a hatful of leading names in drag king-dom. The RAs are a riot. Every moment they are on stage there is an extra frisson of queer joy in the room.

All this and I’ve not mentioned the understated set, featuring a central column, designed by QianEr Jin; the subtle lighting by Jessie Addinall, or the fabulous outfits designed by Terry Herfield and Sian Thomas: if you are a fan of tight black leather you will be in seventh heaven. And then there’s the music: it is cabaret theatre after all.

The variety of songs in Modest and musical styles including queer pop, music hall and electronica, have been composed by Rachel Barnes. The titular song Modest is an absolute tour de force, and I for one can’t wait to be swept away by Emer’s soaring vocals once again. Bossy Women, a duet between Alice and Elizabeth is something of a feminist anthem; then there’s the torch song number Goodbye, Miss Thompson, sung in heartbreaking fashion by Bessie, now wearing their best dress.

Modest: A blink and you’ll miss it abundantly queer cabaret, that uses a historical framework to ask pertinent questions while subverting gender roles, introducing delicious stage presence and drag king swagger, and damn fine performances throughout.

Michelle Dee is a writer, performer and poet. She is co-producer of Women of Words Hull, with commissioned works for BBC Contains Strong Language, Yorkshire Dance and Apples and Snakes, often found prancing around on stage for the cabaret Sideshow Wonderland. 

A red and white ring toss target that says Little Red Riding Hood

Our audience choose Little Red Riding Hood as 2023 panto

By | News, Panto, Uncategorised

The votes are in and, after pulling an all-nighter to check the count with David Dimbleby, dame Sister Skeg is delighted to reveal that our 2023 panto will be…

A red and white ring toss target that says Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood

The classic fairy tale about the little girl and the hungry wolf was the overwhelming favourite with our audience for Robin Hood: Prince of Thorngumbald.

They were able to choose between four different stories for us to produce for this year’s show, voting in a sidestall at Social throughout the run of our Christmas show.

Our audience have chosen our panto story in this way every year since selecting The Little Mermaid in 2019.

We’ll have more details available about this year’s panto in the spring, so stay tuned. Sign up to our mailing list to be the first in the know.