Category

Uncategorised

Daniel Ward - The Canary and the Crow

Daniel Ward shortlisted for Writers’ Guild Award

By | Uncategorised
Daniel Ward - The Canary and the Crow

The Canary and the Crow writer, Daniel Ward, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Writers’ Guild Award in the Best Play for Young Audiences category.

The Canary and the Crow is Daniel’s debut play, a semi-autobiographical story about a working class black kid who goes to a posh grammar school.

Daniel also stars in the show as the lead character, The Bird.

It debuted in Hull in July 2019, before going down a storm at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, where it won the Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence and was shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award.

Daniel is nominated alongside Mike Kenny for Like Water For Goldfish and Nessah Muthy for Small Wonders.

The winner will be announced at on Monday 13th January 2020 at the Royal College of Physicians in central London.

You can next see The Canary and the Crow when it transfers to the Arcola Theatre in London, from 16th January – 8th February 2020.

Beauty and the Beast - Hull's Rock'n'Roll Pantomime - 2018

The Little Mermaid charity ticket giveaway

By | Uncategorised
Beauty and the Beast - Hull's Rock'n'Roll Pantomime - 2018

Every year at Middle Child we giveaway free tickets to Hull-based charities and community groups for our rock and roll pantomime, to share a little festive spirit around those people who may not otherwise get to enjoy a Christmas show.

As it’s almost that time of year we are once again looking for charities and community groups to invite to this year’s production, The Little Mermaid.

We have 150 tickets to share this year, partly funded by our incredibly generous panto audience, who donate their spare pennies on the door. Tickets are available for our family and adult-only shows from the 21st-24th December, as well as our BSL-interpreted performances on 27th December and our Polish-described performance on 28th December.

If you’re from a local charity or group, or you’d like to nominate one, who you think would love to attend a free show, drop us an email to jamie@middlechildtheatre.co.uk or reach us on social media. Tickets are extremely limited and we can only offer them on a first come, first served basis, so do get in touch quick!

 

Wrestleverse Chapter One - Simon Herring - 1

“He’s behind you! And he’s got a broom wrapped in barbed wire!”

By | Uncategorised
Wrestleverse Chapter One - Simon Herring - 1

Wrestleverse 1: The Portal Opens, at Tower Ballroom in Hull, November 2019. Photo by Simon Herring.

Middle Child company member and panto dame, Marc Graham, writes about one of the most popular forms of storytelling and theatre: wrestling.

“A showman par excellence,” exclaims The Promoter as the outsider makes his entrance. Music blares, his costume glitters in the lights, women scream. He’s cocky, he’s arrogant, he thinks he’s sexy.

“The ladies love him, no doubt about that,” calls The Promoter as the performer lets two screeching teenage fans mob him. A 13 year old boy thrusts a plastic action figure into the face of this Heartbreaker, who takes it from the boy and drops it into his pants. The girls scream, the boy is disgusted, our Heartbreaker throws it back to the boy, and parts the two teenage girls with a kiss before entering Centre Stage. There’s a mixed reaction from the 11,000 strong audience. Fireworks erupt as he hits his signature pose. A few boos rain down. This isn’t his home turf; this is unfamiliar territory and it isn’t going to be his night.

Our Villain is established.

A brief silence befalls the crowd that September night in 1997.

Rule Britannia blasts through the PA. 11,000 people roar in unison. A man draped in a Union Jack makes his way down the Vom and he’s not alone. He’s accompanied by a woman, but she’s not a valet. She’s his sister, who, we are quickly informed, has been battling cancer her whole life. Tonight is dedicated to her. She joins her whole family, sitting front and centre. This man is big, powerful, a juggernaut. He wears European Gold around his waist and he is British, through and through.

We have Our Hero.

The show begins. Our Villain is outmatched for power in every early exchange. Our Hero grows in confidence and the sold out crowd are fully behind him, roaring at every moment that goes his way. The crowd begins to believe, even though some may have noticed Our Hero sporting a knee brace, but it is no cause for concern, everything is going to plan. Our Hero lifts his opponent over his head in a Gorilla Press, carries him to the edge of the ring and feigns as if to throw him stage right, then stage left. The Official seems worried and stops it happening, three times, before Our Hero unceremoniously dumps Our Villain on to the springed boards behind him, the safer option no less humiliating for Our Villain.

Our Hero is in full control. Occasionally he checks his knee, but he is firing on all cylinders. Our Villain is in real trouble here and it won’t be long before we’re all safely tucked up in our beds with beautiful memories of what we collectively witnessed in our own back garden.

“The advantage is with the Hero. He’s got the strength, he’s got the stamina, he’s got the advantage of all these home-town fans, he’s got his family here, including his sister, who he’s dedicated this match to, he cannot lose this,” The Promotor reminds the millions of subjects watching around the globe, but the crowd in this National Mecca are unable to hear.

A small fear creeps in as Our Villain gets back into this contest. But we needn’t have worried, as Our Hero hikes Our Villain into the air, pauses for 10 seconds allowing blood to rush to his head before bringing him down in freefall. A vintage move. Until…

The curtain flutters, a light is shone upon it. A suited stranger to these proceedings enters the fray, a player who is certainly not welcome here. This mysterious tall, dark and somewhat ravishing man quickly distracts the Official, trippingly on the apron. Our Hero stumbles into an unlit area of the stage and his face meets an exposed steel pillar courtesy of the Ravishing One, right in front of his family. The atmosphere darkens. Two boys from the crowd reach through the Fourth Wall to assure Our Hero he’s still loved. Our Hero is in trouble here, but despite the deck being stacked against him, he’s still putting up a big fight; he’s battling well, the home crowd spurring him on. There’s light at the end of this tunnel yet.

Our Hero with Our Author, Marc Graham 

Because of that…

The curtain twitches again. This time two more Unwelcome figures come forward. The crowd are familiar with these two: a man and a woman, the former born into unimaginable privilege, the latter quite simply the 9th Wonder of the World.

Despite all of this Our Hero gets a second wind, giving it all he has. Against these odds he is triumphing. Our Hero hoists Our Villain up. We’ve seen this before, a move there is no coming back from, here we go! Wait a minute: the Ravishing One has grabbed Our Hero’s leg, preventing him from carrying out the move! There’s an altercation. The Official is distracted by the two Unwelcome figures. Behind the Official’s back Our Hero lifts Our Villain up again, this time outside the safety of the ring but no! No! Our Hero slips, catches his leg, the knee in the brace, between the barrier and the ring. Our Hero collapses in a heap and Our Villain re-enters, Centre Stage, pulling the Official with him. Our Hero, trapped, is at the mercy of the Unwelcome, who ram the Fourth Wall  into his knee. The gallant crowd try to prize the Fourth Wall  back to help Our Hero, but there is no matching the strength of the Unwelcome. This is really bad. An angry nine year old is told to stay away by an adult. He is foaming at the mouth, eager to jump the rail and enter to save Our Hero.

Because of that…

Our Hero is thrown back onto stage. Our Villain removes Our Hero’s knee brace AND THROWS IT INTO THE FACE OF HIS WIFE AND CANCER-BATTLING SISTER IN THE FRONT ROW.

Our Villain applies the Figure-Four Leg Lock, a hold so devastating it has injured countless children on school playgrounds across the land. The crowd are standing, shocked, broken, nails-bitten. Some children are crying; some adults are crying.

“Our Hero is screaming in pain, his mouth is bleeding, Our Villain has the figure-four!” The Promoter exalts.

Our Villain illegally reaches for one of the Unwelcome, adding more leverage, more pressure, more pain to the hold on Our Hero. The Official cannot see this. His main concern is for Our Hero, who’s never been in so much pain. The Unwelcome surround the stage. The Official can not possibly see everything now, the story is not supposed to end like this.

Until eventually…

Our Hero doesn’t quit, but the Official stops the show. There’s confusion, a bell rings, we didn’t see Our Hero quit, Our Villain is calling for someone to hand him the Gold, people are booing, they begin to throw debris onto the stage, empty food packets, piss in plastic cups.

The Announcer states: “The winner of this contest and New Eur-”

A cacophony of boos fill the Mecca, the Announcer is hit with debris and his announcement cut short. The European Gold he entered with will be going home with Our Villain. Rubbish from all angles flies towards the ring.

The contest is over. Our Villain grabs a microphone.

One Night Only - Wrestling

“Alright, all you Limeys. I want you to take a look at your champion and then take a look at the new Grand Slam winner. Hart family, this is for you. And Diana Smith, my sweetheart, this one is especially for you, baby.”

Our Villain, The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, applies the figure-four again to Our Hero, Davey Boy Smith, affectionately known as The British Bulldog. The Privileged One shoves the microphone into the face of Our Hero: “Scream for your country. Scream for your country, Bulldog! Come on!”

The stage strewn with debris from the crowd, his wife enters the stage with the knee brace and chokes Our Villain with it, releasing Our Hero from the hold.

Our Villain and the Unwelcome begin to leave. This is a chaotic scene. They are jubilant as their Symphony  plays and Our Villain is carried out by his minions, holding his new European gold up high. Inciting a riot is absolutely what they did on this night in Birmingham. Every bit of debris that hits them on their way out they take in their stride. They’re spat on, abused, physically hit when they get too close to the crowd. They flaunt at the top of the ramp and cockily bat away bottles that are on target to hit their faces.

Our Hero has fallen. He is hurt, he remains centre stage, his wife in tears by his side. Those who aren’t full of rage in the crowd are shedding a tear, but no one can bare to leave. This can’t be how it ends? Can it? In our own back garden we’ve witnessed the fall of our only hope, not one person will sleep peacefully tonight, this anger will permeate for decades to come.

This was pure Theatre.

A tragedy. This match alone a five act structure.

This match happened at WWF’s One Night Only at the Birmingham NEC, 20th September 1997. An event both Middle Child artistic director, Paul Smith, and myself were at. We also both agree: this was one of the greatest theatrical events we’ve ever seen.

This year Equity recognised Professional Wrestling for the first time.

“Professional wrestlers are highly skilled performers deserving of recognition and the support that Equity, the union for the entertainment industry, can provide. Professional wrestling combines aspects of acting, dance, physical theatre and circus […] The work is precarious, often low paid and physically demanding. Equity believes wrestlers are entitled to the same protections and entitlements that other professional performers experience at work and it is our ambition to engage with promoters across the UK to achieve this.

This is good. However an announcement like this would once have been met with derision. Wrestling once held a fiercely guarded secret: that wrestling wasn’t real. This was a secret so heavily guarded that real life brothers Owen and Bret Hart, when feuding in 1994, were never allowed to be seen in public together. They even had to leave the arena in different cars. That’s like Cinderella and her Evil Stepmother not being allowed to be seen in the bar together after the show. That’s commitment.

Above is Dr Schultz’ thoughts. Pure method acting, he doesn’t break character for a second. This was something he was allegedly told to do by his boss, Vince McMahon, and then when he did it he legit got fired for it. Irish wrestler Dave Finlay used to dislocate the thumb of anyone who dared to ask him if he wrestling was fake.

Question: Isn’t it all fake?

The physical damage is real. Each move requires a taxing physicality from both wrestlers. Falling repeatedly on your head, back, shoulder, coccyx takes its toll. Falling 15ft onto concrete, ladders, flaming tables, barbed wire, razor blades, breeze blocks, light tubes, broken glass, steel and plastic chairs, also take its toll. Let’s equate this to an actor in a stage fight every night, falling on the same elbow over and over. You’re gonna need an elbow pad. Or the physical toll a dance takes on a performer. Unfortunately, wrestlers have lost their lives in the ring. Things do go wrong: necks, backs, knees. Surgery is an occupational hazard and as long as that list is, it’s not quite as long as the list of wrestlers that die from heart attack before they turn 65 or have severe lifelong head trauma as a result of multiple concussions.

The schedule is relentless – often wrestling six times a week in six different towns. And you drive yourself in between. Ever toured in a van?

Sometimes it is absolutely real: look up the Montreal Screwjob. Jobs, livings and livelihoods were lost. Never have one too many beers and think about stepping into the ring with wrestlers, it doesn’t end well.

Question: Is it scripted who is to win and lose?

Yes. It is. However, wrestlers get to the top of the game because they have deserved to get there, with the exception of Roman Reigns and John Cena. The years of sacrifice and struggle, the countless hours of training they put into crafting their character, promos or talking into the microphone are as vital to professional wrestling as work in the ring.

Question: Isn’t it for kids?

Sometimes. Wrestling goes through stages. In the 1990s no, absolutely not, and that’s why many other kids and I loved it. Then in the 2000s mainstream wrestling went through a PG period, which resulted in some of the most dull and boring bouts you’ve ever seen.

There is also a panto thing going on. Some is for kids, some is for adults and it goes over the kids’ heads. There is a beautiful moment when you realise this in adolescence and the thrill of it now is, if they can still do moves that make adults wince, despite everything we consume about its theatrical nature, then that is magic. That is really no different to being moved by a performance or a beautiful moment in theatre – we all know it’s not real. I believe it’s called the suspension of belief/disbelief.

Question: Isn’t the acting terrible?

Sometimes yes, but tell me you’ve never been to the theatre and had the same thought.

Here’s one of the best:

Question: Isn’t it violent?

It’s hilarious too, watch this:

But yes also incredibly violent. The following video features the highest paid actor in the world right now. It’s also difficult to watch, knowing what we now do about head injuries.

Question: Are wrestlers better at stage combat? Specifically knaps?

Yes…

But seriously here’s the best knap in the game.

Question: Is it a struggle to break down the (fourth) wall?

Search for any promo from Chris Jericho.

Question: Does wrestling reach wider and more diverse audiences?

No doubt.

Wrestlers are a very real embodiment of “Find something you love and let it kill you.” When we say that we should be reminded of this: they sacrifice their health and well being for their audience. For that you have to respect them.

Try something for me? Next time you see some theatre try saying to the person next to you at the end of the show: “It’s all fake you know?” Let me know their response.

Wooooooooooooooooooo!

See Marc Graham as Pattie Breadcake in The Little Mermaid from 19-29th December, where he may try some figure-four leg locks – when the director isn’t looking. 

Glossary

Vom – Entrance ramp
Centre Stage – The ring
Stage Left – Outside the ring to the left
Stage Right – Outside the ring to the right
The Promoter – The commentator
Fourth Wall – The safety rail
The Official – Referee
Our Hero, The Face – Wrestling term for ‘Good Guy’
Our Villain, The Heel – Wrestling term for ‘Bad Guy’
The Unwelcome – Outside interference
The Privileged One – A wrestler known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley aka HHH
The Ravishing One – A wrestler known as Ravishing Rick Rude
The 9th Wonder of the World – A female wrestler known as Chyna
European Gold – WWF European Heavyweight Champion title
National Mecca – Birmingham NEC
The Announcer – Ring announcer
Symphony – Theme music
WWF – World Wrestling Federation aka WWE
Part of the story line – Kayfabe
Woooooooooooooo – Ric Flair’s famous catchphrase

Join us for a Polish-described performance of The Little Mermaid this Christmas

By | Uncategorised

Middle Child are pleased to announce an integrated, Polish-described performance of our pantomime, The Little Mermaid, in Hull this Christmas. 

A Polish performer will join the cast on stage at Jubilee Central as a Polish-speaking fairy who narrates the show for the benefit of the city’s large Polish community. 

The performance follows Middle Child’s production of Us Against Whatever, in association with Hull Truck Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, which included Polish characters, dialogue and captioning. 

Paul Smith, artistic director of Middle Child, said: “We know there are many Polish families in Hull looking for theatre experiences to enjoy together and our pantomimes make for great nights out at Christmas. 

“We’re really excited to make our rock and roll panto even more accessible and welcome our Polish-speaking neighbours to the show.” 

Edyta Budnik, who starred in Us Against Whatever, plays the Polish-speaking fairy.  

Nastazja Somers, who collaborated with writer Maureen Lennon on Us Against Whatever, is working on the Polish parts of Paul Smith’s script. 

The performance will take place on Saturday 28th December at 6pm. Other accessible performances include BSL interpretation on Friday 27th December at 6pm and 10pm.

Tickets are on sale now via our website or by calling the box office, supplied by Hull Truck Theatre, on 01482 323638.

Little Mermaid Hull Pantomime Cast

Meet the cast of The Little Mermaid, our rock and roll pantomime

By | Uncategorised

Can you believe Christmas is next month? That means our rock and roll pantomime is too, so it’s time we announced the super talented cast of The Little Mermaid, performing at Jubilee Central in Hull from 19th-29th December.

Alice Beaumont - Hull Pantomime Cast

Alice Beaumont

Jack Chamberlain

Alice Beaumont, a Middle Child panto legend, turns to the good side this year to star as Ariel, our hero in search of adventure from beneath the Humber.

Jack Chamberlain, who starred as the Beast last year, plays Herman Hermit, a crab who is under strict direction to only move sideways throughout the show.

James Frewer

Marc Graham

James Frewer, musical director and composer, also appears on keys as James the Musical Mollusc, the shellfish who likes to tickle his ivories.

Marc Graham is, of course, our dame once again, this year playing Pattie Breadcake, the Queen of the Ocean and Ariel’s mam.

Josie Morley - Hull Pantomime Cast

Josie Morley

Andrew Ross - Hull Pantomime Cast

Andrew Ross

Josie Morley, another panto regular who also appeared in Us Against Whatever, plays Steve Prince, the cleaner of the Humber with eyes on royalty.

Why have one panto dame when you can have two? Enter Andrew Ross, long suffering stage manager, who plays Chips Breadcake, Pattie’s daughter.

Nigel Taylor - Hull Pantomime Cast

Nigel Taylor

Emma Thornett - Hull Pantomime Cast

Emma Thornett

Nigel Taylor (Prez 96) makes his panto debut as Flounder, the rapping fish, after catching the theatre bug in our Edinburgh hit, The Canary and the Crow, and being awarded our Career Kickstarter Fund.

And last but not least, Emma Thornett, the quickfire MC from Us Against Whatever, stars as the infamous villain Ursula, who longs to oust Pattie from her throne as Queen of the Ocean.

Tickets are on sale now for The Little Mermaid, including our Christmas Extravaganza on Thursday 19th December with a live Christmas set from The Hubbards and mass karaoke, and late-night, adult-only shows on select dates.

Book Tickets
The Canary and the Crow - Roundabout 2019 - The Other Richard

The Canary and the Crow transfers to London’s Arcola Theatre

By | Uncategorised
The Canary and the Crow - Roundabout 2019 - The Other Richard

Photo by The Other Richard.

Our Edinburgh hit, The Canary and the Crow, is heading to London’s Arcola theatre in January 2020.

This lyrical, semi-autobiographical piece from writer and performer Daniel Ward uses grime, hip hop and theatre to tell the story of the struggle between a new environment that doesn’t accept you and an old one that has no opportunity.

Featuring original live music by Prez 96 and James Frewer, The Canary and the Crow won the Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

It transfers to the Arcola Theatre from Thursday 16th January to Saturday 8th February.

Middle Child artistic director, Paul Smith, said: “We are incredibly excited to bring The Canary and the Crow to London and the Arcola Theatre for an extended run in January.

“We’ve already had lots of fun sharing this show with audiences at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and on the Paines Plough Roundabout tour and know that London audiences will really take to it.

“Daniel’s story is an important one that needs to be heard by so many people and the Arcola is the perfect space for us to do that.”

The Canary and the Crow was first performed at Hull Truck Theatre in July. It then travelled to Latitude Festival and then the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as part of the Hull Takeover, where it picked up rave reviews and sold out shows.

Arcola Theatre artistic director, Mehmet Ergen, said: “I am delighted that The Canary and The Crow is coming to Arcola for its first full-length London run in 2020.

“This electrifying story of a young man struggling to find his place in a divided society will resonate just as strongly in London as it did in Edinburgh. I am looking forward to sharing it with you next year.”

For more details about the London performances and to book tickets, visit Arcola Theatre’s website.

The Hypocrite writer Richard Bean backs new scratch night from Middle Child and Silent Uproar

By | Uncategorised

Photo by Sarah Beth.

Richard Bean, the Hull writer behind hit plays The Hypocrite and One Man, Two Guvnors, is supporting two Hull theatre companies to develop new writing in the city by funding a new performance night.

Out Loud will showcase the work of local playwrights, performed by professional actors in front of a friendly audience at Middle Child’s rehearsal space, Darley’s, in partnership with Silent Uproar.

Also known as “scratch” performances, these rough and ready sharings of scenes from early drafts help writers to see how their scripts work in front of an audience. 

Middle Child and Silent Uproar are working together to select writers, pair them with actors and directors and offer feedback and guidance, supported by financial help from Richard Bean. 

Richard said: “I am excited to support Middle Child and Silent Uproar in running scratch nights for new writers. 

“New Writing, not Shakespeare, is the lifeblood of our theatre, and it is so important for first time writers to understand how their words are said on stage in front of an audience and not read by their mates in their bedrooms.”

Middle Child artistic director, Paul Smith, said: “New writing is at the heart of our work and giving writers opportunities to see their scripts performed is an important step in honing their craft. 

“We can’t thank Richard enough for supporting those people who are working hard to create new stories here in Hull and we’re excited to see what people have to share.”

Silent Uproar artistic director, Alex Mitchell, said: “We believe at Silent Uproar that being able to test out new ideas in front of a live audience is paramount when you are developing a script. 

“We only need to look at a play such as Fleabag, which was born out of the Drywrite Scratch Nights, to see how helpful they can be to interrogate a new idea.

“These nights will offer artists opportunities to take risks and push themselves in a safe and supportive environment. We are thrilled to be launching this project with Middle Child and we couldn’t think of a better company we would want to do it with.”

The first Out Loud night, featuring the work of four writers, will take place on Friday 24th January. Applications are now open.

Middle Child’s Paul Smith added: “Anything goes in terms of style and subject matter, but we are particularly interested in seeing more stories about Hull and the north.”

Playwrights aged 18 and above, who are living in Hull and the surrounding area, can apply by sending in a 10 page sample of their script before Monday 25th November.

For more details on how to apply and what the scratch night offers writers, see the Out Loud page on our website.

Our Theatre Library is going on tour around Hull Libraries this autumn

By | Uncategorised

We’re teaming up with Hull Libraries to bring a pop-up version of our Theatre Library to residents across Hull this autumn, called Plays Aloud.

Our Theatre Library, based at our rehearsal space on the Thornton Estate, stocks over 1,000 plays by contemporary and classic writers, in association with publishers Oberon Books.

We are now working with Hull Libraries to tour a collection of modern plays around Hull in a specially designed flight case, bringing them closer to theatre fans in the city.

The Plays Aloud project will also promote Hull Libraries’s extensive collection of playscripts at the same time and is funded by the James Reckitt Library Trust.

The project also includes a pay what you can workshop that will bring scripts from both collections to life with a DJ and performers at Hull Central Library on Thursday 17 October.

The interactive workshop is open to the public and will take place from 7-9pm, followed by an after hours social in the library.

The pop-up collection will be available at Hull Central Library from 14-26 October, before setting off on a seven week tour of the city’s branch libraries, where people will be able to borrow plays to enjoy at home.

Middle Child artistic associate, Matthew Butchers, said: “Middle Child are so excited to be teaming up with Hull Libraries to share our mutual love of plays with all of Hull.

“We’re really looking forward to bringing some Middle Child vibes to written words and we hope that as much of the city as possible will get the chance to explore our travelling library.”

“We would also like to thank our publishers, Oberon Books, for being such fantastic supporters of our library here in Hull and making our pop-up collection possible.”

Hull Libraries’ Ellen Bianchini said: “Hull Libraries has a fantastic collection of classic and contemporary plays, and many play sets that users can borrow for group readings.

“The Plays Aloud initiative is a fantastic opportunity to showcase both the classic and modern collections available to everyone in the city who loves theatre.

“We hope it will inspire a new generation of play-readers to get stuck into some great works.”

Our Theatre Library launched in 2018 with the support of Oberon Books to make contemporary playwriting, including big hits from London’s West End and elsewhere, available to people in Hull who might not be able to see shows outside the city.

It can be accessed Monday to Friday at our creative hub in the former Darley’s pub, on Porter Street on the Thornton Estate.

Plays in the collection that will tour Hull Libraries include big hits such as The Believers Are But Brothers by Javaad Alipoor, Dance Nation by Clare Barron, Barber Shop Chronicles by Inua Ellams, Emilia by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and The Lovely Bones by Bryony Lavery.

The pop-up library also includes scripts by Hull writers including Maureen Lennon, Tom Wells, Ellen Brammar and Richard Bean.

Hull Libraries’ plays collection can be accessed via the online catalogue on Hull Libraries website.

More details about the pop-up library tour can be found in the Hull Libraries ‘What’s On’ brochure for October-December. 

To book pay what you can tickets for the interactive workshop and after hours social, visit hulllibraries.eventbrite.co.uk

Dates

Mon 14 Oct-Sat 2 Nov – Central

(Inc. Thu 17 Oct – Interactive Workshop 7pm)

Mon 4-Sat 9 Nov – Greenwood

Mon 11-Sat 16 Nov – Ings

Mon 18-Sat 23 Nov – Bransholme

Mon 25-Sat 30 Nov – Fred Moore

Mon 2 Nov-Sat 7 Dec – East Park

Mon 9-Sat 14 Dec – Avenues

Mon 16-Sat 21 Dec – Western

Silent Uproar become our first company-in-residence

By | Uncategorised

Middle Child are pleased to announce fellow Hull theatre company, Silent Uproar, as our first ever company-in-residence. 

The company behind the award-winning A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) will work from Middle Child’s home, Darley’s, on Porter Street. 

Darley’s, a former pub on the Thornton Estate, is now a creative hub for theatre makers in Hull, as well as the home of Middle Child.

The building features rehearsal and meeting rooms, hot desking facilities and a free theatre library, open to all residents of Hull, that also doubles up as a small performance space. 

Silent Uproar took up residence earlier in the summer and have already begun using Darley’s to develop a new musical about climate change, coming in 2020.

They create ”theatre for geeks”, making working inspired by cinema, comics and pop-culture that playfully discusses big ideas to broker vital conversations.

Silent Uproar artistic director, Alex Mitchell, said: “We are thrilled to become Middle Child’s resident company. 

“The Middle Child team have always given Silent Uproar so much support over the years and we have always looked up to them like a big sister or brother. 

“We are really chuffed about getting to work in the same building as a company that is both inspiring and kind in equal measures.

Middle Child artistic director, Paul Smith, said: “We’re delighted to have Silent Uproar join us at Darley’s and to be able to provide them with a space to continue making excellent theatre.

Artist development is a huge part of our work and want this building to be a space that nurtures theatre makers in the city, with more and more writers, directors and performers using the facilities all the time.”

Paul Smith added: “None of this would be possible without the support of Goodwin Development Trust, who invited us into Darley’s eight years ago and continue to let us make the most of this fantastic building for artists in Hull.”

How the First Show Fund supported Just Club Theatre

By | Uncategorised

Photo by EHD Photography

Applications are now open for our 2019 First Show Fund, designed to support a Hull-based company or individual to create their first piece of work in the city. Just Club Theatre’s Jamie Nowell writes below how the 2018 fund supported them in the making of Standing Too Close On Our Own in the Dark.

When the three of us graduated from Hull University in 2018, we had aspirations of starting a theatre company, and a play to begin working on. We started to chat with various artists and theatre-makers in Hull and we quickly found the open arms of Middle Child, a company whose work we’d always admired and enjoyed.

Naturally, when they advertised the First Show Fund, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to get the show off the ground. What none of us had ever thought possible, however, were the benefits and opportunities that followed on from the reception of the award.

Initially, we used the fund to cover the cost of the venue hire for the first performance of the show; the company’s launch night in January at The New Adelphi Club. The event showcased the work of other artists from and outside of Hull, then finished with the show. 150 people attended, including artists and creatives from around the city who we hadn’t interacted with before. The fund gave us a platform to introduce ourselves and the work we create, and that performance has led to more success.

We applied for the National Student Drama Festival, and our selector came to the performance in January and that led to us being accepted. It also demonstrated our dedication and determination to make work to representatives of both Hull Truck Theatre and Absolutely Cultured, which helped us with the opportunity to take the show to Edinburgh as part of Hull Takeover, along with other companies, including Middle Child themselves.

For NSDF, we had two performances of the show in Leicester. We then managed to get a four-night run at Sheffield’s Local Theatre in June. Following this, we’ve had an Edinburgh preview in Hull Truck Theatre, as part of the Hull Takeover, in July before taking the show to The Roundabout at Summerhall for a special feature performance on  Monday 19th August.

The First Show Fund has helped us buy some much needed technical equipment for the show, which we’ve used in all these productions. Not only that, but the mentorship offered by artistic director, Paul Smith, and audience development manager, Jamie Potter, has meant that each time we’ve developed the show we’re working to the highest standard we can. This has been invaluable in our journey to becoming a professional theatre company.

We couldn’t have done any of this without the opportunity to book our launch night in January; the opportunities we’ve been given have sprung up from this. Furthermore, the artistic and marketing support has helped us to keep making work to a high standard. We cannot thank Middle Child enough for their valued support throughout our career so far.

You can see Standing Too Close On Our Own in the Dark at the Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall for one night only during the Edinburgh Fringe, on Monday 19th August.
Applications for this year’s First Show Fund close on Monday 9 September.
EN PL