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Free theatre marketing workshop

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Do target audiences keep you up at night? Rather learn Klingon than craft a tweet? Then our Theatre Marketing Workshop is for you: a quickstart guide to promoting your work, from defining your target audience and developing your brand to creating content and approaching the press.

This free introductory workshop, on Wednesday 29 May, is aimed at Hull-based companies and individuals who find themselves tasked with reaching an audience, but who don’t have a background in marketing or PR.

More details…

Vacancy: Finance Assistant

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After a successful first 12 months as a new Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, we are looking to expand our core team with the appointment of a freelance Finance Assistant.

Reporting to and working closely with the Executive Director  and General and Production Manager, the Finance Assistant will ensure the smooth and efficient running of the Middle Child office, developing and maintaining finance systems and procedures that ensure book keeping is accurate, up to date and well managed.

We expect to appoint somebody with experience of accounting platforms, such as Quickbooks, with a high level of numeracy and attention to detail and we welcome applications from people who have never worked in the arts before but who have an interest in theatre and culture.

For more details about the role and how to apply download the recruitment pack.

Applications close on Monday 6 May.

Vacancy: Executive Director (Maternity Cover)

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After a successful first 12 months as a new Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, we are looking for maternity cover for our Executive Director position for nine months.

Reporting to and working closely with the Artistic Director and CEO, the Executive Director leads a team including the General and Production Manager, Audience Development Manager and Finance Assistant.

The Executive Director (Maternity Cover) will provide strong, inspirational and high-profile leadership to enable Middle Child to achieve its artistic and strategic objectives.

We expect to appoint somebody with a passion and commitment to creating world class theatre from our home in Hull, with hands-on experience of producing and, ideally, of working within a building or small to mid-scale theatre company.

For more details, including the full job description, person specification and employment terms, see the job listing.

Applications close on Monday 29 April 2019.

Us Against Whatever - Adam and Edyta

Hull’s Polish community to see itself on stage for the first time with Us Against Whatever

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Us Against Whatever - Adam and Edyta

Us Against Whatever, Middle Child’s electrifying production will open at Hull Truck Theatre this Wednesday, 27 March.

Us Against Whatever will be the first time that Hull’s Polish community has seen itself in the theatre, with two Polish performers taking centre stage in a cabaret about what it means to call Hull home.

The story follows the lives of two women in Hull over eight years, leading to their coming together in a karaoke bar on the night of the EU referendum in 2016.

Audiences will also be able to sign up to sing karaoke themselves on the famous Hull Truck stage during the interval, as well as singalong to original songs throughout the show.

One of the characters is Anna, a Polish woman from Masuria, played by Polish actor Edyta Budnik (Killing Eve, BBC Three). Edyta is joined on stage by Adam Hadi (Warsaw Film School), who will star as Anna’s brother Michal. Adam also directed the movement in the show, bringing a touch of European flair to the choreography.

Hull writer Maureen Lennon wrote the script in collaboration with Polish theatre maker Nastazja Somers, while the National Theatre, British Council and Polish Cultural Institute also supported the production, adding to the international links in a show that comes at a momentous time in UK history.

Us Against Whatever is presented in association with Hull Truck Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. The production will run at Hull Truck Theatre until Wednesday 3 April. 

Adam Hadi and Edyta Budnik in Us Against Whatever.
Photo by Sam Taylor.

Learn how to direct theatre with RTYDS Introduction to Directing

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Inside the Middle Child rehearsal room. Photo by Thomas Arran.

Do you love telling stories? Fancy working with actors, musicians, writers and designers to bring them to life on stage? Then we want to hear from you as they look for potential new theatre directors in the city.

Applications are now open for our free Introduction to Directing programme, which is aimed at storytellers who are yet to do any formal training in directing or even theatre.

Our new programme will give participants a taste of theatre-making across two weeks in April and May this year and is part of the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme (RTYDS).

The first week of workshops will train people in a set of basic directing techniques. They will also have one-to-one chats with three directors from different stages in their careers to talk about their own journeys and how they make work.

In the second week the new directors will put the skills they have learned into practice, by staging short ten-minute plays, written by the Middle Child Writers’ Group and performed by actors from their Acting Gym, to a small, friendly audience.

Following the second week and the showcase of their work, Middle Child will also create a development plan with each director, to help them take their next steps into theatre.

Applications are now open and close on Wednesday 14 February. People can apply by sending an expression of interest in a way that is most accessible to them, such as by email, phone or by speaking to us in person.

RTYDS, the UK’s leading programme of professional development for theatre directors at all stages of their development, is contributing to culture change in theatres, as directors from under-represented groups develop their skills to become creative leaders.

RTYDS specifically aims to address the barriers arising from social, gender, financial, ethnic, cultural, geographic or educational disadvantage or disability and support regional talent, diversity and leadership.

Using the Middle Child Match Fund to develop outreach workshops

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She Productions and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Finding Your Voice programme at East Riding Theatre, June 2018

Annie Kirkman, She Productions

We all need a voice. Sadly, your voice is one of the first things you lose when your confidence is broken and the world stops making sense.”

Since forming She Productions three years ago it has been our mission to engage people with drama on and off the stage. We’ve been lucky enough to run workshop programmes with a huge variety of people from ages four to 60, covering themes from storytelling to consent. Regardless of the content, every one of our workshops is designed with exactly the same ethos; using drama to enrich life skills by building trust, challenging social expectations and commending courage.

Most recently we’ve been touring our new musical It’s Different for Girls around the UK and, with the support of Middle Child’s Match Fund and Arts Council England, we delivered consent and relationship workshops to schools and youth groups local to venues. Each session presented challenges to overcome, from adapting workshops to participants’ needs to battling time constraints but we learnt something from every group. Naturally, some groups had more understanding of consent and what it means than others, and of course we were thrilled to be able to provide a deeper learning. Nevertheless, the most rewarding part of these workshops was giving those involved a voice and the space to express that voice.

We always start our workshops with physical group and partner exercises. These are intended to integrate individuals and encourage them to work with each other without the added pressure of discussion. This active start to our sessions seems to help release anxiety and any pre-determined expectations. As clichéd as it sounds, it is as if the whole group finally remember to start breathing again and shake off their worries collectively. The final section of the workshop focuses on freeing our minds and encouraging creative and honest conversation including a ‘free-writing’ task where the participants write their stream of consciousness without interruption. Of course, everyone learns in different ways, some take to the writing exercises whilst others prefer debate or physical activities but ultimately every person can discover a creative outlet for their own expression.

With Middle Child’s help and another recent successful Arts Council grant we are now undergoing a period of organisational development in which we will develop our Outreach strand with other local groups who can benefit from our programmesThis includes our exciting new Empower project with Together Women, a Hull- based charity who ‘move women out of crime into positive futures’, where we will work with their clients to nurture self-esteem, celebrate inner strength and motivate positive behavioural change through creativity and drama.

We pride ourselves in being able to adapt sessions like these to cater to participants and their particular needs and interests which of course takes time to plan. The support from Middle Child has allowed us to take this time and do the work and research we need to do to ensure the programmes are bespoke.

Ultimately, we want people to recognise the huge benefits drama can have and how it is not just about ‘being an actor’. Creativity should be a part of everyone’s life; it offers escapism; it connects us with ourselves and others; and most importantly it can help us find a voice that might have been hidden away for some time.

Cinderella - Fairy

We’re fundraising for Hull Foodbank at Beauty and the Beast

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Cinderella - Fairy

Photo by Sarah Beth

This Christmas we will once again be fundraising for a local charity at our alternative pantomime, Beauty and the Beast.

Our chosen charity for 2018 is Hull Foodbank, which is based in Jubilee Central, where Beauty and the Beast will be performed from 18-23 December.

You raised £3,140.39 for Hull Homeless Community Project and Hull Red at our panto in 2017, Cinderella, smashing the previous year’s total’s of £1,757.58.

We will also be collecting towards our annual charity and community ticket scheme, which provides free tickets to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to see a Christmas show.

Groups that will benefit from free tickets to this year’s pantomime include Hull Red, Beats Bus, Age UK, Creative Briefs, Humber All Nations Alliance, Living Hope Church and The Warren.

Just Club Theatre

First Show Fund awarded to Just Club theatre company

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Just Club Theatre

Photo by Edmond Denning.

Just Club is the first Hull-based theatre company to receive the First Show Fund through our artist development programme, Reverb.

The company will receive funding to pay for venue hire, script printing and marketing costs and other in-kind support to produce their first ever show, Standing Too Close On Our Own In the Dark.

Just Club is a brand-new theatre company formed by University of Hull graduates, founding members and best mates, Jamie Nowell, Matthew Collins and Jake Marsden.

They create unique, spirited, happy-sad theatre experiences which fuse together live music, spoken text and a night out with your mates to replicate the moment that your favourite band plays that song and for three minutes, you’re inspired and self-assured.

Just Club’s Jake Marsden said: “We are so humbled and delighted to be the recipients of Middle Child’s First Show Fund.

“The fund will enable us to refine our work and ensure our ‘happy-sad’ experience connects with as many people as possible.

“We’re also incredibly excited to be supported by a company who inspire us and are doing fantastic work in keeping Hull on the theatrical map by engaging audiences in a powerful and meaningful way, setting a great example for anyone making theatre right now.”

Paul Smith, Middle Child artistic director, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to support Just Club in producing and performing their first ever show in Hull.

“We’re really impressed by the company’s dedication and determination to create new work, in Hull, so soon after graduating from the city’s university.

“This is exactly what our First Show Fund is designed to support and we can’t wait to help Just Club take their first steps in making theatre in Hull.”

You can see Standing Too Close On Our Own In the Dark at the Adelphi Club in Hull on Tuesday 15 January 2019.

​The Reverb artist development programme is Middle Child’s commitment to ensuring that artists in Hull are given top-class development opportunities across disciplines without needing to leave the city.

Hull Takeover 2017

Get funding and in-kind support to head to Edinburgh Fringe in 2019

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Hull Takeover 2017

Last year we hit the Edinburgh Fringe alongside three other Hull-based companies and a Hull UK City of Culture 2017 commission as part of the Hull Takeover.

150 volunteers travelled to the Royal Mile to wave the Hull flag and the companies brought back five star reviews and awards, national media attention, transfers and tours.

In 2019 Absolutely Cultured, through the continuing work of the Hull Independent Producers Initiative, and in partnership with Middle Child and Hull Truck Theatre, plan to takeover the world’s biggest arts festival once again.

We are asking for Hull-based companies that already plan to go to Edinburgh for a minimum of one week, between the dates of 2-27 August, to apply to be part of the Hull Takeover 2019.

The offer includes a £3,000 cash bursary, mentorship, graphic design and photography, tech time at Hull Truck and other in-kind support.

See the Absolutely Cultured website for more details about the Takeover and how to apply.

Scripts

Buy £2 scripts as part of #ThanksToYou

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Scripts

From Monday 3 to Friday 7 December we’re offering huge discounts on our play scripts to National Lottery ticket holders, as part of #ThanksToYou week.

We’re one of hundreds of National Lottery funded organisations across the UK saying thank you to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

To take advantage simply pop-in to our library and rehearsal space in Hull during opening hours (10am-5pm) and present a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard.

You’ll then be able to buy a copy of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, by Luke Barnes; One Life Stand, by Eve Nicol; or I Hate Alone by Ellen Brammar, for £2 each, the same price as a National Lottery ticket.

Our status as a national portfolio organisation with Arts Council England is supported by National Lottery funding, which pays for our productions and artist development work.

All National Lottery games qualify for free entry, including both National Lottery draw-based games and National Lottery Scratchcards. Proof of purchase of a National Lottery game can be either a hard copy ticket or a digital ticket.

The offer is valid from Monday 3 December to Friday 7 December.

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