Hull Truck Theatre has announced an autumn/winter programme packed with drama, comedy, music and more, with a season of shows which celebrate the people and stories of Hull.
Headline productions include two home-produced shows; Lone Flyer, celebrating one of Hull’s greats, pilot Amy Johnson, and its highly anticipated Christmas show – a brand new staging of children’s classic, The Railway Children.
The new programme will see the Ferensway theatre increase its capacity to welcome more audiences back, whilst keeping in place enhanced cleaning, recommending continued mask wearing and a number of special socially distanced shows for those taking their first tentative steps into larger groups.
The programme also builds momentum ahead of the theatre marking its 50th anniversary in 2022, with plans to launch a special 12-month programme of work which celebrates Hull Truck Theatre’s journey from 1972 to the present, and asks how the theatre can continue to inspire future generations.
Hull’s stories take flight
The incredible story of Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia, will land at Hull Truck Theatre from 7th – 30th October. A powerful play about one of Hull’s most famous heroines and one of the most inspirational women of the twentieth century, Lone Flyer explores Amy’s childhood, her illustrious career and how she finds herself facing her greatest challenge yet during the Second World War.
Lone Flyer is a co-production with The Watermill Theatre, Newbury, where it plays Friday 10 – Saturday 25 September. The production originally opened in Newbury in November 2020 before closing due to lockdown. Since then it played at the Jermyn Street Theatre as part of their Footprints Festival, achieving 5 Off West End Nominations for Best Production, Sound Design, Director, Leading Performance and Supporting Performance. Hannah Edwards and Benedict Salter will reprise their original roles, with Hannah playing ‘Amy Johnson’ and Benedict supporting her playing a series of other male roles.
Back and rocking by popular demand, the sell-out multi-media show about Hull rock legend Mick Ronson is back with new songs and stories for 2021 from 14 – 18 September. Featuring a live rock band, a classical string quartet, film projection and storytelling Turn and Face the Strange will is a moving joyous journey through the life and music of Mick Ronson, who famously worked with the likes of David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Lou Reed.
Teesside folk trio The Young’Uns will head to Hull from 22 – 25 September to perform a new, theatrical version of The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff, featuring songs from the original album alongside new material and stunning animation. The timely, touching and often hilarious musical adventure tells the true story of one man’s journey from poverty and unemployment in Stockton on Tees, through the Hunger Marches of the 1930s to fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War.
Leading playwright John Godber makes his anticipated return from 1 – 6 November. Developed by Godber and his family during the first lockdown, Sunny Side Up! is the hilarious and moving account of a struggling Yorkshire coast B&B and the people who run it.
The return of Hull Jazz Festival and award-winning music
The biannual Hull Jazz Festival is back and bigger than ever this November, with an array of events heading to Hull Truck Theatre including Get Carter 2021 live! (10 November) by acclaimed pianist and Hammond player Wendy Kirkland and special guest Dennis Rollins MBE; Here: A Celebration of Hull (11 November) from the Matt Holborn Quartet; Courtney Pine presents SONG (The Ballad Book) (12 November) featuring fellow Mercury nominee Zoe Rahman; and Billie Holiday at Carnegie Hall (13 November) starring Vimala Rowe. Yorkshire born folk artist Eliza Carthy, who has been twice nominated for the coveted Mercury Prize and was awarded the honour of an MBE for services to folk music in 2014, will be joined by her live band at Hull Truck Theatre on 7 September.
Kicking off the season’s line-up of comedy is former Mock the Week regular Andy Parsons, who brings his rescheduled, aptly named show Healing The Nation (1 October) to Hullfollowing its postponement due to the pandemic. November sees the return of the annual Hull Comedy Festival (2 – 6 November) featuring some of the biggest and funniest names in comedy, including Stockport housewife, cleaner to the stars and Britain’s Got Talent star Barbara Nice andEdinburgh Fringe Festival ‘Best Show’ nominee The Delightful Sausage: Ginster’s Paradise. New to the festival are two special shows: Best Of The Fest (6 November), a celebration event to mark the 15th Hull Comedy Festival which features the most requested acts and festival favourites, and Best Of ‘Ull (3 November), a selection of Hull’s “Hullarious” multi-award winning comedy talent returns. Golden stilettos, ripped fishnets, shoulder pads, and neon bobs are in abundance in Drag Me To Love (24 September), the drag show full of laughter, tears, dance and song.
All aboard for a festive family extravaganza
Hull Truck Theatre will proudly present children’s classic The Railway Children this Christmas (26 November – 2 January), with several access performances, online and on demand performances and a ‘pay what you can’ show to ensure that the production is open to as many people as possible. Directed by Mark Babych, the production features original music, toe-tapping dance routines and breath-taking set and costumes. Little ones can get creative with Great Adventures In Storyland (25 September, 23 October and 27 November), aplace with heroes, villains, action and adventure, which features an arts and crafts session ahead of the show.
Mark Babych, artistic director at Hull Truck Theatre comments: “We’d like to thank audiences for supporting us as we reopened this summer. With Government guidance now permitting fuller capacities we have been able to re-programme some of the visiting work we were unable to present during our closure which is fantastic.
“We’re also so excited to be staging The Railway Children which we have wanted to create for our Christmas audiences for a long time now. We cannot wait to see families back sharing what might be their first live theatre together for some time.
“Throughout the closure period we all realised how much live theatre meant to us when we could no longer experience it, so I’d encourage people look take a look at our autumn programme and discover that must-see production and book for an hour or two where you can switch off and let your imagination take flight.”