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Hull Truck to complete 50th-anniversary celebrations with new comedy-drama by homegrown talent



Hull Truck Theatre is marking the end of its 50th anniversary year programme with Mumsy, a  new play written by homegrown talent and Hull Truck Youth Theatre alumni, Lydia Marchant. This brand-new world premiere comedy-drama follows the story of three generations of women living under one roof, exploring the highs and lows of motherhood and intergenerational female relationships.  

Directed by Zoë Waterman, and with a full female creative team at the helm of the production,  Mumsy will be on stage at Hull Truck Theatre from 2 – 25 March 2023. This sparky new comedy has been developed by Lydia Marchant through Hull Truck Theatre’s Grow Artist Development  Programme and is her first full-length play to feature in the theatre’s main auditorium: Stage 1. 

Lydia Marchant was selected for the BBC Writer’s Academy in 2019 and has since written multiple episodes of Holby City, EastEnders and Casualty. Her previous theatre credits include Paines PloughHull Truck Theatre, Derby Theatre, York Theatre Royal, Pilot Theatre, Separate Doors, Middle Child  Theatre, Silent Uproar and The Roaring Girls. She also writes on Wondery’s British Scandal podcast,  presented by Alice Levine and Matt Forde.  

Lydia Marchant, Writer, said: 

“Mumsy is a play I’ve been working on for five years, so I’m really excited to hand it over to an  amazing, all-female cast and creative team and see it in front of an audience for the first time – at my own hometown theatre. I feel very lucky to have grown up in such a creative city and to have had  opportunities to develop my writing with Hull Truck Theatre from the age of 12.” 

Zoë Waterman, Director, said: 

What a privilege to be directing this funny, warm, authentic new play – crammed into a one-bed flat  with rising bills and decreasing wages, three generations of women push at their circumstances (and  sometimes each other) to let their dreams soar.” 

Mumsy is set in a one-bed flat in Hull where three characters Sophie, Rachel, and Linda represent three women who battle through the friendship, drama, and love of mother-daughter relationships.  From slammed doors to living room karaoke, this highly entertaining and moving play explores the highs and lows of being a mum, becoming a mum and managing your mum. It is a must-see for fans of A Taste of Honey and Motherland

Jessica Jolleys will take on the role of Sophie, a third-generation single Mum. Jessica graduated from  Rose Bruford College in July 2019. Theatre credits include Beautiful (UK Tour); Oliver Twist (Storyhouse Chester); The Miracle Worker (Cramphorn Studio Theatre Chelmsford); Big Big Sky (Hampstead Theatre); Father Brown (BBC); Jack and The Beanstalk (Theatre Clwyd).  

The character of Rachel (Sophie’s Mum) will be played by Nicola Stephenson, a prolific actor who first came to prominence in the ground-breaking role of ‘Margaret Clemence’ in Channel 4’s beloved and long-running soap opera: Brookside. Stephenson also went on to become one of the original cast members of Holby City. Her most recent television work includes two of ITV’s hit shows of 2022  and 2023: the comedy-drama Maternal and The Walk-In. She also recently starred in the BBC’s hugely popular Call the Midwife and Acorn’s Whitstable Pearl. Further television includes national classics such as Midsomer Murders (ITV); Waterloo Road (BBC); Safe House (ITV); and Homefront (ITV).  

Nicola is an excellent stage performer who has starred in a wide range of the most popular theatrical productions, including War Horse (West End); A Patriot for Me (Royal Shakespeare Company); and  Edmond (National Theatre). She also performed at Hull Truck Theatre and Stephen Joseph Theatre’s  Co-Production of Two in 2020.  

Sue Kelvin will play Linda (Sophie’s Nan). Theatre credits include Wicked (Apollo, Victoria); Private  Lives (Gielgud Theatre); Travelling Light and A Streetcar Named Desire (National Theatre); Onassis (Novello Theatre); Fiddler on the Roof (Savoy Theatre); Chicago (Cambridge Theatre and Adelphi  Theatre); Berkoff’s Sit and Shiver (New End Theatre and Hackney Empire); Beau Jest (Hackney  Empire); Bette Midler and Me (Edinburgh Fringe, Upstairs at the Gatehouse and St. James Studio);  her one-woman show Sophie Tucker’s One Night Stand (King’s Head Theatre and UK Tour); Oliver! (London Palladium); Assassins (Donmar Warehouse) and Les Misérables (Palace Theatre); Rags  (Bridewell Theatre); Wild, Wild Women (Orange Tree Theatre); Hetty Feinstein’s Wedding  Anniversary (New End Theatre); Apartment 2012 (White Bear Theatre); Annie (Aberystwyth);  Teechers (Northampton); Tales My Lover Told Me (King’s Head Theatre), The Great American  Backstage Musical (Basingstoke) and Hello Dolly! (UK Tour). 

Television credits include Love Hurts, Silent Witness, Brazen Hussies, The Worst Week of My Life,  The Legend of Dick and Dom, Love Soup, Dr Who, Coupling and Red Dwarf (BBC); Afterlife and Mike  Bassett TV (ITV); London Bridge (Carlton) and Keen Eddie (Fox and Bravo, USA). 

Film credits include Great Expectations; Reuniting the Rubens; Song of Songs; Anxiety and Red  Eagle. Radio credits include The Jenny Eclair Show, as Co-Host.  

Mark Babych, Artistic Director at Hull Truck Theatre said:  

“We’re phenomenally proud of the Theatre’s achievements over the past 50 years and thrilled that the finale of our anniversary season will be the world premiere of a brand new comedy-drama by the exceptional talent of Hull writer, Lydia Marchant. It’s been a real joy to have supported the journey of  Lydia’s writing career so far and to have led the development of this new play alongside some amazing actors who, over the last few years, have contributed to shaping and refining this play and finally making it a reality on our stage. New writing is part of the history of our company, and I’m  thrilled that this talented new voice from Hull is reaffirming our commitment to maintaining its place firmly in our future.” 

Tickets for Mumsy are on sale now, with several access performances also available, including Hull  Truck Theatre’s second-ever baby-friendly performance, which is taking place on Friday 17th March. Tickets can be booked online: at www.hulltruck.co.uk or by calling the Box Office on 01482 323638.

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