Hull Truck Theatre partner with Freedom Festival 2022

Hull Truck Theatre partner with Freedom Festival 2022, hosting an artistic and creative programme to excite, inspire, challenge, and provoke.

There is so much to explore in 2022 as Freedom Festival makes a welcome return and we are pleased to announce that Hull Truck Theatre will once again be partnering to present a unique series of indoor theatre and performance events.

The Freedom Festival programme at Hull Truck Theatre will be the perfect way to experience extraordinary world class and unique performances and discussions about what really matters. This year (Wednesday 31 August – Saturday 3 September), we will look to the future with new and contemporary theatre live performances, original music scores, puppetry, and dance to inspire audiences and artists.

Janthi Mills-Ward, Executive Director at Hull Truck Theatre said:

“Freedom Festival is such an exciting part of Hull’s year, and we relish being a key venue for the indoor programme bringing new and exciting work to the city. Work includes White Sun and BloodyElle, both of which are new sole contemporary pieces created during lock down. We will also open our stages to young people across the city to work with La Mechanica presenting The Little Things as well as Arcadia, mixing a live score from Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) presenting 100 years of archive footage that captures Britain’s countryside.”

Will Dickie will present White Sun (Wednesday 31st August), Set against a backdrop of a nation that continues to bask in the light of its colonial legacy, hooked on profits despite the costs. White Sun is lo-fi solo symphony of words and movement. Conjuring the ghosts of the men who have dominated the stage before him, Will takes us on a journey, navigating the tensions of inheritance, privilege, and addiction.

Bloody Elle – A Gig Musical (Wednesday 31 August), is a heart-warming and belly-achingly funny story stuffed full of those stomach-flipping-time-stopping moments, a touch, a glance, a kiss, that everyone will recognise. Lauryn Redding (71 Coltman Street for Hull Truck Theatre) plays Eve in this one woman show about Elle – a young, working-class girl growing up and coming out in the North. This heart-warming and belly achingly funny story, directed by Bryony Shanahan is set to an original score, building loops and layers of sound that make you feel like there is a ten-piece band on stage. This is Lauryn’s gig version of her smash-hit gig-musical, following its WhatsOnStage nomination for Best Regional Theatre Production. If you missed it in Manchester or Edinburgh then make sure you catch this feel-good, funny, stunningly performed gig before it’s gone! Featuring all the songs from the shows, plus a few cheeky extras- Lauryn will guide you thru the high and lows of Bloody Elle, from why she put pen to paper- to where it’s heading next. La Mecànica & Teatre Principal de Palma present The Little Things (Friday 2nd – Saturday 3rd September), a sassy and fast-moving performance for both children and their parents, that is seen by children and adults on two very different levels. Born from a view of the world as seen at knee[1]height, by children, and the world they discover, The Little Things transforms from the innocence of a hungry caterpillar into a majestic butterfly, exploring and dazzling the world.

Using puppetry and dance, physical theatre and music, The Little Things blends the comic directness and sincere naivety of childhood with the often-absurd struggle of parents to be great role-models whilst also stretching to keep the very grown-up pleasures and releases of adult life. This is a riotous, fresh and inspiring piece of physical theatre for anyone who is a child, has ever been a child or has children in their lives. A perfect celebration of a festival which aims to involve adults and children, through puppets and visual theatre.

A live soundtrack performance and screening of director Paul Wright’s acclaimed film Arcadia (Saturday 3 September) will explore our complex connection to the land that we live in. Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) bring the captivating film and their critically acclaimed soundtrack to life with a specially curated 9-piece band featuring Adrian and Will, together with folk singer Lisa Knapp and a line-up of exceptional musicians and singers. Originally released in cinemas UK-wide in 2018 by the BFI to outstanding reviews, Arcadia is an electric and eclectic mash-up of 100 years of archive film footage. Looking at the past from the future, it examines the rich and strange history of the British countryside. With Adrian and Will’s powerful score of folk, classical, electronic dance music and archive recordings, Arcadia Live goes on a sensory, visceral journey through contrasting seasons. Exploring the beauty and brutality, magic and madness of our changing relationship to the land and each other. A folk horror wrapped in an archive film, it’s a very strange trip indeed… Arcadia reminds us of what happens when our connection to nature, and indeed each other, frays and unravels. By exploring and asking ourselves what we have gained and lost in the last century, perhaps we will discover something of what we’ll need to survive in the next. Adrian Utley, guitar/ keyboards in Arcadia said: “I think Arcadia seems more relevant now than it was when it was made 5 years ago. We are seeing the effects of climate change and destruction of countryside more and more every day”.

Mikey Martins, Artistic Director at Freedom Festival said:

“We are delighted to be working with our friends and partners at Hull Truck Theatre again this year to present a unique and varied indoor offering inside this wonderful building. There are exceptional examples of innovative solo work made during the pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, we look forward to welcoming you to the Freedom Festival programme at Hull Truck Theatre”.

The Freedom Festival is Hull’s long-running Arts Festival that has flooded the city with thought provoking and entertaining arts and culture for 16 years. Founded in Hull, it is named after the city’s association with the abolition of the slave trade as well as other activism on important issues in today’s world. The festival has been known for bringing the best cultural offerings locally, nationally and internationally through all sizes of performances and exhibitions, from spectacular large-scale to reflective and intimate. In 2022 Freedom Festival takes place over 9-days from 26th August, culminating in a jam-packed weekend from 2nd – 4th September based over four zones, around Hull’s theatres, Princes Dock Street, Old Town and Fruit Market. The full programme is available at and you can join the team on social media (@freedomfesthull) to keep updated with the latest news and announcements leading up to and during the festival. Free printed festival guides will be available from various locations including Hull New Theatre and the Welcome Information Centre at Hull Interchange from 12th August.

Hull Truck Theatre is a pioneering theatre with a unique Northern voice, locally rooted, global in outlook, inspiring artists, audiences, and communities to reach their greatest potential. We produce and present inspiring theatre that reflects the diversity of a modern Britain and provide the resources, space, and support to grow people and ideas. We are an ambassador for our city, a flagship for our region and a welcoming home for our communities. We are committed to our core values of Inclusion, Innovation, and Integrity. Through our work with schools and local communities we engage with young people, disabled groups, and adults, offering opportunities to participate in the arts, whether as a first step into a career, a way to build confidence and meet new people, or as a part of a rounded education. Our ground-breaking Community Dialogues programme builds on long-term partnerships within Hull’s local communities to address inequalities in accessing the arts. In 2022 we celebrate 50 years of Hull Truck Theatre. We’re doing this by focusing on the thing that makes Hull Truck Theatre magic – the people. Without our supportive audiences, generous funders, talented artists, passionate participants and dedicated staff, this theatre wouldn’t have kept its place at the heart of Hull’s creative core for half a century.

With the inspiring leadership of Mark Babych (Artistic Director) and Janthi Mills-Ward (Executive Director), the theatre is on the next stage of its exceptional journey, creating a vibrant 21st-century cultural organisation. Hull Truck Theatre gratefully acknowledges support from Arts Council England and Hull City Council. With the inspiring leadership of Mark Babych (Artistic Director) and Janthi Mills-Ward (Executive Director), the theatre is on the next stage of its exceptional journey, creating a vibrant 21st-century cultural organisation.

Hull Truck Theatre gratefully acknowledges support from Arts Council England and Hull City Council.