Cultural Highlights: 5 – 11 July 2018


2 – 8 Jul 2018 Price: £5 – £7
Vue Cinema – Princes Quay

The 2018 Hull Film Festival is already underway but there are still a great selection of films to see. Still to come are films including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Escape and Donnie Darko.


5 – 8 July 2018 Price £15.50 – £18
Hull New Theatre

It’s Friday night and Ben knows that means only one thing – staying with Granny – it’s going to be sooooooooo boring.

But what Ben doesn’t know is that Granny has a secret – and Friday nights are about to get more exciting than he could ever imagine, as he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime with his very own Gangsta Granny.

One Life Stand

6 – 12 July 2018 £0 – £10
Various Venues

The newest production from award winning Middle  Child Theatre – One Life Stand is a late-night search for intimacy across a hyperconnected, hypersexual city, that exposes the loneliness found inside modern relationships. Some performances are now sold out so check the listings quick!

The Big Vista Festival

7 July 2018 1:00pm Free
Pearson Park

Something big is happening on Saturday and we aren’t talking about the football. (It’s coming home). The Big Vista lands in Pearson park, expect to see the very best of the local talent from main stage acts like Pearls Cab Ride, The Gherkins & Hillbilly Troupe, to spoken word performers, art workshops, children’s entertainers, face painters, Carnival Arts, stalls, food and more!

Hedon Festival

7 July 2018 1:00pm Free

Hedfest is back with live music, entertainment, performance poetry, children’s activities and a major carnival parade. Carnival Parade assembles from 12.30pm.

Lea Oberg

My work experience in Hull

Hello everybody! My name is Lea Oberg and I lives in my hometown Hamm in Germany. I’m  a student on the Friedrich List Berufskolleg and I’m in England for three weeks for doing a work placement in the Hull City Council. It’s very important to do and see so many different things and to meet lots of friendly people. Hull is a big city where lives a quarter of a million people. That’s so much! Hull has lots of culture and big buildings like the Ferens Art Gallery. The site and money for the gallery were donated to the city by Thomas Ferens, after whom it is named. The architects were S. N. Cooke and E. C. Davies. It has paintings and sculptures, including works by European Old Masters, portraiture, marine painting, and modern and contemporary British art. Highlights include masterpieces by Lorenzetti, Frans Hals, Antonio Canaletto, Frederick Leighton, Stanley Spencer, David Hockney, Helen Chadwick and Gillian Wearing. Another interesting Building is the Maritime Museum. It’s originally known as the Museum of Fisheries and Shipping, opened in 1912. The building stands in Queen Victoria Square with the Ferens Art Gallery, opposite the Queen’s Gardens, in Hull’s city centre.

My favorite of this very cute town is the Deep! There were so many big and little fishes in it which I have never seen before in my Life. I’ve seen turtles and penguins,too. At the end of this trip here in Hull I could say that Hull is a very nice city with lots of culture and nice places in it. Maybe I will travel to Hull again and will meet my guest family where I’m staying now for three weeks.

HOLI ONE Hull_colour_20140914_0243_© Neil Holmes Photography

My time in Hull – Saskia Klose

My name is Saskia and I am a student from Germany.

At the moment I make an internship in Hull for 3 weeks. I work for the Hull City Council. Every week I work in a different department. This week I work at “Major Projects” and I already noticed that is a lot of fun!!

Before we travelled to Hull we don’t know anything about the City so we searched for information from the internet. The internet says something like “Hull is dull” so we don’t know what to expect!

By the way we travelled with a minibus and with the ferry. We stay in a host family here in Hull and our hospitable parents are very kind and it is a very comfortable residence.

So the first day we went to the Guild Hall and met our supervisor. She showed us where we had to work and introduce us to all the people.

In the afternoon we had a city tour. The tour was really interesting and now we could say : Hull isn’t dull!!!!

We saw a lot of interesting museums and beautiful buildings and all people we met were very friendly. So we really enjoy the time here.

Also the weather is great! It is hot and always sunny, it is even better than in Germany!

On Tuesday, the second day, I had the opportunity to go into the Deep. That was really interesting and I enjoyed it. I saw a lot of different fish and I also saw penguins. The penguins are very cute! There were also sharks, turtles, eels and jellyfish and I took a lot of pictures.

I also went to different museums for example the Streetlife Museum and I also went to the Hull History Centre!

I have seen many new things and it was really interesting.

So at the end I can say that Hull is a beautiful city! I am here since 4 days but I already love it! You just feel comfortable with so many friendly people and I am already looking forward to the next 2 weeks and someday I would like to come back to Hull!

Ballad of Paragon Station

Cultural Highlights: 16 – 22 June


16 Jun, 7:30pm (£15-£20)
Hull Truck Theatre

Bringing the classic comedy styling of the infamous Morecambe & Wise to life on Hull Trucks stage, An Evening With Eric & Ernie is guaranteed to have you howling all night long.

Recreating some of their most famous comedic sketches, from Greig’s piano concerto to Mr Memory, “Arsenal!”, this evening of comedy includes classic routines and music, featuring a special musical guest.


18 Jun, 7:30pm (£26.50)
Hull University Union

Widely known as one of the most innovative bands of all times, John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd. head to hull as part of their latest tour, celebrating their 40th anniversary.

The band have had 5 UK Top 20 albums sinces their debut album, First Issue, and have toured extensively since their return in 2009.


Until 1 Jul, 10:30am (Free)
Form Shop & Studio

In the first of Form Shop & Studio’s artist showcases, Hull based artist Emily Fratson takes residency with her work that features mainly ceramics and drawing in various mediums.

Originally from near Memphis, Tennessee, Emily curiously explores the connections between there and Memphis, Egypt, through interpreted artwork.

Not only is the showcase well worth a visit, but much of her work will only be available to purchase.


22-22 Jun, 8pm (£10.50-£12.50)
Hull Truck Theatre

First previewed at the RADA festival in 2017, The Ballad of Paragon Station is Hester Ulyart’s debut play, featuring a one woman storytelling show about 4 people who can’t sleep at night in a northern UK city.

Inspired by Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood and Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, the story chronicles the lives of four characters, through original portraits created in Hull and London in May 2017, exploring a generation’s struggle for identity, intimacy and escape in modern Britain in this intimate and poetic visual treat.


22 Jun, 7:30pm (£12.50)

The Springsteen Sessions have become known as an energetic band who excel in recreating  the experience of Bruce Springsteen’s raw and mesmerising performances.

Rocking some the classic hits over the last forty years, The Springsteen Sessions will pay homage to the Boss himself, and leave fans screaming for more.

Humber Street Distillery Co Bottles

Tasting notes: Hull gin

Did you know Hull has its very own gin? With the drink currently undergoing an explosion in popularity, not to mention rising interest in craft tipples, the enterprising folk at Humber Street Distillery are now making their own “spirit of Hull”, Hull Dry Gin.

It’s a unique citrus-led dry gin with floral notes, that features cubeb berries, cassia bark, chamomile flowers, elderflower and pink grapefruit peel. And it’s been created especially for Humber Street Distillery owners Lee Kirman and Charlotte Bailey.

Lee says: “It’s always been our ambition to make Humber Street Distillery one of the places you really must visit if you’re coming to Hull and the gin still makes it even more of a draw.”

Top UK master distiller Jamie Baxter was brought in to advise on perfecting the gin, made in the “Rolls Royce of gin stills” a copper still made by German firm Holstein.

“It’s a really high-quality piece of equipment that will last for decades and will make a consistently excellent product,” says Jamie, who has founded 18 distilleries over the years, including the City of London Distillery. “Every still has its own unique characteristics – that’s one of the beauties of craft distilling. There is science behind it, but also a real art to it.

“Everything is done by hand, by taste, by touch and by listening to the sounds the still makes. The gin it produces is lovingly created. It’s an artisan, hand-made product that is uniquely local and people love that.”

Humber Street Distillery is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from noon to 11pm.

EYES PEELED: Also look out for Hotham’s Gin School and Distillery, which is due to open in Hull’s Old Town in summer 2018. Hotham’s gins are already available to buy in selected retailers, including craft drinks seller Fellows & Vittle in Hull Trinity Market.

Tour Guide Paul Schofield

Hull’s Old Town: Top 10 hidden gems

Cameras at the ready. Some of our city’s best-loved and most beautiful sights can be found in Hull’s Old Town. With stunning architecture, medieval streets and charm by the bucketload, there’s no wonder it features heavily in the daily walking tours run by award-winning tour guide Paul Schofield. But you might be surprised to discover which sights have the biggest wow factor – for tourists and residents alike. Here, Paul reveals his favourite sights and some of the city’s most delightful hidden gems, from the place where Charles I was turned away from the city – famously sparking the English Civil War – to the street from which an entire city sprung from.

  1. Beverley Gate: “Visitors are always taken aback when they see the ruins of the gate and we say that we started the English Civil War here! King Charles I wasn’t allowed into the city in 1642, a gesture of defiance that triggered the war.”
  2. England’s smallest window, Land Of Green Ginger: “This is one of the things that always sticks in people’s minds after they’ve take a tour. And of course, it’s in a street mysteriously called Land Of Green Ginger, which everyone loves.”
    © Christopher Pepper
    Smallest Window © Christopher Pepper
  3. Hepworth’s Arcade: “One of my favourite buildings in Hull. It was built in the 1890s and was named after Hepworth the tailor. It was also home to one of the earliest Marks and Spencer penny bazaars. It’s a rare L-shaped arcade with a lovely glass roof. I see it as a very ‘Hull’ arcade – it’s full of independent Hull businesses such as Beasley’s clothing store and Dinsdale’s joke shop, as endorsed by Reece Shearsmith and Derren Brown.”

  1.  High Street and the River Hull: “The oldest street in Hull, High Street dates to the 1100s. Without High Street, with the staithes and access streets running down to the River Hull, the city wouldn’t exist.”
  2. Scale Lane swing bridge: “My favourite bridge and one of my favourite things. At weekends, you can ride on it and listen to the sounds playing as it moves you across the River Hull. It’s the first footbridge in the world that allows people to do this. Check the Hull City Council website for times.”
  3. Truelove sculptures, River Hull, by the tidal barrier: “Whether they’ve lived in Hull all their lives, or are new to the city, people are always surprised to see the sculptures of the Truelove heads in the River Hull – they miss the plaque that’s on the railings.”

The plaque reads: “In 1847 Memiadluk and Uckaluk arrived in Hull close to this site aboard the Truelove, a local whaling ship. The following year the married couple set sail for their home in Cumberland Sound, Baffin Island. During this journey Uckaluk died following an outbreak of measles on board the ship.”

  1. Stage @The Dock: “A dry dock originally, it takes a lot of vision to turn a dry dock into a stage that has hosted everything from the BBC Proms, to rap and hip-hop artists, and festivals like Humber Street Sesh and Freedom Festival. I like the fact that it’s so accessible. It’s a public space even when it’s not in use as a venue.”
    Stage @ The Dock – Chris Pepper
  2. Victoria (Corporation) Pier and Oss Wash, Nelson Street: “Before the Humber Bridge was built, this is where people would catch the ferry to cross the River. It had a British Rail booking office and was one of the few train stations in the country where no trains ran. The nearby slope next to the De La Pole statue was known as the Oss Wash [horse wash].”
  3. Town walls, marina: “Look on the ground around the marina. The original town walls are marked out in red, so you can walk along them. It’s surprising to discover that the River Humber once came right up to Hessle Gate and along what is now Humber Street.”
  4. Prince Street and Trinity Square mirror pools: “You get a great view when you look down Prince Street towards Hull Minster in Trinity Square. Prince Street is unusual in that it’s a Georgian street with a curve – they tend to be either very straight or crescent-shaped. In Trinity Square are my other favourite things, the mirror pools.”
Hull Minster C Mike Bartlett
Hull Minster – Mike Bartlett


Paul Schofield is an independent, English Heritage-accredited tour guide. His walking tours of Hull city centre take place daily until the end of October, leaving from Hull City Hall in Queen Victoria Square at 2pm. Group bookings can be arranged all year round.

Cultural Highlights: 19 – 25 May


17-20 May, various times (£13.50-£18)
Hull New Theatre

David Walliams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendships comes alive on stage, featuring a very large owl, avery small ghost and a very awful auntie!

Awful Auntie tells the story of Stella, who after spending three months in a coma, her Aunt Alberta explains to her what has happened. However, not everything Aunt Alberta tells Stella turns out to be true, leading to a fight for her life against her very own awful auntie.


17-20 May, various times (£8-£12)
West Park

The worlds most famous circus, The Moscow State Circus, comes to Hull for a spectacular display of their new production GOSTINITSA.

Promising to be an amazing event for the whole family, you can also take advantage of their two-for-one ticket offer for all shows!


19-20 May, 8pm (£20-£50)
Hull City Hall

Once again, Kingston Swing returns to the Hull City Hall for a weekend of breathtaking dance for Hullzapoppin.

Full of Lindy Hop, Jazz, Guest DJ’s and workshops, this exciting celebration of dance features the glamorous Hullzapoppin’ Swing Ball with the ever popular Gordon Webster Octet, and also the City Hall Stomp Off, recreating some of the most classic moments in Swing History.

Hullzapoppin_Hullzapoppin Photography-63_© Josh Moore


21-26 May, 2:30pm & 7:30pm (£15-£31.50)
Hull New Theatre

A side-splitting comedy show endorsed by the likes of Ant & Dec and Joanna Lumley, The Play That Goes Wrong will have you laughing from start to finish.

The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but anything can can go wrong, and does! The accident prone cast carry on against all the odds to reach final curtain, in which hilarious results ensue.


23 May, 7pm (£6-£7)
Hull Truck Theatre

Local film-buffs Hull Independent Cinema present another incredible movie, based on the critically acclaimed novel by Brian Selznick.

Wonderstruck tells the story of Ben and Rose, both who are from different backgrounds but wish their lives were very different. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his home and Rose reads and intriguing newspaper headline, they both embark on quest to uncover answers, unfolding mesmerising symmetry between them.

Five minutes with… Laura Waller

Laura Waller is head chef at one of Hull’s most consistently high-ranking restaurants. Formerly 1884 Dock Street Kitchen, its take on modern British grub is rated by food critics, visitors and locals alike, with fans including national restaurant critic Matthew Norman. It has a prime spot on Hull’s marina and is now shifting focus to become 1884 Wine Bar And Grill, with Laura at the helm.

Q: Where did you earn your chef whites?

A: 2018 is my 17th year as a chef. I trained at Hull College, and worked as a commis chef at The Beverley Arms and later Cerutti 2, where I went from commis to running the kitchen. I then relocated to Worcestershire to work in a fine dining two-rosette restaurant, The Glasshouse, before running the kitchen at a country village pub called the Hanley Swan. I wanted to get experience of corporate dining, so I went to Warwick Castle, where I ran the kitchen doing weddings and functions.

Q: What made you come back to Hull?

A: Warwick Castle was a great experience, but I was missing home. When 1884 opened, I moved back to Hull with the aim of working at the restaurant, as I’d heard so many good things about it. Within a couple of months, I got a job here as a sous chef and was asked to be head chef in 2015.

Q: Tell us about your style of cooking.

A: We do typical British food. Everything’s always fresh, tasty and seasonal. We like to take the raw flavours and make them slightly better, and I like to incorporate a bit of hearty home-cooking style.

Q: You run the kitchen at one of the most recommended restaurants in Hull, what’s the secret?

A: The secret is the team. We have a really good team – a little family – and I hardly have any staff turnover. The passion that everybody has for their food is what makes it.

Q: The team has received a fair few accolades over the years, what are you most proud of?

A: We’re very proud of winning the REYTA Remarkable Restaurant of the Year 2018. I get very nervous about awards and I don’t like to lose … I burst into tears when they said our names because that’s how proud I was of our team. It makes everything worthwhile.



Q: Why are there still so few women head chefs?

A: People will still come into the restaurant and expect a man to be head chef. When that happens, I appreciate the fact that my staff always gently point out to customers that their head chef is woman. There are some really great female head chefs and sous chefs out there, but it is still an achievement to be a female head chef. It’s something for me to be proud of.

Q: What’s new at 1884?

A: We’ve now changed our concept to become 1884 Wine Bar And Grill. We’re still very much about fine dining and a la carte menus, but we now also have a bar menu. We do a very good steak – probably the best in the area – and it’s by far our most popular dish. We’ve got different breeds and cuts of steak, plus seasonal cuts, all reared in Yorkshire by our award-winning suppliers, Taste Tradition. We’re also planning to get a dry-aging locker so we can age our own steaks in-house.

Q: Exciting times. Anything else in the pipeline?

A: In addition to our sister restaurant 1884 Wine And Tapas on the opposite side of the marina, we’re planning to open a restaurant in Hessle, which will be 1884 Italian. There will also be an 1884 presence at the new Barrow Boys cocktail bar on Humber Street, near our flagship restaurants, plus more on the horizon.


Frank Turner

Cultural Highlights: 5 – 11 May


5 May, 7:30pm (£5)
Trinity Market

After an hilarious appearance at the very first Back To Ours festival, the wonderful Ceri Dupree returns to Hull for another show, that promises plenty of laughs, music in spectacular jaw-dropping attire.

Ceri Dupree will bring a touch of Las Vegas glitz and glamour to the beautifully renovated Trinity market with this pacey, quick-changing show, bouncing with energy, style and showmanship, brought to you by the Back To Ours team.

Back To Ours Festival - Ceri Dupree. Photo: © Tom Arran


Until 29 July, 10am (Free)
Ferens Art Gallery

In a partnership with the Royal Collection Trust, Van Dyck’ Charles I is one of five collections of Art heading Ferens Art Gallery.

Van Dyck’s triple portrait of Charles I, begun in 1635 and finished by June 1636, portraying the King from three viewpoints, each with a differently patterned lace collar and coloured clothing.

The unusual format chosen for the portrait was due to its proposed use as a reference work for the Italian sculptor Lorenzo Bernini to create a marble bust of Charles I.


8 May, 6:30pm (£27.50)
Hull City Hall

Promoting his seventh studio album Be More Kind, folk-rock legend Frank Turner and his band The Sleeping Souls bring their crowd pleasing hits to the Hull City Hall.

Be More Kind is inspired by the chaotic world that we live in, and will perform these future classics alongside some of his older hits.


10-11 May, 7:30pm (£10-£24)
Hull New Theatre

A tale of love, obsession and grief, Rumpelstiltskin is the original super mutant who can turn ordinary things into gold, but is soon shunned by society for being different.

BalletLORENT ‘s award-winning team are behind this original adaptation of the beloved tale of Rumpelstiltskin which is suitable for the entire family, directed by Liv Lorent with a heartwarming score by composer Murray Gold.


10-12 May, 10am (£0-£10)
Hull Truck Theatre

Grow Festival is Hull Truck Theatre’s artist development programme for artists of any age and at any stage of their career, and this year builds on the confidence we’ve all gained, cements relationships, and challenges artists to try something new, make connections and inspire your collaborative choices.

This years programme includes plenty of insightful workshops, some fresh theatre, and a collaboration speed-dating event!

Skateboard Festival To Offer Free Skateboarding Sessions All Over The City This Summer

Over the past couple of years, Hull City Council has invested in skate parks throughout the city to position Hull as a major national centre for skateboarding.

Hull’s 2018 Skateboard Festival, organised by Hull Culture and Leisure, will include nearly 50 free skateboard sessions delivered in Hull. Equipment will be provided at all the sessions, which are appropriate for all ages and abilities, and there also will be certificates, prizes and awards handed out at each event.

The final session at each park will be a ‘jam session’, a mass participation event and festival of skateboarding, with music, professional demonstrations, competitions, throw-outs, prizes and engraved awards.

Skateboarding is a growing sport in the UK, and in 2020 will be recognised as an Olympic sport at Tokyo 2020.

Mitch Upfold, Managing Director for Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd, said:  “Hull Culture and Leisure prides itself on providing up-to-date programmes of activity that are relevant to residents’ needs.”

“Last year we ran a pilot skateboard project in partnership with Active Sports where nearly 500 residents attended a comprehensive free of charge coaching programme, which also involved four mass participation events where all equipment was provided.”

“On the back of its success we are delighted to be able to offer free skateboarding sessions all over Hull this summer.”

Mark English, from Rockcity Skatepark, said: “We are excited that Hull City Council is continuing with its Hull Skateboard Festival again this year.  I can’t think of any UK city that has such a series of events across the summer.

“With Skateboarding enjoying its world premiere at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, our city will have set a new standard for UK cities in how important the humble skateboard is.”

For further information, head to the Hull Culture & Leisure website.

Cultural Highlights 28 Mar – 4 May


28th April, 10am (Free)
Ferens Art gallery

Through an ongoing partnership, the Royal Collection Trust bring a masterpiece by Sir Anthony van Dyck to Hull for the first time. The triple portrait of Charles I, begun in 1635 and finished by June 1636, portrays the King from three viewpoints, each with a differently patterned lace collar and coloured clothing.

The unusual format chosen for the portrait was due to its proposed use as a reference work for the Italian sculptor Lorenzo Bernini to create a marble bust of Charles I.


Until 3 June, 11am (Free)
Maritime Museum

100 years after the epic expedition, Hurley’s photographs remain one of the greatest ever photographic records of human survival.

Scanned at the highest resolution from the Royal Geographical Society’s incomparable collection of the original glass plate and celluloid negatives, Hurley’s intrepid documentation of the expedition can be seen in stunning detail through a presentation of large format images in various mediums.


3 May, 7:30pm (£29.50)
Hull City Hall

As Shalamar, Howard Hewitt and Jeffrey Daniel sold over 25 million records worldwide and collected no less than 100 gold, silver and platinum awards. They always whip the crowd into a frenzy with classics such as “A Night To Remember”, “I Can Make You Feel Good”, “Friends”, “Make That Move”, “There It Is” and “I Owe You One”.


3 May, 4pm (Free)

Zebedee’s Yard

We can make you feel good with some great food on offer at the Hull Street food night, come into the city centre after work and enjoy a drink and something to eat with family and friends in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. With over 30 stalls of high-quality local produce and expertly-created dishes, you’ll be spoilt for choice.


1 – 12 May, 7:30pm (£12 – £22.50)

Hull Truck

Compton Mackenzie’s internationally recognised classic gets a new breathe of life from Philip Goulding and Kevin Shaw. The islanders of Great and Little Todday are dismayed to find their whisky supply dwindling as the UK government diverts the precious stuff to the Americans, in an attempt to bribe them into supporting the British war-effort.

When the whisky runs out completely it seems like the end of the world… But then a 50,000 whisky bottle cargo is shipwrecked close by the islands, and welcome relief seems to be at hand.

British Science Festival 2018 is coming to Hull

Can you tell us what British Science Festival is all about?

The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing science festival, travelling to a different place in the United Kingdom each year. Our Festival aims to connect the public with interesting researchers, people and organisations from across all sectors of society, such as science, politics and the arts. Running over four days, it’s completely free and can include anything from talks and debates to performances and immersive experiences. The events span a diverse range of subjects that encompass science in the broadest sense, promising something for everyone.

What do you hope to achieve from the Festival?

The Festival is about celebrating science as a fundamental part of our culture and society. We want to provide opportunities for adults, particularly those aged 16-25, to engage with science through the interests, topics and experiences that matter to them. We want to show them that science is important, interesting, and crucially, for everybody to enjoy, engage with and be a part of.

What are the current ‘big issues’ in science?

We’re living in an extremely exciting time for scientific advancement, which is incredibly hopeful but can also encompass debate and controversy. Ocean conservation has been big on the agenda this year following the launch of Blue Planet II, which stirred up many people’s passion to protect the environment. Social media and the online world have also dominated the headlines in recent months, with the impact of it on our mental health and also the recent Facebook data scandal. These topics will all be explored during the Festival, but we’ll be covering all areas of science. Being in Hull and the Humber, we will have a special focus on energy, the environment, health and exploration, as these topics are such a crucial part of the region’s history and its future.

What kind of events can we expect to see in 2018?

We’re delighted to say that we’ve just announced some of our speakers. I’m really excited that the incredibly talented, world-beatbox champion Grace Savage will be joining us. She’ll be in-conversation with a neuroscientist who studies the voice box to understand what is happening when she performs. World-renowned physicist Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell and poet Lemn Sissay will also be there discussing the inspiring nature of science for the arts.

If you had to describe the Festival in 5 words, what would they be?

This is a great question because we actually ask our audiences to describe the Festival in 3 words. One of my favourite responses was when someone said ‘Absolutely f***ing brilliant’ – we’re hoping to achieve the same level of love and success in Hull!

Finally, why have you decided to run the Festival in Hull this year?

The city of Hull has such a fascinating history and is home to some cutting-edge research that we can’t wait to explore and showcase to the world. The University of Hull has a fantastic reputation for its research and scientific excellence, so we’re also incredibly excited to be working with the team to

Hull Truck Youth Theatre

Cultural Highlights: 7 – 13 Apr

Human Electric Tree

Thu 5 – Sat 7 Apr, 7pm (£5-£8)
Hull Truck Theatre

Multi award-winning theatre company Silent Uproar and Hull Truck Youth Theatre have joined forces with Sunday Times award-winning playwright Josh Overton to create Human Electric Tree – a weird and wonderful view of the systems we put young people through.

The ‘almost adults’ have spent the best part of the last two decades in our ‘flawless’ education system which supposedly allows them to be happy and achieve all of their dreams. They will get perfect families, the job their parents told them they always wanted and will definitely, definitely never create any psychopaths. The fact that Jackson is failing and fantasising about strangling his teacher, and Brown is bored out of her mind, has nothing to do with a desire to turn children into perfect robots… right?

An unmissable piece of theatre, for fans of American Psycho, Scroobius Pip & The History Boys.

Hull History Makers

Sat 7 Apr, 9.30am (Free)
Hull History Centre

As part of Hull History Centre’s 2018 programme, you can get involved with the History Makers’ range of free craft and Lego activities. Be prepared to colour, construct, glue and design to your heart’s content. There is no need to book in advance, and all are welcome from ages 2 to 102!

Alexander O’Neal

Sun 8 Apr, 7.30pm (£26.50-£35)
Hull City Hall

Alexander O’Neal, one of the biggest names in the world of R&B, brings his stage show to Hull, celebrating the release of his 15th studio album, Resurrected.

Originally signed by Prince as part of The Time, he boasts an impressive back catalogue of top ten singles in the UK and the US, as well as a mammoth triple platinum-selling album.

It Snows & The Willow Pattern

Thu 12 – Sat 14 Apr, 7.30pm, (£5-£8)
Hull Truck Theatre

Another evening of entertaining theatre from Hull Truck Youth Theatre with this extraordinary double bill.

Bryony Lavery’s It Snows features a boy, a girl, a whole school day to get through and a party to worry about. There’s a gang of girls, a gang of lads, and a gang of warring mums and dads. It’s the same old story with the same old boring stuff, until one day when it snows… and it’s not so boring anymore. Directed by Tom Bellerby.

The Willow Pattern, written by Judith Johnson and directed by Finlay McGuigan, tells the story of The Mandarin’s daughter, who is arranged to marry the noble warrior. However, she is in love with the Mandarin’s secretary, and on the eve of the wedding the lovers elope.

A gripping tale of forbidden and innocent love.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen & Hugo Ticciati in Recital

Fri 13 Apr, 6pm (£4-£8)
University of Hull

Described as a fiercely intense performer by the Times, musician Tamsin Waley-Cohen joins fellow violinist Hugo Ticciati to present an exciting programme based around the theme of improvisation.

Improvisation will interlink the variety within this performance between two violins, and will be followed by a masterclass, in which observers are welcome to attend.

Charlie Broomfields – Individuals

Until 26 Apr, 10am (Free)

Charlie Broomfield is a Hull-based fine arts graduate, with an interest in studying people through drawing within inner city environments. He interprets the people he witnesses into two-dimensional individuals, assimilated into publications and materialistic forms.

His minimalistic approach captures the essence of his subjects, representing a series of moments trapped in time. Individuals is a part of Artlink’s ongoing programme that highlights local artistic talent from the city and surrounding areas.

Middle Child

Middle Child reveal plans for a new generation of theatre makers in Hull

2017 was a whirlwind year for Middle Child, the award-winning theatre company founded in 2011 by University of Hull alumni. Its Hull UK City of Culture commission, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, wowed audiences at Welly before heading to Latitude Festival and selling out at Edinburgh Fringe. This was followed up with I Hate Alone, which toured pubs and clubs in Hull, and their annual Fruit pantomime, Cinderella.

This month, Middle Child welcomes new chairman and former Hull 2017 CEO Martin Green to its board of directors and joins Arts Council England’s national portfolio, alongside the likes of Hull Truck Theatre and Freedom Festival. This status ensures core funding until 2022 and now, with the security that brings, they are looking to inspire a new generation of artists in the city with the launch of a new development programme, Louder Than Words.

Actors, writers, directors and even aspiring critics will benefit from workshops, residencies and funding pots. There’s even a new library for those who enjoy reading theatre.

I spoke to artistic director, Paul Smith, about the company’s exciting plans.

What’s the inspiration behind the Louder Than Words programme and what are your ambitions for it?

Louder Than Words exists to ensure that artists in Hull are given top-class development opportunities across disciplines without needing to leave the city. We also want to put talented new artists at the centre of our own productions. This means that, when working with Middle Child, artists at all stages of their careers will be given opportunities to develop while actually making work, instead of undertaking hypothetical situations. You will see a direct link between the Louder Than Words programme and the people who are on our stages and working behind the scenes.

We have been directly inspired by the amazing work the New Diorama Theatre in London have been doing, proving that with a bit of creativity and a lot of passion you can make a real difference for artists.

What’s on offer for the people of Hull?

We want there to be something for everyone to get involved in, regardless of experience.  We wish to put new voices in a room with established ones and take it from there. Whether you are – or want to become – an actor, a critic, a writer, a director, a musician or a maker there is something for you.

Our New Critics programme aims to improve discourse in the city, by giving two new critics a year the chance to participate in masterclasses with the best writers in the country, as well as free tickets for a number of shows to review.

For actors, we are resuming our Acting Gym and supporting new performers with our Career Kickstarter Fund, which covers the cost of head shots and a Spotlight subscription, as well as offering free audition workshops.

Writers will have a range of residencies to participate in, as well as our new Writer’s Group in association with the Royal Court, which will be led by the brilliant Tom Wells.

Directors, makers and musicians will have many chances to get involved with creative processes – from residencies to our annual Lock In short plays festival – as well as receiving financial support for the creation of new work, through both our Middle Child Match Fund and First Show Fund. We are also holding a number of introductory workshops designed to ensure more voices can be heard in Hull’s creative sector.

There is also our new Theatre Library, in association with Oberon Books and with support from Nick Hern Books and Paines Plough. The library is free to use for all Hull residents and offers access to the best modern plays, as well as a number of classics and theatre reference books.

Why is criticism important to theatre companies?

Proper discourse around work is vital for the development of any artist. We, as artists and as a city, need to feel comfortable discussing art – how it made us feel, how it relates to the world around us  – and be aware that there are no wrong answers. Doing so will ensure that Hull continues to be considered a place for world-class culture.

Currently, theatre companies often have to go to Edinburgh Fringe to receive criticism from further afield, but we believe that shouldn’t be the only way. Anyone can have an opinion on a piece of art and in order to make work that is truly popular and progressive it is important that artists receive feedback from a diverse range of voices, not just the usual crowd of theatre writers. We want to encourage a more thorough, varied and democratic analysis of art here in Hull which will, in time, benefit the work being made.

Who are you looking to reach?

The whole programme is designed so that people from any discipline, with any level of experience and confidence can participate.

We don’t want the programme to be seen as only designed for people currently involved in theatre, and want to be clear that anyone in the city can get involved. We wish to put new voices in a room with established ones and take it from there.

Tell us about Darley’s, your current base.

It’s an old pub on the Thornton Estate, owned by the brilliant Goodwin Development Trust. We’ve worked out of a rehearsal room there for the past six years, but are now taking over the entire building and have already decorated, with the help of Crown Paints. It will become a theatre hub for Hull, full of new ideas, new opportunities and new ways of doing things. It will hold rehearsals, social events, showings and is of course home to our new library.

We have an unshakeable belief in the brilliant people living in Hull and want everyone to feel welcome to pop-in for a chat, have a cup of tea and make use of the facilities. 2017 proved that there is a real thirst for creative engagement in the city, and we want Darley’s to be the place where that feeling is encouraged and continues long into the future.

What else do Middle Child have coming up this year?

Lots! As well as Louder Than Words we’re also making three new gig theatre shows, working on touring All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, heading back to Latitude Festival and the Edinburgh Festival, as well as continuing with our regular quiz events and pantomime. Keep your eyes peeled for further details on all of that and much, much more!

Keep up to date with Middle Child and find out more about Louder Than Words

Type Slowly & Warren Records Shop

Type Slowly & Warren Records: bringing together Hull’s DIY creative scene

Type Slowly is bringing together Hull’s zine scene and local musical talent and we can confirm it’s a match made in heaven. We met with Mike of Type Slowly (who runs the zines and publication side of things) and Stewart from Warren Records (who handles the music side) to talk all things creativity in the new shop.

How did the partnership between Type Slowly and Warren Records come about?

Stewart: I run Warren Records and Mike runs Type Slowly and we’ve been friends for over 20 years. We work mainly within the DIY creative scene in Hull and we both have a love for underground art. Mike went ahead and opened Type Slowly, which was mainly focussed on publications and zines with a bit of records, and we (The Warren) wanted to mainly sell records. We talked about the potential of doing something together and when the opportunity came up to get a space at The Warren we jumped at the chance. With The Warren being a young people’s charity and not-for-profit, Mike was really into what we were doing. It’s everything that he believes in as well, so it felt like an organic, natural thing to try and do it together.

Type Slowly & Warren Records Shop. Photo © Tom Arran.

What do you stock in your shop?

Mike: On the Type Slowly side of things it’s primarily zines and most of it is sourced direct from writers. Our stock is mostly American and Canadian. We also stock fanzines – it’s basically anything you can’t get in the mainstream bookshops or on Amazon. We want to just give people something different, a different voice. Our aim is to stock as many local artists and writers as possible too. We want to give artists somewhere they know they can get their creations into the public’s hands. It’s easy for things to get lost online, so I think it’s good to have that physical space where people can actually display their work and hopefully sell lots of it!

Stewart: There haven’t really been that many shops in Hull that offer a space for local music. Mainstream shops don’t always want local music and underground acts. Like Mike said, it’s important to find that space where people can sell their music, and people can find new acts. There are a lot of people that want to support that. For us it’s about getting local music, regional music and underground music from all over the world into a space where people can access it. We want to grow that into an international collection, like how Mike is importing stuff that you can’t get in your typical shops. We want to get bespoke, limited edition releases – that’s the kind of stuff that excites us.

Type Slowly & Warren Records Shop. Photo © Tom Arran.

What local artists and musicians do you stock?

Stewart: Warren Records have always been a champion of local music of all ages, of all kinds and we will always champion that. The artists we’re working with currently are a band called Serial Chiller and an artist called Joe Russell-Brown. There are loads of other new artists that are coming through as well.

Mike: In terms of what we stock locally, we’ve got the Warehouse Graffiti zine, which is selling really well at the moment with everything that’s going on down at Bankside Gallery, the new legal space for graffiti. We’ve also got a couple of local graffiti zines – I think now we have six or seven Hull creators. Now I’m chasing people and saying reprint your zine. I want to sell it.

Type Slowly & Warren Records Shop. Photo © Tom Arran.

What advice would you give to people wanting to start out in zine making or music?

Stewart: I saw a quote recently which said “a bad idea delivered is better than a good idea not delivered.” For me it’s just a case of doing it. I say to people don’t over think it and don’t worry about making mistakes because that’s how you learn. It takes some of the fun out of it if you start overthinking it. The good thing about what we’re doing with music and zines is offering that mentorship and guidance. If you don’t know where to go or where to start we can offer that support. I think it’s about being reliable and delivering something too – hard work is important.

Mike: I would say exactly the same. It’s probably slightly different with music in that financially you might be set back – although this is something The Warren can help with. With zines, you don’t have any of that holding you back. If you’ve got one piece of paper and a pen, and 50p for photocopies – you can make a zine. I always say to people that if you’re unsure you can find some friends and each do a page, or don’t put your name to it and make a penname up. There’s nothing worse than speaking to someone who’s got creative ideas and they don’t do it. I do loads of stupid stuff and I don’t mind if it works or it doesn’t work. You don’t want to overedit yourself – just get it out into the world.

Type Slowly & Warren Records Shop. Photo © Tom Arran.

What are your future plans for the store?

Mike: We want people to be able to buy things that you might only be able to get in London, New York, Chicago. There’s a shop called Quimby’s in Chicago and it’s well known as one of the best book shops in the world – that’s what I aim for. I want people to come in and not be able to believe that it’s in Hull. There’s a long way to go but there’s no reason why Hull can’t become that city that’s got one of the best independent stores in England.

Hull’s always had a good pool of talent but I think as a city we don’t like to show off. There was always that stigma that we weren’t Leeds, we weren’t Manchester. But now I think it’s gone the other way – people are proud of where they’re from and it’s shaping what they make. We see that a lot with the zines we get from Hull – it’s really good stuff. That’s another one of our big missions in the shop. We want to encourage more people to write zines and do it more regularly. We want to become that place that people know for the awesome zines that come out of it.

Stewart: I want people to feel like they can come in and sit down and listen to records and read books and feel like they were part of a community. That’s what inspired me when I was younger. When I went to record shops, it was my dream to have my CD on there – it makes you feel there is an outlet. That can really inspire someone to do something. If we create a community and people are filling these shelves without our help then that’s perfect. I’s not about the shop. It’s not about selling goods. That’s just how we’re making relationships. It’s about getting to know people and building trusty relationships within the community, through art.

If you fancy checking the shop out for yourself, bob over to 47-49, Queens Dock Chambers, Queens Dock Avenue. Plus, head to Type Slowly’s Facebook to stay up-to-date with everything they have planned.

Tim Noble & Sue Webster - Forever

Exploring ‘Forever’ with Tim Noble & Sue Webster

If you’ve been down to Humber Street Gallery recently you can’t help but take notice of the three light sculptures currently on show in Gallery One. Mesmeric, bold and eye-catching, these three pieces are a glimpse into the prolific back catalogue of Tim Noble & Sue Webster.

Their series of light sculptures recall British seaside towns and carnival shows as they rhythmically send out messages of love and hate, recalling our own contemporary culture.

Tim Noble & Sue Webster: Forever. Photo © James Mulkeen.

The exhibition, titled Forever, references arguably the most dominating piece in the show. A flashing emblem, Forever hasn’t always been set on the walls of a gallery.

Originally installed on top of a bus shelter on London’s Tottenham Court Road, Tim sees the work’s migration to a gallery as taking the work a stage further. “Putting Forever in such a pristine space you start to ask yourself what the word forever really represents.” Tim says “It’s such a definitive, courageous, romantic word. And it’s kind of ridiculous in a way. You almost need to sit there and ask yourself what it means.”

Interrogating the light sculptures is actively encouraged, too. The inspiration for the works at the exhibition stemmed from the pair’s own examination of British culture. Their time spent at seaside resorts like Blackpool, seeing the Illuminations triggered their own investigations into what they were and why they were there.

They were originally put up to give people hope.” Tim says. “We liked that idea, that this signage was highly seductive, full of promise even and could be seen from miles away.”

This scale is carried through to the exhibition space. “We liked that we could put our work, our pieces, contrastingly in a small space,” he says “it becomes confrontational in a sense, for people to be faced with these signs in a room.”

Contrast and conflict is something that the pair strive for in their work. On working as a pair Tim says “Part of being a collaboration is the conflict of personalities. We’re like two magnets opposing one another, one makes the other spin around. That dynamic gives us a lot of energy and allows us to throw ideas around.

Tim Noble & Sue Webster: Forever. Photo © James Mulkeen.

This energy translates to the exhibition where a rhythm permeates, from the hand-drawn flashing neon of Smoking Finger to the pulsing Excessive Sensual Indulgence, a fountain of light, which Tim cites as seductive and in your face.

It’s this rhythm that Tim feels brings the exhibition together. He explains “there’s this idea of the perpetual in the movement of each piece, so the exhibition has this rhythm – one, two three.”

When we talk about forever, we think about it in terms of a human life span, but Stephen Hawking said let’s look at infinity – what does that mean? That’s another form of forever.

This pulsing energy pulls you in. Tim observes “People like to stand under Forever and claim it” – you need only watch on as viewers pose in front of Forever to understand – an Instagram dream. He reveals “there are even two people we know who actually met underneath Forever and got married and they’re still together now.

To think of the exhibition in only idealistic, romantic terms is to underestimate it. As Tim points out “When we talk about forever, we think about it in terms of a human life span, but Stephen Hawking said let’s look at infinity – what does that mean? That’s another form of forever.

“You can put four football pitches together and times them by one billion and you still haven’t scratched the surface of what forever is in terms of time and space.”

Tim Noble & Sue Webster: Forever. Photo © James Mulkeen.

Scratching the surface of the exhibition and its power is tricky too, as the pieces play upon a very real human desire to find hidden meaning. This only adds to the air of seduction Tim references. He asserts “People do read a significance into the signs. They think about their own relationships, or lost relationships.” Each viewer can take what they want from the light pieces. This makes the exhibition personal, something you can make your own for a moment.

And crucially, as Tim points out “when you start to strive for a definitive overall meaning, you start to pigeon hole the work. I think behind those seductive, in-your-face signs there’s always a mirror. A darker contradiction, which we all love so much.

If you want to see the show for yourself, Tim Noble & Sue Webster’s Forever runs at Humber Street Gallery until Sun 27 May. The exhibition is free to visit.