Tag Archives: Hull 2017

On Culture: Hull 2017 reveals Tell the World season

The CultureJukebox team have been really impressed with the work going on in Hull, throughout the City’s capital of culture year. So it’s great to read about the wonderful new season of programming Tell the World.

Running from October to December,  Tell the World brings theatre and live performance, literature, visual art, festivals, spectacle and more. There are events and activities across the city to entertain, challenge and bring people together, cementing Hull‘s reputation as a cultural destination, with a profile that is growing nationally and internationally.

New commissions with Hull Truck Theatre include The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca, written by the award-winning actor and writer Maxine Peake, a site-specific commission that will take place at Hull‘s historic Guildhall, and a brand new play by acclaimed writer James Graham (This HouseInkPrivacy, The Vote), a behind the scenes comedy about the City of Culture year, which is due to open in 2018. Hull Truck Theatre also has the world premiere of award-winning writer Tanika Gupta’s adaptation of the best-selling novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, directed by Mark Babych.

Visual art includes Turner Prize 2017 at Ferens Art Gallery, which runs until 7 January 2018, with awards night on 5 December. A partnership with international photography co-operative Magnum sees Martin Parr and Olivia Arthur‘s photographic study Hull, Portrait of a City at Humber Street GalleryBritish Council and Royal Institute of British Architects are partners for the spectacular Look Up public art commission, A Hall for Hull, in historic Trinity Square.Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hulla Principal Partner, presents works from the Government Art Collection inAn Eyeful of Wry.

Martin Parr: Hull, Portrait of a City

A Hall For Hull

Hull 2017’s commitment to innovative and experimental new work, supported by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence, sees the culmination of the epic year-long project Slung Low‘s pioneering multi-format Flood, as well as Blast Theory‘s landmark 2097: We Made Ourselves Over and curious directive‘s virtual reality project Frogman, which has just premiered in Edinburgh.

Also embracing technology are virtual reality wizards Marshmallow Laser Feast, whose A Colossal Wave is a major partnership commission with the British Council and Partenariat du Quartier Spectacle, Montreal, and the world renownedJason Bruges Studio work their innovative light-based magic in Hull‘s Old Town with Where Do We Go From Here?a new art installation that runs into January 2018.

Following its £16 million rebuilding programme, the newly opened Hull New Theatre‘s first season includes work from Opera NorthNorthern Ballet and National Theatre, plus The Kings of Hull, a world premiere from John Godber.

Tell the World builds on the city’s strong literary heritage with an unprecedented number of nationally renowned as well as local writers, poets and spoken word artists coming together for a variety of events to suit all tastes and ages. Kicking it off, on National Poetry Day (28 September), Contains Strong Language, produced by the BBC alongside Hull‘s own Wrecking Ball Press and the annual Humber Mouth festival, plus many other partners, is the UK’s biggest poetry and spoken word festival.

Running alongside this exciting new event is Out of this Word, a month-long showcase of top writers, poets, playwrights, artists and musicians from across the UK, being presented by Hull 2017 Principal Partner, East Riding of Yorkshire Council. In November Hull Noir celebrates the best of British and international crime fiction and also host the prestigious Iceland Noir from Reykjavik.

Hull Noir

Returning and continuing events include Back to Ours, the popular festival of music, performance, film, art and circus brought to the heart of local communities; the Creative Communities Programme, which has seen 60 projects across the city; and the No Limits learning programme, which has ensured that every school child in Hull has had the opportunity to take part in the City of Culture year.

Tell the World also reflects on how Hull is redefining itself, celebrating the qualities that make it a fabulously unique city. In December Substance brings together artists, thinkers, commentators and creative mavericks and visionaries for a weekend of art, performance and debate that focuses on Hull and the North’s future as a dynamic cultural and creative powerhouse.

The lovingly restored 1960s Vintage Mobile Cinema is also coming to Hull as part of the This Way Up film exhibitors’ conference (7-8 November), including documentary shorts from the British Council/Scottish Documentary Institute Storiesprogramme, which, since 2011, has trained filmmakers from countries as different as Jordan, Libya, Pakistan and Syria, in the art of creative documentary; First Acts: bold, daring expressions of creativity, delivered in short film form by young artist filmmakers. Commissioned by the Random Acts Network for Arts Council England and Channel 4; New Animated Shorts from the UK, curated by Abigail Addison; One Minute: artists’ films, curated by Hull based artist Kerry BaldryFlare Films: from a British Council international touring programme in partnership with BFI Flare.

For more information: https://www.hull2017.co.uk/

On Culture: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything – “gig theatre” at Hull 2017

As regular readers will already know, the CultureJukebox team grew up close to Hull – so it’s been great to see the energy of the city be unleashed throughout this year. And a press release about theatre outfit Middle Child piqued our interest further..

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything opens at the wonderful Welly nightclub in Hull on 6 June 2017.  If you’ve never been to the Welly, it’s one of the city’s very best clubs. The home of a lot of indie, alternative culture and the odd lost night out or two.

So, whats the show all about? It’s “gig theatre”, which means it’s a fusion of live music, theatre performance and an immersive experience. It mixes original live music from James Frewer with bold new writing from Luke Barnes.


This three-act anthem, set across three decades, from 1997’s Cool Britannia to 2007’s Broken Britain and today’s Brexit Britain, is a story about the world we inherited and the one we’re leaving behind.

The story follows two young people from Hull over 20 years as they struggle to realise their hopes and ambitions, against the backdrop of an asteroid heading for Earth. Alice Beaumont performs behind a Daft Punk-inspired mask as The Asteroid in the production, using synths and drum machines to give the character a distinct electronic music sound, in contrast to the guitar-based music of the human characters. James Frewer also performs live on stage alongside the actors, playing guitar and keyboard.

The show is from the creative minds of Hull-based theatre company Middle Child. Check out the website for more on the music, the story, and to buy tickets (they start at £8, and there are concessions too).

The All We Ever Wanted Was Everything EP features original electronic music written by James Frewer and arranged with Alice Beaumont. The EP is a great idea, introducing the audience to the characters and themes from the show.

James said: “One of the sole reasons you go to a gig is to hear the band or DJ’s big tunes and so we thought we’d get on it and release some of the tracks from All We Ever Wanted Was Everything before the event. “The character of The Asteroid in this show has her own techno vibe so we thought we would release the majority of her songs as a concept EP, detailing the journey of her view on humanity, from the euphoria of its possibility to her broken hearted execution of the planet. “We want people to play this EP loud, have a dance to it and then come along to hear it live at Welly this June.”

This sounds awesome, check out the show website here.

 

On Arts: UK City Of Culture? Hull 2017 Makes It Mark

It was one of Hull’s best known voices that said: “Nothing, like something, happens anywhere”.

That was Philip Larkin, and this year *something* is happening in Hull – it’s the UK Capital of Culture this year and has a mind-expanding programme of events, arts and cultural happenings going on that is really going to put the Humberside city on the map.

On New Year’s Day thousands of people gathered to watch fireworks and a stunning multimedia installation to open the year of culture in the City. This brought to life stories of the city and its people from the past 70-years.

Image c/o Getty

Sean McAllister, a documentary filmmaker from Hull, said the Made in Hull event – would show the world that Hull has a remarkable hidden culture.

He said: “We’re finally going to share our secret. If you’re from Hull, we always knew we had culture, it’s just the world didn’t know, so the secret’s out. Finally we’ve had to let them in. In a way we’ve kind of had these doors up to keep everybody out of our culture.

Sean added: “It’s just for us, we’ve had it as a subculture but, damn it, we’ve finally had to open the door to the international world and let them in. They can come and see what we’ve been enjoying.” 

Image c/o Getty

From the devastating bombing during the second world war, to the disappearance of its fishing fleet in the 1970s due to the cod wars, to the decimation of its shipping industry, Hull has struggled during the last seven decades.

Officials hope Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2017 will breathe new life into the city. It is the second city to be given this honour, following Derry-Londonderry four years ago. Hull was selected four years-ago from a shortlist which included Dundee, Leicester and Swansea.

I grew up a few miles outside of Hull and will be covering 2017 in some detail. Here are a few highlights to watch out for over coming months:

Voices Across The Humber, April 1st

This sounds like a fantastic introduction to the region’s character, through its unique voices.

Ours is a place with distinct DNA, inimitable character and high spirits – a true energy estuary. Rich in history and talent, both banks of the Humber will come together to perform an exciting choral, orchestral and visually stimulating concert celebrating our region’s proud maritime heritage.

Led by Hull Choral Union, one of the area’s longest standing and best loved choirs, the show will unite choirs aged 7 to 90, renewing old partnerships, forging new relationships and connecting communities from across the river.

Flood, Feb 1st to October 1st

This experimental performance works with the city’s unique geography and brings to mind some of the recent heartbreaking disasters in and around the region.

image c/o Hull 2017

An epic adventure about the end of our world, set in the future, told in many parts.

Flood is the story of what happens to Hull when the waters come.

Slung Low makes adventures for audiences outside conventional theatre spaces, each with a powerful, moving story at its heart. Their political, mythical and explosive storytelling has wowed audiences nationally, transporting them to new worlds and making them see familiar places afresh.

Flood is the company’s most ambitious and experimental project to date, using live performance, special effects, digital manifestations and other platforms to tell a story across an entire year.

Back To Ours, Feb 22nd to Feb 25th

As part of the celebrations there’s creativity coming to every corner of the city.

There’s a buzz in the air as we bring award-winning shows to every corner of Hull, with big names sharing the stage with familiar and favourite local artists. We’re transforming venues in the heart of local communities; from schools to shopping centres, there’s a festival hotspot right on your doorstep.

We’ve got something for everyone as we shine a spotlight on comedy, music, circus, theatre, cabaret, dance and film. There are stories that will bring a tear to the eye, belly-laugh jokes, magical moments and even a bit of puppet nudity. So what are you waiting for?

Bring a friend. Bring your parents. Bring your kids.

Heck, bring everyone Back To Ours.

COUM Transmissions, Feb 3rd to March 22nd

A subversive exploration of the Hull-formed artists who challenged societal conventions.

Explore the life of COUM Transmissions in the first exhibition of materials drawn from the personal archives of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge. Live events organised by The Quietus will trace the conception and legacy of COUM, combining music, talks and discussions among original COUM members.

Founded in Hull during the late 1960s by artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, COUM Transmissions was a collective whose work confronted, subverted and challenged societal conventions.

Labelled ‘the wreckers of civilisation’ by a Conservative MP following COUM’s Prostitution show at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the group’s end in 1976 heralded the formation of the musical collective Throbbing Gristle.

 

Mind On The Run – The Basil Kirchin Story, Feb 17th to 19th

Another experimental ambient happening – inside the mind of a post-war sonic genius.

Image c/o Anna Bean

What connects the first British rock’n’roll discs of the 1950s, Vincent Price and The Abominable Dr. Phibes, the Nagra tape recorder and the industrial sounds of the north? The answer is Basil Kirchin.

Basil Kirchin is the forgotten genius of post-war British music. His remarkable life stretched from the days when British dance music mutated into rock’n’roll, through a headlong succession of film scores and pop songwriting, before retreating to Hull, where he created sonic landscapes that still challenge convention while seeking out an increasingly reclusive existence until his death in 2005.

A pioneer of musique concrète described by Brian Eno as “a founding father of ambient”, Kirchin’s intriguing history represents a collision of popular and experimental musical cultures that predate and define much of the music we hear today.

A live music festival celebrating the legacy of Hessle Road’s creative genius.

John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay, TBC

A four-day music festival celebrating the best in Nordic creativity and influence taking over Hull city centre.

Hull goes international as it celebrates the city’s Nordic links in this experimental music festival.

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter John Grant will curate a brand new, experimental music festival celebrating Hull’s Nordic and international links, while exploring the best in sonic creativity as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

A host of Nordic and international artists are coming to the city over May Day bank holiday weekend, including Icelandic electronic dance collective GusGus, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer Lindstrøm and Wrangler, a project that brings together Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire fame, Phil Winter from Tunng and John Foxx collaborator Benge.

Fila Brazillia’s Steve Cobby and acclaimed writer Russ Litten have teamed up for a unique musical journey. In 1968 three trawlers from Hull sank off the coast of Iceland within two months of each other. 58 Hull men died. There was one survivor. Combining Litten’s prose poetry with Cobby’s soundscapes they will perform four commissioned pieces to reflect the experiences of trawlermen. Making a ghost ship out of words and music and bringing their fore-fathers back home.

North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay will feature a variety of electronica, contemporary classical, avant-garde and experimental music, as well as one-off collaborations. Venues around the city hosting the festival include Hull City Hall and Gate Nº5, with other venues to be confirmed. More details about performers and shows and what to expect at this major music event will be announced in due course.

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More than £30m is being spent on the year’s events and £25m has been invested in revamping the city centre and refurbishing the (brilliant!) Ferens Art Gallery and the city’s main theatre.

Other happenings planned for 2017 include a visit by the Turner prize and a much-anticipated one-off gig from David Bowie’s old backing band, the Spiders from Mars.

And it’s not just culture. The city recently secured a £310m commitment by the German-owned firm Siemens to build new offshore wind turbines in the city, creating up to 1,000 jobs. More information and ticket details are on the Hull 2017 website here.