Grow Festival: Helping Hull’s theatre scene to blossom
Hull Truck is welcoming artists at any stage of their career to a four-day festival of development and showcasing
The future is looking extremely bright for Middle Child, whilst Hull’s theatre scene is set to flourish with the company's latest plans to inspire.
Middle Child is a Hull-based theatre company that specialises in creating gig theatre, telling untold stories, capturing exciting moments, and breaking down the many barriers that can often make theatre seem inaccessible.
From this April, the company is joining Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, which means that Middle Child is now recognised as one of the best arts practices in the world and will receive regular funding.
In light of this, the team has designed an artist development programme and installed a theatre library at their rehearsal space in Darley’s on Porter Street in Hull.
“We’re launching a new theatre library full of hundreds of play scripts, theatre guides, reference books, biographies, academic texts and various other types of material related to theatre,” explains Jamie Potter, Communications Manager. “They are all free to borrow for any resident of Hull.”
The library has been created in association with Oberon Books, an independent publisher specialising in performing arts and theatre, alongside Nick Hern Books and Paines Plough.
“The idea for the collection came about as we recognised that it isn’t easy to access these kinds of books anywhere else in the city,” Jamie explains. “Sure, you can find some classic texts in the general libraries, but what we’re aiming to provide is the latest scripts in an environment where you can drop in to talk to us, and we’ll recommend you the right materials that may interest you. It’ll be a place where you can discover new pieces of work and feel inspired.”
The library is part of a wider effort to make the city a hub for new theatre-makers and creatives:
“Our artist development programme is also going to be launching shortly. We want to make Hull a great place to work, live and develop your craft as an actor, writer and even a critic.”
To mark the start of this new chapter, Middle Child is hosting an invite-only lock-in event that involves local writers, actors and artists. The participants must come up with a new play in just 24 hours.
“Throughout the year, we’re going to be organising more workshops to harness and nurture the skills of local people. The library is just one slice of this,” adds Jamie.
The news comes at the same time as Martin Green is revealed as the new Chair of Middle Child’s Board of Directors. The former CEO of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is set to take the baton from Dr Sarah-Jane Dickenson, Senior Lecturer at the University of Hull, who has been in the role for the past twelve months.
“We’re really thrilled because Martin has done it all, so we get to benefit from his experience and knowledge, all whilst taking on this new position as a National Portfolio Organisation,” Jamie enthuses.
Keep up to date with the company’s shows, news and opportunities on the Middle Child website.