Culture

NAPA bring the Roaring Twenties to Hull Truck Theatre

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Hot on the heels of Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd and Betty Blue Eyes, this year’s spectacular offering is the all-singing, all-dancing Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Hot on the heels of Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd and Betty Blue Eyes, this year’s spectacular offering is the all-singing, all-dancing Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Taking place on Hull Truck Theatre’s main stage from Wednesday 4 until Saturday 7 April, the classic musical is based in 1920s New York and follows the journey of Millie Dillmount, a thoroughly modern girl from Kansas in search of a wealthy man to marry.

“This is a completely different show with unique requirements,” says Director, Katie Wright. “The kids are so strong and dedicated; they’ve never done anything as dance-led, yet they’re really stepping up to the challenge.”

In preparation for treating audiences to tap sequences and Fred-and-Ginger-style routines, the cast of young people aged 13 to 22 has learned special skills in order to bring this fabulous show to life for a Hull audience. However, the obstacles they need to overcome aren’t just physical, as Thoroughly Modern Millie also demands for the cast to speak in a range of accents.

“It’s been interesting to direct because the emphasis on particular words is different,” Katie tells us. “We’ve dedicated a lot of time to getting everything just right, as we want the show to flow and be as believable as possible.”

On top of this, two actors have to speak in Mandarin and sing in Cantonese, meaning that they had to learn two new languages from scratch in order to perform their characters.

Meanwhile, the narrative is full of hilarious twists and turns, focussing on Millie’s quest to find a man whose wallet is as big as her aspirations. However, a darker side story weaves its way throughout too, telling of the nefarious Mrs. Meers, a failed actress turned human trafficker.

“The show almost verges on panto, yet there are so many elements of black humour,” Katie explains. “It’s a brilliant balance that truly entertains.”

With the 1920s being hugely popular at the moment thanks to movies such as The Great Gatsby and TV series like Peaky Blinders, NAPA is confident that Thoroughly Modern Millie will delight Hull Truck Theatre audiences.

This is complemented by an exemplary creative team, which includes Paddy Start as choreographer and music direction by Paul Frankish, whose career has spanned the UK and taken him to the RSC and Wicked in the West End.

“NAPA’s students and creative team never fail to impress,” adds Katie.” As a result, Thoroughly Modern Millie presents amazing costumes, contagious tunes and a wonderful night out for all the family.”

Tickets are £15 and can be purchased by calling Hull Truck Theatre on 01482 323638, or online through the box office.

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