Q and A With Dave Windass About Heads Up Festival

IPJ. You said in a recent interview “We’re developing a bad habit of shunning conventional theatre spaces” will this continue?

  1. I would like to think we’ll continue to explore other spaces in the future, it keeps you on your toes but is very expensive, it is very fashionable to do work in these site specific spaces but also it does restrict audience numbers sometimes.

IPJ. How important are places like Hull Truck to Ensemble 52 and Heads Up Festival?

  1. Hull Truck is a partner this year because Battersea Arts Centre approached them 2 years ago so they’re very important.

IPJ. Do you personally have any out of the ordinary spaces that you would like to take Heads Up Festival to in future?

  1. I would like to use the Lord Line Building, the Rank Hovis Building and the swing bridge in the old town but that’s not to say that we would create work specifically for those spaces it would still be a case of ‘Where would this piece of work fit?’

IPJ. Will Heads Up Festival ever venture outside Hull to places like maybe Beverley or Cottingham?

  1. No because of the partnership with Battersea Arts Centre we have to keep it inside Hull but we’ll try and take it as far and wide as possible from one end of Hull to the other, we’d like to reach out to disengaged audiences.

IPJ. Do any of the upcoming events particularly stand out to you personally?

  1. I’m excited about The Adventure which is an immersive story for kids that’s showing at Central Library, I would love to go and see that, Lorraine and Alan and also Gloriator, which is a female version of Gladiator also look very good.

IPJ. What about Penny Duck Theatre?

  1. We’ve worked many time with Andy Wilson who is one of the founder members of Penny Duck, they’re doing a double bill so people are getting two for the price of one, one is called Hair of the Dog and the other is Deja Shoe and knowing them as well as we do we know laughs will be guaranteed.

IPJ. What is happening with Ensemble 52 about 2017 now?

  1. We want Heads Up to be sustainable by 2017 because the agreement with Battersea Arts Centre comes to a close in 2016 so if it is we’ll hopefully attract some international acts then.

IPJ. Were you happy with how the production of Yalda went this week?

DW. Yes, Yalda is a piece in development, we know it requires further work, it gave us opportunity to see if we want to continue with it, the next version will have more action, more movement, more dance and a bit more physicality.

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Protestors Vent Anger at Council and Government

Protestors from Unite, GMB and both East Yorkshire and Hull against Flouridisation have been protesting on the steps of the guildhall today while a budget meeting was taking place inside.

Patrick Holdsworth of East Yorkshire against Flouride said: “It’s a massive waste of money,

“It will cost £400,000 to set up and then £100,000 a year to maintain,

He continued “They’re targeting 5 to 7 year olds saying that it strengthens tooth enamel but there is no proof of the benefits they say it brings,”

He wants them to take the money it costs and use it to educate both children and adults about dental health instead.

Unite Convenor Pete Schofield said they, and the GMB, were campaigning against austerity cuts that have been forced on the council by a £150M cut in funding from central government.

“We’re protesting because it’s about time the Labour council grew a backbone and made a stand against the Tory government,

“Over the last five years there’s been 2,000 jobs lost and the council have had to start charging for things that were free before like day services, transport and meals at day centres,

He continued “The government have targeted Labour councils and looked after their own like Chelsea council has had a rise in funding while Hull has had a massive cut,

He also went on to say it wasn’t specifically aimed at the government but also the council saying “The chief executive shouldn’t get paid £170,000 it’s far too much,

“Two councilors Jill Kennet and Dean Kirk have actually now set up their own party for the people of Hull,

“It’s about time the council said no to anymore cuts,”

The council now charge £65 a session for day services, £5 each way for transport and about £2.50 for a meal at a day centre as a result of the cutbacks.