Six Characters In Search Of A Handout Going To Edinburgh Fringe

Hull-based Theatre on the Edge are taking their smash hit production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016 after its success in Hull this month.

The production, written and directed by Barrie Wheatley, is a gutsy, well paced, utterly realistic story of the hot brick subject of the large increase in use of food banks in Britain in recent years.

However, despite the massively political subject, it isn’t used as a hammer to bash the government over the head about what has led to the explosion of new food banks opening, or what is driving people to use them, instead it explains why they are being used in such vast quantities more subtly and apportions no blame apart from real situations which we all know about.

The show has moved between three nights at Kardomah 94, one night at Holy Trinity Church and finally one performance at the Northern Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) and, all the while, has collected money and food to be given to the organisations who fight daily against food poverty to feed the needy that are being created every day.

After the last show at NAPA the cast said it had all been a great experience for them, this super talented cast of Sara Featherstone, Maxwell Smales, Stan Haywood, Jackie Rogers, Chris Gruca, Molly Robinson, Clare Crowther, Dave Bush, Kirsty Old, Jamie Wilks, Ella Straub and Katy Burgess, who have handled this controversial subject with absolute mastery, explained how they have pulled it off.

Katy Burgess who played the controversial character Katie said that, because of the nature of the character, playing her in the surrounds of Holy Trinity Church was very interesting for her, and Stan Haywood who played the intense but very well meaning Arnold explained they had to change some of the dialogue when they were in the church.

Maxwell Smales said walking down the aisle there “Felt very powerful” and Sara Featherstone said that “Being able to see all the audience in the church was very different.”

Another highlight for the whole cast is that audiences seem to have all really identified with the characters and Sara also exclaimed that Katy had told her “No matter how much we don’t like it, there’s a Katie in all of us somewhere.”

Doing a Q&A after each show also seems to have been something of a masterstroke which has generally been very well received by audiences and participants alike.

This show deserves great praise for its unflinching quality and guts, it is a piece of theatre that everybody can absolutely identify with on different levels and, although tragedy doesn’t put bums on seats, this reality production hits the cause of it squarely between the eyes without being too one sided.

Six Characters

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Tre Amici Interview

Classical group Tre Amici are asking their supporters to back them in large numbers as they head towards the Christmas Period with the lads from Hull hitting the road during December.

On 6 December they will be appearing in Dewsbury in the Open Mic UK semi final, tickets are £10 for that event or if you pay £15 you get your ticket and travel with the trio on a coach to Dewsbury and back.

Michael Thomas from the group said: “We really need people to get behind us for this, it’s a massive competition and we want to do Hull proud.”

Martin Jackson said: “The semi final is so important, if we win we’ll be heading to the O2 arena for the final so it doesn’t get much bigger than that.”

Tickets are also seemingly selling well for their concert at Toll Gavel in Beverley on 18 December although some are still available, Michael said: “Tickets are selling well but there’s still some available.”

Martin confirmed this: “The best place to buy tickets for Toll Gavel is on our website.”

Tre Amici have been described as Hull’s answer to the 3 Tenors in the past and are thoroughly engaging and clearly love their hometown, as evidenced by their appearance on stage at the Christmas lights switch on, one can only hope they gain the recognition and success they surely deserve.

To buy tickets go to Tre Amici Tickets

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Indoor Market Trader Expects Benefits From Town Centre Regeneration

A trader in Hull’s Trinity Indoor Market believes the market can benefit from the regeneration work currently taking place in the City Centre.

Hull City Centre is currently benefitting from a £25M regeneration in preparation for the 2017 City of Culture celebrations.

Ian Rigg of Hull Prints says that the work could help increase footfall in both the New Town and Old Town areas as Hull starts gearing up for its year in the spotlight.

Mr Rigg said: “I think it’s very easy and unfair to blame the council for the problems in the city centre.

“St. Stephen’s is also a bit of a scapegoat which is unfair because all city centres have shopping centres in them and they manage.”

Speaking about what is needed to help increase footfall in the indoor market he said that it needs more unique bespoke stalls.

“We do ok here because we’re a bit of a unique stall because you can’t get these prints anywhere else.

“The record stall Spin It next door also does well because that’s something of a unique stall,” he continued.

Another issue market traders have previously raised is that many people knew it as a food court and maybe didn’t realize what an eclectic mix it has.

Mr Rigg also said: “We need more footfall and more people wanting to spend money, the regeneration outside can maybe also give the area a bit of the wow factor to attract more people.”

How To Be Brave Book Launch

Debut novelist Louise Beech has launched her first book How To Be Brave at Hull Central Library last night.

The delightful new girl on the potential best-seller block was supported by several friends and family, including her daughter who provided the inspiration behind the novel, and her husband as well as publisher Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books.

The book, which has been greeted with critical acclaim, tells the true story of the authors grandfather’s survival in a lifeboat drifting at sea for 50 incredible days, which saw 12 of the 14 occupants who clambered into it not make it home in 1943.

This book though offers up a second true story, based around her own struggle to get her daughter to take her life-saving diabetic medication, by promising her a story before she would take it.

Add into the mix a story of a book bringing family members back together after decades apart and you have a true fairy-tale like story of epic proportions which must see this book gain the success it surely deserves.

Speaking personally I must say I’ve known Louise for some years now through her involvement with Hull Truck Theatre and the fact that, like me, she is also a playwright, and you can trust me when I say that nobody deserves the success she is enjoying now more than her.

With her effervescent personality, her winning smile and her magnificent writing she has a definite star quality about her that just exudes lovability and star quality.

When she was asked where she saw this leading in a year from now our delightfully bubbly center of earned attention joked about going to Hollywood, but it did leave me wondering if that might be the next stop for the girl from the next UK City of Culture, let’s see what happens next!!

Louise Beech Book Signing

Photos kindly supplied by Jerome Whittingham at Photomoments

Twitter: @photomoments

Wigan Warriors 30 Hull FC 24. Airlie Birds Youth Claim Moral Victory With Gutsy Performance

Injury ravaged Hull FC frightened the living daylights out of Grand Final contenders Wigan Warriors in a classic Super 8s match at the DW Stadium.

Hull coach Lee Radford trusted youth due to their unprecedented injury crisis with no fewer than six academy players as Zimbabwean born prop Masimbaashe Matongo made his debut from the bench and Jansin Turgut made his second appearance alongside Brad Fash, Jordan Abdull, Jack Logan and Jack Downs.

The game started with a very flat atmosphere as both sides started cautiously and defences were undoubtedly on top in the first few minutes.

Just as Wigan appeared to create their first opportunity with a fast move from right to left winger Joe Burgess put the ball down with open ground in front of him.

From the resulting scrum Hull then moved the ball to their left and Curtis Naughton made a dash only to be brought down into touch by a tackle that looked a touch high by Warriors full-back Ryan Hampshire.

The Warriors then went straight back to their left side with George Williams making a dart down the wing before handing inside for 19 year old centre Oliver Gildart to race in after 10 minutes, the conversion by Hampshire gave the home side a six point advantage.

Hull youngster Jack Logan then made a dangerous break from inside his own half and had the Warriors defence on the run until he tried a pass which was taken somewhat fortuitously by Burgess despite him seemingly knocking the ball on.

Wigan then forced a last tackle play with several passes but the covering Airlie Birds defence got back in numbers to halt the danger 10 meters from their own line as they refused to just lie down.

Wigan soon extended their advantaged as a fast move to the right side saw Anthony Gelling draw winger Naughton in before putting Josh Charnley over in the corner in the 22nd minute, the touchline conversion by Hampshire gave them a 12 point lead.

Unfortunately for the badly under strength black and whites the Warriors were finding yards rather easy to come by but Hull did keep making clean breaks which would have upset Warriors boss Shaun Wane.

Another break by Jordan Rankin after Matty Smith knocked on near the Hull line saw the Airlie Birds again press the Warriors defence until an unfortunate pass hit Rankin and ballooned over Tom Lineham into touch.

Wigan were then given a fortuitous scrum when a short kick was unluckily fumbled by Logan giving them a scrum 20 meters from the Hull line but a move to the right was snuffed out after a forward pass from Gelling to Charnley was pulled up by referee James Child.

Warriors forward Sam Powell was then very lucky to face no further action after clearly gouging Lineham’s eye which saw the winger taken off for further treatment.

Mark Minichiello was then harshly penalised for a ball steal in a 1-on-1 tackle giving the Warriors another penalty and eventually John Bateman crossed under the posts, the conversion from Hampshire made it 18-0 after 32 minutes.

Another Wigan attack threatened another try but then a dropped ball presented full-back Jamie Shaul with a chance to run and the Hull man raced 95 meters for his 8th try of the season, the touchline conversion from Marc Sneyd brought the black and white’s back into the game with four minutes to go to the break.

Two minutes later the Airlie Birds were in again as a fast move to the left side saw Logan dispense with one tackle from England scrum half Matty Smith and then  rounded two more defenders all too easily to score, the conversion from Sneyd reduced the deficit to six points with less than a minute to half time.

Hull started the second half in good mood and after their first set in the half Sneyd came within a whisker of a 40/20 but the ball just went into touch short of the 20 meter line much to the home sides relief.

The Warriors were afforded the first chance of the half as Minichiello made an uncharacteristic error as he dropped a pass inside his own 20 meter area but a well organised defence from Hull kept them at bay forcing Smith into a kick which was fielded by Naughton to force a goal line drop out.

A harsh penalty for interference against Matongo then gave the Warriors more possession and territory but a nothing attack was easily repelled by a vice-like Hull defnce as a Warriors player was forced into touch under a pack of defenders.

Another Warriors attack then saw another kick to the Hull left and this time Naughton managed to tap the ball back for Sneyd to take the ball and bring it away from the line again.

Another comical attack from the Warriors then saw a rare mistake from Shaul as he failed to take a grubber kick in, the loose ball was thrown inside to Powell but as he slid over the line he was foiled by Danny Houghton’s hand forcing the ball clear resulting in a 20 meter restart for Hull.

Hull then attacked again as they sensed another chance but Naughton was stopped less than 10 meters short and then a wide kick by Sneyd was knocked on.

Wigan then thought they had another try after Abdull spilled a kick and Bateman grabbed the loose ball to touchdown but the video referee disallowed the try after Flower was adjudged to have tackled the young stand-off without the ball.

Another Wigan attack then saw Josh Charnley held up over the line but then on the next play Flower forced his way over the whitewash, the conversion from Hampshire stretched the Warriors lead to an undeserved 12 points with 18 minutes left to play.

Hull then came again as Fash made a dash in broken play but was then penalised for pushing Hampshire off him trying to get a quick play the ball.

Wigan then attacked again and another kick was floated out to Charnley’s wing but again Naughton was equal to it to push the ball out to touch in goal.

Wigan were then awarded a penalty in front of the posts and, uncharacteristically they opted to take the two points and Hampshire duly obliged to make it 26-12 with 13 minutes left.

Hull then made a great break through Steve Prescott Man of Steel contender Liam Watts and with the Warriors defence at sixes and sevens a kick right by Sneyd was taken in by Rankin and the departing Australian dotted the ball down to score, the conversion by Sneyd brought them back within eight points.

Hull then cut the Wigan defence apart embarrassingly easily again and a deft kick by Houghton saw Logan race up outside Charnley, scoop the ball in, and leave the England winger floundering in his wake to race in unopposed, the conversion by Sneyd made it a two point ball game with eight minutes remaining.

Taulima Tautai was then sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Mickey Paea with less than seven minutes left to play.

Wigan then grabbed a totally undeserved win as Super League’s leading try-scorer Burgess rounded off a move down the left hand side with a palpable sense of relief to leave a final score of 30-24.

Penalties Wigan 5 Hull FC 3

Goal Line Drop Outs Wigan 0 Hull FC 2

Attendance 12,028

Man of the Match (Shared) Curtis Naughton and Jack Logan

Jack Logan

Heritage Event At Annison Building And Courtyard

Hull’s most haunted building has flung its doors open to invite the public in to see round the building and a display of artwork by local artists as part of the campaign to save the iconic Lord Line Building.

Tony Hutchinson, owner of the Witham Pharmacy and Danielle White, Events Coordinator for the building invited guests including Lord Mayor Councillor Anita Harrison, BBC Radio Humberside presenter David Burns and local poet Audrey Dunne to a preview event last night.

The display in the hayloft of the building included work such as a massive model of St. Andrews Fish Dock and surrounding area, a fishing vessel and pictures of the Lord Line Building along with merchandise from Action For Hull who are campaigning to save the Lord Line Building.

Music was playing in the courtyard and there was some artwork set back a bit that can be seen while you’re there.

Other attractions during the heritage days that run until Saturday are guided tours which have been pre-booked and Bee Lady Jean Bishop will open the final day at 10 o clock on Saturday morning.

There is also a sneak preview of what is to come with the Hull Dark History Museum which is currently being expanded within the building by owner John Hemingway.

It is also known that Burnsy has suggested to City of Culture that they should go and see the building with a view to using it as a performance space.

Mrs White and Mr Hutchinson are also promoting the venue as a performance space with many events lined up for the remainder of this year and into 2016 including an alternative nativity play written by Pony Express Theatre Company.

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Hull KR Homecoming Event

Their team may have been soundly beaten in record fashion by cup kings Leeds Rhinos at Wembley on Saturday, and the rain may have been tipping down but that didn’t stop hundreds of Hull KR fans from turning out to welcome their heroes home at Hull City Hall this afternoon.

Even rival fans from Hull FC and Leeds Rhinos braved the elements in Queen Victoria Square to join the party that signaled the Robins player’s return from the clubs first Challenge Cup Final in 29 years.

With banter aplenty supporters of the rival clubs stood side by side to generate an atmosphere that not even weather that would have sent the bravest of ducks running for cover could dampen.

This was all about fun, not dwelling on what might have been, it was the game of rugby league showing the world that even the greatest of rivalries can bring people together and friendship and comradeship can blossom even in the strangest circumstances.

The friendly game and the friendly city came together and showed everybody that this game is about more than just results and trophies.

As Chris Chester and his team were brought onto the balcony, despite their 50 point drubbing on Saturday, they were welcomed with raucous chants which showed genuine appreciation for their efforts to get to the Wembley showpiece in the first place.

Supporters who had been left shell-shocked, dejected and embarrassed on Saturday once again found their voice and, after a public apology, saluted chairman Neil Hudgell.

Rovers must now pick themselves up, dust themselves down, and get on with the business of trying to secure their Super League future starting with a home game against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday, but at least they know they’ll go into battle with a loyal backing from the same fans who they so badly let down on the biggest stage.

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