Confessions Of A Hull City Supporter at Hull Truck
By Nick Quantrill
Written by Hull City fanatic, Alan Plater, and with male characters played by actors from Hull,
it would be easy to write this play off as being a parochial Fever Pitch.
Whilst it's definitely a home banker, the structure of the play holds enough laughs
to get a result away from home.
Enough of the football clichés..though I have to say I was over the moon when I found
out tickets had been reserved for me to see this production..
The play kicks off in 1904 and follows a dazzling story of mediocrity through four
generations of Hull City supporters narrated by Bill (the excellent Martin Barrass).
Bill's great grandfather (Roy North) buys the cap worn by Hull City's first great goalkeeper,
Martin Spendiff, with the intention of passing it from generation to generation.
As a symbol of Hull City's mediocrity over the following century, all male members of the
family are born as Hull City play out 0-0 draws with the opposition.
Or as Bill's family would say, we thrashed them 0-0! As each male member of the family
reaches the moment they come of age, in this case by being old enough to watch Hull City
play for the first time, we are taken back to the days of Boothferry Park, Anlaby Road
and The Boulevard as they wear the dirty, oversized cap on the terraces.
As ever at Hull Truck, the performances are highly polished and the play comes with
all the trimmings you expect as standard from the company.
Although the cast consists of a mere three actors, they portray different generations
of the family using great skill and the ever changing backdrop.
The back drop is particularly well-used to pace the narrative and set the
action in specific times and locations, many of which are important in the story of Hull City.
Key matches are recreated on the stage for your entertainment.
Using a style similar to Fantasy Football's Phoenix From The Flames, you are
invited to see for yourself how Hull City have been cheated out of their
rightful place amongst football's aristocrats through the years.
In case you're sceptical and wondering why Hull City should become an important part
of your life, then there is the regular opportunity to listen to advice
from the supporters help-line, manned superbly by Mary (Una McNulty),
and to be dazzled by ten unique Hull City trivia facts.
Although the play is about football, it's not just about football, if you
follow me..Hull City may have spent much of their 100 year existence completely
comatose, even receiving their final rites on more than one occasion, but it's
not the rare moments of glory that are all important.
It takes more commitment, hope, patience and even self-pride to follow a club
like Hull City rather than, say, Manchester United.
It's easy to take the quick and simple option, and that doesn't just apply to
football as the narrator finds out as the play unravels at the end of the
promotion-winning season of 2003/2004.
Whilst this play may playfully poke fun at the club, Plater does it in a warm,
affectionate way in a style that can be enjoyed by both new and old Hull City
supporters, and even people who are yet to realise that the once comatose
club is finally stirring.
My first ever Hull City match? Reading, Boothferry Park, October 1984.
Result? We thrashed them 0-0.
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