Up n Under Hull Truck Theatre 17th July
By Nick Quantrill
This special production of Up N Under is being staged to celebrate twenty years of
John Godber productions at Hull Truck.
As Godber's Olivier Award winner it's only right this should be the chosen play as well
as it being an opportunity to reclaim its reputation back after the sheer awfulness of the film it spawned.
It's truly staggering to learn that the theatre has premiered 43 Godber plays.
It's one in the eye for those who say that nothing ever happens in Hull!
The story revolves around a bet on a rugby league match. Our hero, Arthur, drawn into
the situation by some hilariously macho nonsense, has to coach a team chosen by Reg, coach of
local top dogs The Cobbler's Arms.
Naturally Reg chooses a team that has experienced less success than most of England's
national sports teams..combined. Reg chooses The Wheatsheaf Arms.
The story follows Arthur's attempts to kick this ragged bunch of misfits into some kind of shape.
It's clearly going to be a difficult task. Anybody who has played amateur sport will probably be cringing
inwardly at these scenes.
Training for The Wheatsheaf Arms consists of little more than trading banter in the changing
room and exercising their arms lifting pints in the pub.
These are the kind of set-pieces that explain why John Godber is so good at what he does.
You can't help but laugh at the comedy, but at the same time you're aware it's also functioning
as social comment.
As training goes from bad worse, Arthur enlists the help of fitness guru, Hazel, which
certainly helps to inspire the players to greater heights, or at least turn up for training.
As the big game against The Cobbler's Arms draws ever closer the team are transformed into a
lean, mean, rugby league playing team who fear nobody.
The big day arrives for Arthur and his team and the match is recreated brilliantly on stage.
The use of different colours on the front and backs of the shirts is particularly inspired
and makes the spectacle especially pleasing.
As the game progresses, and you've guessed correctly, it's a close one, the match hinges on the
last kick of the game.
If Arthur kicks the penalty successfully, the bet will be won and more importantly,
the characters will win back some pride and self-respect.
To find out whether or not the kick sales over the bar in a Beckhamesque fashion,
you'll have to go and see for yourself.
The one criticism of the production is that although it thoroughly entertains and makes you
laugh in all the right places, it was difficult to really care about the characters.
Godber is usually so good at creating underdog characters that you can't help but root for.
This didn't really come over very well in this production.
Rather than being character driven it felt very much action driven with much of the background being implied.
With the exception of Hazel and Frank who had both been recently divorced, little was really
known about the characters.
Without doubt the theatre is much more enjoyable than watching television.
After all, you can't see drama like this on Big Brother.
Sure, it's a little more expensive
than the cinema but you're not required to watch computer-generated graphics that
merely require its audience to switch off their brains as they enter the building.
All the actors were superb throughout and handled the scenery and character changes faultlessly.
The use of a narrator to keep the story moving was a device that worked especially well.
Although maybe not John Godber's finest, it was still highly pleasurable to spend another
evening in the company of his work.
Reviews, Theatre -
The Blockheads New Writing Festival Hull Truck June 23rd Review by Jane Foster.
Special Guest Reviewers
Michael Jackson - D-List celebrity with a confusing skin disorder.Snoop Doggy Dogg - A gentleman entertainer who likes the ladies.Barry White - A gentleman entertainer who lurves the ladies.
An art student recruits a fellow scholar to find out all about her life..and then paint her in her absence
Reviews, Films - Fahrenheit 911 - Moore heat By Martin J Deane
I announced this film to cheers at The Welly when Sam Ahmed and his band invited us to speak, on 4th July,
Independence FROM America Day.
Michael Bush-whacker Moore takes us on a roller-coaster ride through the Republicans stealing
the 2000 election - with shameful scenes of one black Representative
Reviews, Theatre - UpN'Under Hull Truck Theatre 13th July By Michelle Dee
A near capacity audience at the Spring Street Theatre attended the twentieth anniversary performance
of John Godber's Rugby League comedy on Tuesday evening. A remarkable testament to the extraordinary
pulling power and appeal of his work.
There was an audible buzz of excitement among the crowd as we sat down to enjoy
Reviews, Theatre - Be My Baby at The Hull Truck Theatre Saturday 12th June By Cilla
I'm not a regular theatre goer. Not at all. It's like a different world to me. And frankly in
the past I'd say that overall I felt disappointment and (perhaps imagined) exclusion from that
scene. My sister could appreciate it, enjoy it even but I always thought of myself as not
the type to go
Reviews, Books - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time By Mark Haddon Reviewed by Steve Rudd
I think people believe in heaven because they don't like the idea of dying, because they want to
carry on living and they don't like the idea that other people will move into their house and put
their things into the rubbish.
This strangely endearing novel is one of the most originally-styled that
Reviews, Films - Bring me Sunshine - Eternal sunshine of a spotless Mind By Lee Cassanell
I believe that it's much easier to make people laugh than it is to make them cry and if you look back over all the films you've seen in your life, I'll wager that the ones you shed tears over are your secret favourites.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of those movies and although I wasn't quite blubbing like
Reviews, Special Events - Simon Armitage at PAVE 22nd March 04 by Elsie Creek
It seemed that, until this event, I was the only person in existence not to have heard of Simon Armitage.
Nowadays, the writings of this ex-probation officer, from the small West Yorkshire town of Marsden, are apparently even studied at GCSE.
I'm sure that is the final proof of success for even the most
Reviews, Films - Here comes the Bride - Kill Bill Volume 2 By Lee Cassanell
Juicy junior..real Juicy..Joe Cabot (Reservoir Dogs)
For those of you who've been holidaying on the sun for the past few months, Kill Bill is the latest offering from
Quentin Tarantino who as far as I'm concerned is the most important and influential director of the last