Monday evening, inside a cavernous boat shed on Hull marina, a tale of international importance and concern is unfolding. A terrible tale; a tale of modern day slavery, which the general public support, without a moment's thought, on a daily basis. That new leather bag you bought, those shoes, all those cheap t-shirts you got last week; ask yourself where were they made, by whom and in what kind of conditions?
Disposable People, directed by Andrew Pearson and Thom Stridd is set in present times and the stories unfold in an anonymous British city and in Lahore Pakistan. The opening oration sees the cast members walking on stage, walking in time to a threnody from a solitary accordion, each telling the different stories of slaves, each one trying to be heard over the next.
This was a strong representation of the many thousands of voiceless people imprisoned by the chains
of modern day slavery. We are told by Lena (a schoolteacher from the Ukraine) portrayed fearlessly by
Rachel Dale, that we are given two gifts; Life and Hope. Lena has come to England duped by a glossy advertisement promising a better life.
Much like a popular novel, you are introduced to the different characters, their personalities and predicaments, which over the course of the play are skilfully woven together. There's the debt bonded slave mother and daughter in Lahore, making bricks out of the earth to be fired in kilns, there's the American businessman and his wife about to become embroiled in the development of slave factories and the life of one desperate woman from the Ukraine.
There's the idealistic filmmaker, filled with passion to show the world that contemporary
slavery is a very real and pressing concern, perhaps echoing that of the prize-winning author
Kevin Bales whose book Disposable People informed the development of the play at every turn. The idea that change can be brought about by giving these people a voice was prevalent throughout the play.
The fact that the disillusioned journalist Charles, tries to save his career and possibly his soul, with an exposť of the exploitation in Lahore and its connections to the hidden, violent world of people-trafficking underlines the idea that words are a powerful weapon; perhaps, one of the only ones we have at our disposal to counter the exploitation and systematic abuse of human rights.
There's the untouchable Pakistani business woman whose sway is central to all the characters, yet she herself, in keeping with her aloof nature, remains a shadowy figure. She is seen on the screen barking out instructions, she is felt in conversation and she is heard on the phone; but never to my mind, is there an interacting scene with her physically in it.
It occurred to me that men are often depicted as the greater evil when talking about trafficking people for use in the sex industry. So it came as quite a shock that in this play it was a woman whose ambition and desire to succeed in the male dominated corporate world, was heading up a business exploiting her fellow woman.
Reviews - Thursday 20th September - Poetry And Music - ThisisUll At Babylon Bar, Cleethorpes By Michelle Dee
Having missed so many of Joe Hakim's recent out of town dates (Harrogate, Camden,
Southend) I was sure as hell not going to miss this one over the river in Cleethorpes.
He was joined by Mike Watts who has recently been accompanying Joe on his excursions
and flying the spoken word banner himself somewhat.
Also supporting Joe on this rare
Reviews, Events - Wednesday 22nd August Off The Road Poetry Performance Music Adelphi Club
Got in to this late due to being on the radio so first off apologies to all the acts I missed.
I'm quite sure you were brilliant and zany in that order. To be honest I have it on good
authority that performance poet Mike Watts who opened the show was indeed all that you can
read more of his poems in the poetry section on this site.
I also know having seen his zany act at Umber Gob Part 1, that
Reviews, Events - Sunday 19th August 07 - ThereplicagooseEgg support Chris Mayo at Durty Nellys
Hull's brand new comedy sketch group ThereplicagooseEgg had just over a week to prepare for this,
their first ever live show produced by Carnival 69 and they didn't disappoint a packed
Even though not one of their 4 members had ever had any stand-up experience, their unique,
clever, yet twisted approach to comedy carried them through, with a little help from Masked Dan.
Reviews, Theatre - Lord Of The Rings The Musical By Andy Dykes
Lord of the Rings the musical arrives on Drury Lane after a popular stint in Toronto. Riding on the coat tails of the Oscar winning trilogy of films and billed as a visual spectacular, the stage version is hotly anticipated by the London crowd.
Tonight the Theatre Royal is packed with theatre-goers eager to see just how Tolkien's voluminous tale
Reviews, Books - Daniel Mayhew - Life and How to Live it (White Horse Publications)
Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
Writing successful novels about music or bands is a notoriously difficult thing to do,
and something that rarely succeeds.
Step forward Daniel Mayhew to prove the exception to the rule with his debut,
which tells the tale of Serpico, the band formed by flatmates, Reilly and Jacob,
and the adventure that ensues when Reilly takes a week off work sick, and binging
Reviews, Films - 300 By Lee Cassanell
Due to the extreme cheapness of pirate DVDs it is often tempting to hand over a couple of sweaty coins to a council estate heavy at Walton Street market rather than pay six English pounds for a seat at your local cinema because that way you can smoke your lungs black, order a pizza, sit in your pants and not have to brave the uncomfortable chairs,
Reviews, Theatre - The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler at Hull New Theatre By Becky Martin
How The Vagina Monologues reflects wider anxieties and atrocities in modern society.
Thank God for Eve Ensler! Finally a strong female figure with the tenacity to stand up for and work to protect women and young girls all over the world, initiated by her wonderfully comic and complex tales of women's experiences of their own sexuality
Reviews, Games - Mr Smoozles Goes Nutso Reviewed by Daniel Chaplin
The game was very enjoyable and I think that the game was created for 6-12 year olds.
The playability of the game was extremely good but on the other hand I did not understand on how
to play the game because I could not find any instructions.
The game is about an alien attack that brain washes one of Mr. Smoozles' friends and kidnaps another.
Reviews, Books - Mark Frankland The Long and Winding Road to Istanbul (Glenmill Books) Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
It's 1977 and Liverpool FC are set to compete in their first European Cup final. For football crazy 13 year old Mickey McGuire it's the night of his life. Elder brother, Frank has different plans, as he
starts working his way up the criminal career ladder alongside local hard-man and minor criminal,
Eddie Tate. Volunteering his brother for a Tate job, Mickey is introduced to Eddie's sister
Reviews, Theatre - October 06 - The Northern Theatre Company - Thoroughly Modern Millie By Dirk Snatch
It was a Monday and after a cruel weekend of amphetamine abuse and barely legal sex, all I wanted to do was to slip into a Night Nurse induced coma and dream of Monica Bellucci's backside. However my rat bastard agent informed me that unless I
produced a theatre review within the next 24 hours, he was going to stop paying my liquor bills and feed me to the poor and so it was,
Reviews, Books - The Damned United By David Peace Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
This latest work from Yorkshire born Peace is another slice of his
distinctive style that combines fact with fiction to boil down the
story to its true essence. Previously tackling the Yorkshire Ripper
investigation in his Red Riding quartet, and the miners' strike in
GB84, this time Peace turns his attention to Brian Clough's turbulent
44 day reign of Leeds United
Reviews, Books - Perfume - The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind Reviewed By Laura Kilvington
Perfume - The Story of a Murderer was recommended to me by a friend
who described it as, one of the books you just have to experience before you die.
Now, after reading it for myself, I have to agree.
Perfume is a bildungsroman (a novel of education), which tells
the story of Grenouille who is born into the slums of
Reviews, Books - The Night Gardener By George Pelecanos Reviewed By Nick Quantrill (Available 10th August)
The 14th novel from George Pelecanos, The Night Gardener sees him weave an ambitious story that aims to lift him up and beyond the conventions of the crime-fiction genre. Pelecanos has never flinched away from tackling difficult social issues, and his remit here is to take a broad look at how crime touches the lives of those outside of its direct consequences,
Reviews, Humber Mouth 2006 - Friday 30th June 2006 -
Galloway: A Language Of Dissent? A Personal View By Pablo Luis González
Having watched the rather impressive performance that George Galloway MP put at
Hull Truck Theatre on Friday 30th of June 2006 as part of the Humber Mouth Literature Festival,
where he spoke without notes or sitting down for nearly an hour, in spite of the rather fancy
white leatherette chair provided for him on stage.
I was enthralled not only for what he
Reviews, Theatre - Northern Broadsides Company at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough - Wars of The Roses by Patrick Henry
Battles depicted by semaphoric flag-wielding and huge rattling drums, vigorous balletics,
sack-barrows deployed as steeds or track-turning tanks; speeches characterised by robust Northern
or Midlands accents, and their inherent ironies and wiliness; intrigues concocted rapidly and
sadistically, mirroring statecraft strategy related to our day now.
Such are the best