Write to Speak - The Petty Concerns of Luke Wright and Helen Mort at Hull Truck - Wednesday 20th October 2010
By Mark Walmsley
Hull Truck 0 - Luke Wright 30
If this had been the cricketer Luke Wright, you would be forgiven for thinking that the headline was a cricket score result between the Hull Truck cricket team and the solitary England Batsman but on this occasion it was worse news.
On his second visit in 2 years to the Hull Truck Theatre, Luke Wright, one of Britain's leading performance poets played to a house of around just 30 people.
Luke Wright is a giant amongst his fellow national performers, has 4 brilliant stage shows all of which played to sold out audiences at The Edinburgh Fringe, got five star reviews and has completed extensive national tours.
Yet when he showed up on Wednesday night he must have thought that Hull Truck almost forgotten that he was coming.
Unless you are closely connected with performance poetry and spoken word, Luke's attendance went largely unnoticed around the city. Why? I would say a combination of poor marketing, advertising and wrongly prioritised listings and headlining by Hull Truck Theatre, possibly due to ignorance of what it is they think the public should or want to see.
Luke Wright has not only programmed and hosted Latitude's poetry arena (the largest poetry event in Europe) he is also one of the poets in residence on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live.
You would have thought that with such a portfolio of accolades, not only Luke, but the Write to Speak events themselves should be given one of the highest priorities and maximum exposure if this City wishes to promote the arts and if Hull Truck's standpoint of being the 'Peoples Theatre' is to be taken seriously.
Events like Write to Speak (a local innovation), if advertised and marketed correctly, would be a sell out on every occasion and for the more notable performers there would be enough interest to fill the main theatre let alone the studio space allotted for such evenings.
Both Luke and the supporting act, Helen Mort made for a really enjoyable and witty and laugh out loud evening that, given the chance, hundreds of people would love to be part of.
If only Hull Truck Theatre made more of an opportunity to promote it and to bring the essence of performing talents within the spoken word scene to the forefront of exposure to the people of Hull instead of the seemingly begrudging token gesture to just about name their performances on a few lines a dozen pages into their 'What's on' magazine.
On the other hand, what chance does a nationally acclaimed spoken wordsmith have when you have an ex Coronation Street actress playing the main theatre next door? After all there's no substitute for talent, eh!
It's about time Hull Truck Theatre, backed by Hull City Council, started focusing on both local and raw talent that is awash within Hull City and give these people some support, promotion and backing when they spend a lot of time, money and effort to bring events like Write to Speak to the public, to enthuse and invigorate the very people who are unaware that this sort of entertainment is available in their own town.
After all, it's not only John Godber who can put on successful shows. The Write to Speak events are hugely innovative and are about, for and include the people of Hull and are kept alive on a voluntary basis.
Maybe it's about time the Hull Truck Theatre started championing what will be an ongoing success story.
Reviews, Arts - 1st September 2010 - Write to Speak Featuring Ian McMillan - Talking Myself Home By Jess Fullard age 16
This poetry thing's alright!
Right, me auntie asked me to go to this poetry thing - her mate couldn't go so I sez I wud (only coz she was gunna buy me a beer!).
I woz a bit worried it might be all, 'thee, thou' stuff. Am onny 16 an Eminem is the most famous poet I know!
Anyhow we goes in an it turnz out to be o'right, you know. I woz real surprised. Mike Watts and Joe Hakim did their poems and these woz real good.
Reviews, Arts - Write to Speak featuring Dennis Wild at The Adelphi Club - Thursday 5th August 2010 By Melanie Pearce
The Write to Speak group has become an extended family and like all families they like to get together for a bit of a do.
The chosen venue is the local Adelphi Club - round at mad Uncle Paul's house. Like any mad uncle's house, it's small, messy and always full of waifs and strays. You certainly wouldn't eat there but its home all the same.
Reviews, Books - Old City, New Rumours - Edited by Ian Gregson and Carol Rumens Reviewed by Tim Roux
In Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino, or rather his character, Marco Polo, declares that a port approached from the sea is of a very different character from the same port as approached from the land.
Being brought up in Hull in the 1950s and 1960s, I remember that you could drive into Hull down the Anlaby Road and have no sense of entering anything other than yet another Northern industrial red-bricked city until you either drove onto one of the docks
Reviews, Arts - They F*** You Up - Spoken Word Workshop at Hull Truck By Julie Corbett
A steady stream of people went in to Hull Truck and climbed the stairs or took the lift to the first floor. We were all heading for Inter@ct - the space and the first Write to Speak Poetry workshop. A few Hello's but it was mainly a community of strangers.
Joe Hakim began by introducing himself, Mike Watts and Cilla (the editor of www.thisisUll.com . And gosh we the audience were all quiet and attentive.
Reviews, Films - Avatar - iMax Cinema, London By Michelle Dee
I'd seen the clips and a brief 'making of' documentary on Film 2010 but nothing prepared me for the complete immersion into James Cameron's spectacular vision. I wasn't sure how I'd get on with the whole 3D thing, I worried it wouldn't work for me; how wrong was I.
London's iMax cinema on the south bank is huge and was apparently sold out that day although there were a number of
Reviews, Books - Missio by Tim Roux Reviewed by Clive Ashman
Thirty-six years ago, at the height of the West's Cold War with the then Soviet Union, a Hull fishing trawler called The Gaul and its thirty-six crew suddenly disappeared in the freezing waters of the Barents Sea, off the cost of Norway. Hundreds of miles from home, and hundreds of feet down, the fate of the missing vessel and its lost crew continued to haunt their grieving relatives and the whole City of Hull for the next thirty years (and Stevie Francis).
Reviews, Books - Triple Trawler Fiction - Clinging to the Wreckage Reviewed by Tim Roux
By the 1960s, there was still a significant deep sea trawler fleet fishing out of Hull but only three literary figures had as yet been associated with the city: Andrew Marvell, a seventeenth century politician and poet, Winifred Holtby, author of South Riding, and Stevie Smith, a poet and novelist whose most famous line is 'not waving but drowning'.
Reviews, Arts - Contents May Vary at Red Gallery in Hull Contemporary Art Continues Despite the Big Freeze By Michelle Dee. Photographs courtesy Andrew Quinn
While the city of Hull struggled against the adverse weather conditions on Friday 8th January and people tried in vain to get home after many businesses were closed earlier than usual, a group of dedicated contemporary artists were preparing for the opening night of Contents May Vary at Red Gallery in the city.
Battling against all odds, the show opened on time just minutes
Reviews, Books - Seers by Karen Wolfe Reviewed by Tim Roux
Ever since the publication of The Philosopher's Stone, I have been troubled by a niggling concern. It doesn't keep me awake at night but I do regularly accost strangers and ask them, 'Whatever happened to Harry Potter's grandparents?'
Harry Potter was a baby when his parents were killed. His parents look like they were in their twenties, max. thirties.
Reviews, Books - Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill Reviewed by Tim Roux
Over the last couple of years, Nick Quantrill has made an enviable reputation for himself as a highly accomplished true-to-the-gospels (of St. Elmore Leonard and St. Raymond Chandler) crime fiction writer who reliably delivers precisely crafted plots, authentic hardboiled dialogue and classic PI fisticuffs action.
His tales are suffused with an atmosphere of compounding tension
Reviews, Books - The Unitary Authority Of Ersatz by Rich Sutherland Reviewed by Tim Roux
You know when you are sitting there typing away at your new book and suddenly a million tons of waterfall cascade all over you and sweep you away, and there is nothing you can do to resist as you tumble mid-air among all those words and ideas, but you know that when you hit the pool at the bottom, and should you survive, you will be handed a tick-box questionnaire by the publisher
Reviews, Books - Breaking Faith by Stuart Aken Reviewed by Tim Roux
One of the great pleasures of reading indie authors is that they are often literary Luddites, exuberantly smashing the commercial frameworks imposed on their more industrially-produced cousins, replacing them with a more zestful, fresh, individual and, might I say, compelling approach to their work.
It is not that they do not recognise as well as anyone the existence of the rules
Reviews, Books - A Book at Christmas Reviewed by Tim Roux
About eighteen months ago I decided to look around and see who else was writing books in the Hull and
East Riding region, much encouraged by discovering the work of Hull crime fiction and gangster authors
Nick Quantrill and Danny Birch.
I thought that there would only be a few of us knocking about, veritable prophets on our own shifting
mud banks, but Nick Quantrill and Rich Sutherland (then at Waterstones) Read more...
Reviews, Theatre - Tuesday 27th October 09 - Write To Speak Featuring Kate Tempest and Matt Panesh at Hull Truck By Dick Spring
The consistency in stunning quality of acts brought to perform at this night (which is Yorkshire's only theatre based spoken word / poetry night) by Hull poet Joe Hakim is simply phenomenal.
With another fantastic and packed house, it was a thoroughly enjoyable event.
Opened as usual by Hull's flag bearing poet in residence Joe Hakim and his stage partner Mike Watts, their competence and stagecraft is second to one, with lots of good interaction
Reviews, Theatre - Tuesday 27th October 09 - Write To Speak Featuring Kate Tempest and Matt Panesh at Hull Truck By Michelle Dee
Just had to write something about Tuesday's Write To Speak at Hull Truck Theatre. The regular event showcases the best poetry and spoken word from around the country.
Tonight we have the incredible vocal dexterity of Kate Tempest (London) and the poems, ponderings
and profane humour of Matt Panesh (Manchester) on his Welcome to the U.K. tour.
Reviews, Theatre - Write to Speak featuring Kate Fox and Scarlet Lights at Hull Truck - Wednesday 16th September 09 By Mark Walmsley
The first performance of the new season of Write to Speak came round pretty quickly and most definitely replicated the first gig a year ago with regards to support and talent.
On a personal level, I fully understood what was on offer and although the event didn't seem very well advertised, I was notified by thisisUll the day before and without a hesitation changed my appointments for the big day in order that I made sure I was there for the kick off, in fact I was
Reviews, Theatre - Wednesday 16th September 2009 - Scarlet lights Theatre Company Performs Retail is Detail at Write to Speak at Hull Truck Theatre By Danielle Rhodes
Retail Is Detail is undoubtedly a 'maverick' production of contemporary comedy, embodying a highly versatile and compatible cast as rare as rocking horse shit. From start to finish the audience is inflamed by the radiance from the performer's energy and fast pace scenes.
The play displays a young educated girl facing unemployment, regrettably a conventional product of the current recession. In her despairing attempt to find employment
Reviews, Theatre - Write to Speak featuring Tony Walsh and Dennis Just Dennis at Hull Truck - Wednesday 15th June 09 By Mark Walmsley
The third and final Write to Speak event of this season at the Hull Truck Theatre on Wednesday 15th July, was headlined by two nationally acclaimed performance poets, Dennis Just Dennis and Tony Walsh, who both hail from Manchester.
The nights entertainment was introduced by local poet Joe Hakim who was, in effect 'on the subs bench' as far as performing on these occasions go.
Joe has a bigger challenge and I dare say a bigger audience to present himself to at the fourth
Latitude Festival in Suffolk where he is performing in the poetry arena on Sat 18th and
Sun 19th July.Read more...
Reviews, Theatre - Write to Speak featuring Luke Wright at Hull Truck - Monday 29th June 09 By Mark Walmsley
After attending the first Write to Speak session back in May featuring Mike Watts, Joe Hakim and Mandi Lowe, I certainly wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to attend the second instalment with Luke Wright on Monday night.
I arrived at pretty much the same time as the last Write to Speak performance at about 7.20 pm for an 8.00