Theatre Brothel 2.0 at Hull Truck Theatre - Saturday 29th September 2012
By Michelle Dee.
Photographs by Cilla Wykes
In recent years, film and theatre reviews have become littered with the following: Spoiler Alert! So what can I tell you about
Theatre Brothel 2.0
without giving the game away?
The Theatre Brothel experience begins as you walk the back corridors and passageways of the theatre. Which two of the four shows you
got to see in any given night, depended on what answers you gave to some probing questions.
Questions such as; are you afraid of the
dark; would you describe yourself as being cynical, emotional or philosophical; and oddly, Nicolas Cage or Kenneth Brannagh who do you prefer?
Questions answered and choices made we awaited our fate. Moments later we were sitting deep in the bowels of Hull Truck Theatre to
experience Joe Hakim's Blackout. Commissioned by Greyscale and Hull Truck Theatre, this is the first full length play written and
directed by the Hull-based writer.
Blackout is a site specific performance set in a post-apocalyptic Hull where the rest of humanity has apparently been wiped out by a
mysterious plague. The play is a taut two hander with confrontational and at times, challenging dialogue with brief moments of
respite from the strong local colour. Staging Blackout in the theatre basement works as an extension of the claustrophobic
ambience of the 'nuclear bunker' set.
Drawing on popular sci-fi devices the multi-layered story, questions and explores the nature of existence and survival to a rapt audience.
The multimedia-art elements from Dominic Li projected on to an old mattress and battered fridge, were novel screens to paint the backdrop
of a ruined cityscape and were another way to get inside the audiences' mind;
Blackout is a powerful and intense exploration of a classic sci-fi theme imaginatively staged and solid proof of the new brooms supporting
new writing at Truck.
I just about got away with that.
The second piece of theatre we saw at Theatre Brothel was The Situation Room another new work comissioned by Greyscale and
Hull Truck, this time devised and performed by touring company Oscar Mike Theatre. The show is currently playing at other
theatres, so again I can't drop the spoiler bomb.
Whereas Blackout was a narrative with beginning, middle and end, The Situation Room has multiple narratives which could
result in many different outcomes.
It's about power: both the power of the individual and of the group. The narrative arc
hinges on the decisions and consequences of the choices made throughout the piece.
The cast were thoroughly believable and engaging. Audience alliances to each were quickly drawn and sustained throughout.
There are moments during the drama that are dance like; a suspended reality with mirroring and exaggerated motion and expression
from the two charismatic performers.
There are a number of psychological concepts at work within The Situation Room; firstly the infamous Milgram experiment where the
participants actions are influenced by the assumed status of the person in power. The other one, not so well known are the ideas
of majority and minority conformity put forward by the French social psychologist Moscovici.
The Situation Room is a live group version of the popular Choose Your Own Adventure stories and is highly recommended.
Reviews, Theatre Tuesday 3rd July 2012 - Hannah Silva and Helen Mort at Fruit - Humber Mouth Literature Festival By Michelle Dee
Photographs by Cilla Wykes
Not very often I'm lost for words after a performance. I can usually begin to frame my response, think in terms of genre, style, influences.
Not so for Hannah Silva. Ghost Running was a special collaborative spoken word performance with renowned Yorkshire poet Helen Mort,
and took place at Fruit in Hull's historic Fruit market area, for the Humbermouth Literature Festival.
Reviews, Theatre Monday 2nd July 2012 - Ross Sutherland: The Three Stigmata of Pacman at Fruit - Humber Mouth Literature Festival By Michelle Dee
Photographs by Cilla Wykes
The annual Humber Mouth Literature Festival in Hull moved into its second week; a week filled with innovative and acclaimed spoken word artists curated by Write to Speak and Fresh Ink in the Hard Rhymes & Great Exclamations strand of the festival.
The performers are arriving in Hull from as far afield as York, Devon, Los Angeles
Reviews, Art Revelations On The Edge by Sarah Pennington at Red Gallery - June 2012 By Michelle Dee. Photographs courtesy Sarah Pennington
A whale bone washed up on a distant shoreline; a battered old tin found loch side returning to its place of origin; strange crab claw tools; methodical
arrangements of chalky bone fragments from fish and fowl. These are just some of the curios that await you when you visit Revelations on the Edge.
Artist and sculptor Sarah Pennington left her home in Hull and spent 3 months on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.
Reviews, Theatre Reclamation at Hull Truck Theatre, Saturday 23rd June 2012 By Michelle Dee
Getting to Edinburgh Fringe is a milestone in every artists career, and performing at the
Arts and Culture Festival presents many challenges; least of all financing the escapade paying for travel and
lodgings while you attempt to put on a marathon of shows in a month.
Reclamation by Joe Hakim, Mike Watts and Ruth E. Dixon is about self discovery not in the namby-pamby
Reviews, Theatre Poems and Pints at The King's Arms, Salford, Friday 3rd February 2012 By Melanie Fullard
Poems and Pints; the brainchild of Paul Heaton ( The Housemartins, Beautiful South ) and his partner, Zena Barrie is a new monthly poetry event held in The King's Arms,
Salford, Manchester. Paul, who has recently become the new landlord was also in the line-up to perform.
Myself and thisisull's Cilla Wykes accompanied two of Hull's leading poets, Mike Watts and Joe Hakim who had both been invited to the opening night.
The King's ArmsRead more...
Reviews, Arts - The Liberation of Barton - A Poetry Evening at The Ropewalk, Barton on Humber - Saturday 8th October 2011 By Melanie Fullard
The Ropewalk in Barton is a listed building which was once used in the manufacturing of rope. It now doubles as an art space and performance venue. It's really awkward to find, sandwiched between Tesco and a housing estate (especially in the dark!) but it's well worth the trouble.
Tonight sees performances from the pick of Hull's finest poets and the debut of Barton's very own Lady Blah Blah (aka Ruth Dixon).
Reviews, Theatre Stags and Hens at Fruit - Tuesday 26th July 2011 By Melanie Fullard Photos by Neil Holmes
Have you been to the 3D cinema recently?
The characters are larger than life, there's surround sound and you become so engrossed that you feel like you're in the film. Well, that's what it's like watching Stags and Hens.
The audience is gathered - standing room only. A bloke walks down the middle aisle; he's swaying a bit and looks a bit pissed.
Reviews, Books - Stories From Potters Field by Andy Wilson and Joe Solo Reviewed by Tim Roux
Joe Solo is a prolifically and prodigiously talented Northern England singer-songwriter who since the turn of the millennium has produced a steady flow of stand-out albums.
The trouble with ol' Joe is that he is a dyed-in-the-wool uncompromising old-fashioned Socialist who refuses to 'tart' up his songs with ear-candy arrangements, so some day someone will make an absolute fortune
Reviews, Theatre Sunday 13th February Scratch Theatre @ Fruit By Michelle Dee
I was just one of the many people on Humber Street Sunday 13th February to witness the first Scratch Theatre night at Fruit. Eight separate ten minute shorts were showcased tonight, each one a new piece of theatre written by a local writer.
Feedback sheets were handed out to answer the questions; what in your opinion worked / didn't work; what did/didn't you enjoy; how could it have been played better etc?
Reviews, Books - Coming to a Street Near You by Mike Watts (Night Press)
Reviewed by Peter Knaggs
At 116 pages, 62 poems, here we have it, the hot debut from one half of the Write to Speak
duo, Coming to a Street Near You.
There are a clutch of writers at the moment; Martin Hayes, Dan Fante
and Tony O'Neill and they write poems, good poems, you don't see them rubbing shoulders with
Don Patterson and Jo Shapcott and it's unlikely that you would happen upon their work in Poetry Review. Read more...
Reviews, Books - Coming to a Street Near You by Mike Watts Reviewed by Melanie Fullard
Mike Watts is a guy who's glass is always half empty. Not only that, it was his last fucking one and it's nine days till pay day.
The poems in his debut poetry collection, Coming to a Street Near You reflect the kitchen sink dramas of the '60's like Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and Billy Liar, Watts himself being a modern day Arthur Seaton.
Reviews, Theatre Write to Speak Presents Kate Fox News - Wednesday 12th January 2011 By Michelle Dee
The final Write to Speak of the current run saw writer/poet Kate Fox performing her Edinburgh Fringe Show Kate Fox News at the Hull Truck Studio Theatre. Tonight was ladies night so before Kate took to the stage the healthy Wednesday night crowd were given another chance to hear from the female members of the workshop poets.
Reviews, Arts - Write to Speak presents Kate Fox News at Hull Truck - Wednesday 12th January 2011 By Mark Walmsley
The last Write to Speakevent of the third season was crowned by a brilliant night's entertainment featuring BBC Radio 4's Kate Fox and 4 of Hulls very own up and coming poets, Catherine Scott, Kerry-Joe Pulford, Michaela Bamber and Pam Scobie .
Normally, it could be said that the likes of the very talented Kate Fox who has graced the Hull Truck