Keep on Trucking as Hull theatre sets up activities aplenty for playing at home

Hull Truck Theatre: building closed, but the theatre invites you to be creative at home

CREATIVITY cannot be closed down, says Hull Truck Theatre, as it launches an At Home community hub from April 6.

Over the coming weeks, Hull Truck will run a programme of drama and creative activities to keep audiences and communities entertained and inspired during the Coronavirus lockdown.

This will involve a stream of “engaging and accessible content”, ranging from A Play A Day and Writing Workouts to 3 Minute Theatre, Educational Resource Packs and Screening past shows, all to be found on the new page  

The theatre’s statement says: “Hull Truck Theatre are passionate about the positive and transformative power of theatre and believe that having the opportunity to take part in creative activities is good for everyone’s wellbeing, outlook and self-esteem. 

“The team have prepared activities to help with home schooling; opportunities for all ages to learn and develop writing skills, and we’ll be streaming some of our past shows to be enjoyed from the comfort of your sofa. 

“Hull Truck Theatre hope that taking part in them will help participants to feel creative, connected and part of our online community hub.”  

Matthew Wilson and Nicola Stephenson in Jim Cartwright’s Two at Hull Truck Theatre

Here is a guide to the Hull Truck Theatre At Home programme:

 A Play A Day: Play-reading activity for all ages 

EVERY weekday from April 6 to 24 at 10am, a short play will be released, written by local playwrights. The plays were commissioned by Hull Truck for various projects over recent years; the theatre is delighted to share these with a wider audience now.  

Participants can read these plays on their own, out loud with the people in their household or with friends by phone or a video-conferencing platform. Each play will come with notes to help the reader, so, even if they have never read a play before, they can enjoy it as much as a theatre professional.  

First up will be Lydia Marchant’s 2009, written as part of a youth theatre project, Ten, and performed in March 2019 by 55 members of Hull Truck Theatre’s Young Company.

Ten celebrated the ten-year anniversary of Hull Truck moving to Ferensway and featured ten ten-minute plays, each based on a year in the decade 2009 to 2019.

The next four plays lined up were part of Ten too:  Ellen Brammar’s KidnappingNick; Lydia Marchant’s 2011; Josh Overton’s 2012 and Marchant’s 2013.

Writing Workout with Tom Saunders: Daily tasks for writers of all ages and abilities 

NEW writing is a core part of Hull Truck’s artistic programme, the theatre working with writers at any stage of their career and regularly staging or presenting world premieres, new adaptations and cutting-edge new writing from around the country.   

From April 6, associate director Tom Saunders will post a daily blog with a writing activity for people to complete at home. Writers of any age will be encouraged to complete the task, and, if they wish, can share footage of themselves reading their work on social media. 

“Even though our doors may be closed, we hope to continue inspiring people to enjoy the arts from their own home,” says Hull Truck Theatre artistic director Mark Babych

3 Minute Theatre

FOR those still needing their “fix of great theatre”, Hull Truck Theatre is asking some of its associate artists to record a short monologue from a play of their choice, to be shared across Hull Truck’s online channels.

Nicola Stephenson, from the cast of Jim Cartwright’s Two, Hull Truck’s 2020 co-production with Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, and writer-performer Hester Ullyart have shared their monologues already.

These can be found on the or the Hull Truck YouTube channel,  

Education Resource Packs

HULL Truck has made all its Education Resource Packs from past productions available for downloading online for use by teachers and home-schooling families.

For packs from Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Treasure Island, Oliver Twist, Peter Pan and Two, go to:

These packs include plot synopsis, character breakdown, information about authors and classroom activities to inspire teachers or home-schooling families.  

Hester Ulyart in Paragon Dreams at Hull Truck Theatre in April 2019. Picture: Sam Taylor

Screening past productions

HULL Truck is digging through its archives and is excited to share recordings of favourite shows over the years. 

First up will be a screening of Paragon Dreams from 2019, written and performed by Hull artist Hester Ullyart, directed by artistic director Mark Babych.

This tense thriller about a woman returning to Hull to face the ghosts of her past will be streamed on YouTube on Wednesday, April 8 at 7pm.  Watch Hull Truck Theatre’s social media channels via @hulltruck for the viewing link.

To engage on social media with these activities, tag @hulltruck for all platforms and use the relevant hashtags: #PlayADay, #WritingDaily, #3MinuteTheatre, #HTTEducation and #HTTStream.

Launching Hull Truck Theatre At Home, Mark Babych says: “In this time of uncertainty, it’s easy to feel alone. As a theatre family we are stronger together, with Hull Truck Theatre At Home we are hoping to reach out to our local communities – while still complying with Social Distancing.

“Even though our doors may be closed, we hope to continue inspiring people to enjoy the arts from their own home while also connecting with each other. Whether people are hosting their own online viewing parties or using video calls to go through the exercises together, we hope to start a conversation and help us all feel a lot better in these times. Stay well, stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.”