HULL Truck Theatre will remain closed until July 31, putting paid to this summer’s big Dream of a community show…for now.
Today’s board and management decision “continues to follow Government guidelines about Coronavirus”, enforcing the postponement of all spring/summer season shows, most prominently Tom Saunders’ community production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream from July 4.
The statement says: “We are working with partners and visiting companies to re-schedule all shows, so that audiences who have missed performances during the closure period still get to enjoy the great programme of entertainment that had been planned.
“The box- office team are working hard to contact all audiences who have tickets booked for shows affected by the closure and bookers do not need to do anything at this time. Details of individuals shows and information about rescheduled dates can be found on the Hull Truck website, hulltruck.co.uk.
“The theatre is looking to the future, developing flexible plans for when we can reopen, including a programme of inspiring and joyful entertainment that will celebrate the very best of theatre, bringing people together in a safe and positive environment to enjoy and share a unique collective experience.”
In the meantime, Hull Truck at Home offers a programme of drama and creative activities to keep audiences and communities entertained and inspired while at home in lockdown.
On April 8, more than 700 people watched a screening of Paragon Dreams on Hull Truck’s YouTube channel. Written and performed by Hester Ullyart and directed by Mark Babych, the show was presented last April and May as part of the theatre’s Ten Years On Ferensway anniversary celebrations. Further announcements for the Hull Truck at Home programme will follow next week.
Hull Truck’s joint chief executive officers, executive director Janthi Mills-Ward and artistic director Mark Babych, say: “Protecting our team, audiences and communities is our upmost priority during this period. The theatre building may be closed except for a security team, but a small core team continue to work from home to ensure that when it is safe for us to reopen, we are able to bring you the very best theatre.
“We miss the wider team who have been furloughed as part of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, but we look forward to welcoming them and you back. We want to take this opportunity to thank everybody, from staff and audiences, to artists, partners and donors, for their continued and invaluable support during this time.”
What happens next to A Midsummer Night’s Dream? “We are deeply disappointed to have postponed our community production, which would have seen up to 100 members of our local community come together to create, perform and have fun,” they say. “But we are determined that this project will happen in the future, celebrating our fantastic community and the collaborative art of theatre.”
As for Hull Truck’s financial wellbeing: “We can reassure everyone that we have a sustainable financial plan in place for the closure period,” say Mills-Ward and Babych. “We are now looking to the future and how we can continue to play a vital role in the cultural landscape of our city and the lives of our communities, as we all emerge from this challenge.
“We are exploring all financial and funding options open to us to ensure we continue to present great theatre, to work with and support talented artists – writers and performers – at all stages of their career and offer creative opportunities to local communities, for generations to come.
“We are hugely grateful to those Hull Truck heroes who have either donated the cost of their tickets or made independent donations to support the work we want to continue to do when we reopen, via the Hull Truck Theatre Future Fund.”
Donations can be made at hulltruck.co.uk/support-us/hull-truck-theatre-future-fund/.