This morning my colleague Jacqui and I hopped in another Hull taxi and, as I have each journey, I asked about Hull City of Culture. This time the conversation in the mirror from a gruff Hull accented granddad went in an unexpected route. To paraphrase…”Its OK, doesn’t do anything for our business, people walk, or get booked cabs from their hotel.” (predictable). “I don’t really do the arts.” (predictable).
Swallow is a stunning three hander, gender blind cast piece of theatre which tackles all of the subjects in paragraph one. It comes from the sure creative heart of Durham student theatre, in this case Piccolo Theatre directed by George Rexstrew, with knockout performances from Steph Sarratt, Annie Davison and Matt Dormer.
I arrived at 9.25pm last night from a day in Belfast, and the administrator Joseph welcomed me, not with a welcome pint, but with the news that I was just in time to see a piece of gig theatre which started at 9.30pm.
What do the Addams Family, Toyland murders, verbatim theatre on child pornography, fast turnaround arts journalism, and a three-hour course of creative producing have in common? The answer is Scarborough and the National Student Drama Festival. For the second year I was invited by Mountview to spend a day at the festival, meeting the next generation of theatremakers, and seeing some shows. It is inspiring, and I felt sad leaving so many shows and discussions unseen/unheard, as I return to my producing cohort in Wood Green.