Last week I was able to attend an event that I had been excited about for a really long time. I was invited, along with the other members of a theatre company I work for, to attend the first Theatre Social of Hull 2017's City of Culture where like minded people met and talked about their work and the future projects they wanted to create and perform in, and for, the wider community. It was a truly special evening, not only because of all the familiar faces I knew but because of the many I didn't! It was so encouraging to see so many people from so many different backgrounds coming together for one cause, to get to know each other and support the arts in Hull.
2017 is fast approaching, and honestly I cannot wait for the new year to start as there is so much I am looking forward to. I graduated this year from the University of Hull with a degree that I love, surrounded by my peers (whom I also love) and in a city that I adore. Hull stole my heart from the moment I came for my open day in 2012 and I doubt that I will ever fall out of love with this wonderful city and community. Yes I went through some of my toughest moments in Hull, but that is part of why I love it. Hull made me the woman I am today. Being able to see so many people, from so many different areas of expertise and creative vision all gathering to talk about what they can do in and for Hull was truly impressive, and in hindsight almost moving.
If you look on the Hull 2017 website you will see that Hull was awarded the opportunity to be city of culture because Hull is a city that "demonstrates the belief in the transformational power of culture." This was clearly seen on the 10th on November, because never have I seen so many theatre people gathered in one room without the phrases "limitless", "free" and "alcohol" or "food" being advertised also*. It was exciting to see people gather, and be sociable with the Hull theatre-making scene.
There were wonderful special guests who were more than happy to chat to everyone, and ask as well as answer questions about their work and that of others. For me, one of the highlights was getting to meet the 'face of 2017' Kofi Smiles, who was selected from a crowd of almost 200 hopefuls who auditioned for the role last month. Kofi, who is just lovely by the way, was chatty and excited and great to talk to about the projects and areas he would like to see and share. We also bonded over that fact that I also auditioned for the role (auditionee number 50 - no biggie) and how nerve wracking the whole experience was, but ultimately I think the right person was chosen and I think Kofi will do a stellar job.
As well as meeting Kofi, it was wonderful to also meet the representative for the Hull Independent Producers Initiative or the HIPI , Helen Goodman, and Justine Potter and Usman Mullan from the BBC Writers Room, as well as members from several local companies who were, as always, friendly, passionate and excited for what's to come.
I think the evening was a real success and was so encouraging, especially as an unemployed graduate and theatre enthusiast who is desperate to be involved in any way she can. I met so many people who, if nothing else, urged me and others to keep going and to keep on creating and contributing to the theatre scene. I enjoyed my night thoroughly and cannot wait for the next one.
Bring on City of Culture 2017!
|photo of The Pub Corner Poets performance of ANGRY! at The New Adelphi club - 2015 - cast and audience|
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Thanks, see you soon
*It is worth noting that we were given vouchers for a free drink at the venue Silvers bar and restaurant which probably did motivate a few...