Announced at Creative 1 last night Hull Odyssey is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious theatre-works for a generation. At the helm is Rupert Creed (read about Freedom To Tell Tales and Discover Your Voice) writer/director and an authority on community theatre. The
Rupert (Turning the Tide) spoke about the city being the backdrop for dramas taking place in different locations. As soon as you think about productions that have a promenade or site specific element, you immediately think about the company Slung Low and for Hull, Mapping The City.
It just so happens I caught sight of a single side of A6 this morning languishing on the side, upon turning it over I found it contained notes written in 2011. These notes were made immediately after meeting with Slung Low, at their hub on Blanket Row. I think I was attempting to convey the exhilaration I felt, having met with a creative team, that would probably take the box, use it to stand on, in order to get a better view.
Having been fortunate enough to be granted an audience (it was and still is a pretty big deal) with the Mapping The City creators, I came away from the meeting with a sense of childlike exuberance. It’s the possibility and freedom that I imagine all of the small, highly skilled and dedicated Slung Low team, share every time they wake up each morning on a build. Slung Low are taking theatre and performance to the next level. Not for them the confines and relative safety of the stage. No. This is going to be play acting on a much grander scale.
Hull Odyssey will draw upon themes found in Homer’s Odyssey the epic saga about the returning hero. Already, the perceptive can tease out a Hull connection. Hull Odyssey will look at the idea of Home ask questions: what is home and why do we want want to return? Take the idea of the journey home but who is doing the journeying? Or closer to home, perhaps it is returning home from a night out.
Homer’s Odyssey has a sailor returning home, and in Hull we like our heritage, so a whaler or trawlerman perhaps. The image of Dead Bod shed (nearly home) flashes up on screen and well, it would be remiss not to include it, now that it has become so much a part, of the collective psyche.
Hull Odyssey could also be about the immigrant experience, in the here and now or from the past. And what about the idea of Gods? I know he delivers parcels, but is Hermes on social media? Is Odysseus updating his status at every opportunity?
Woke up, met Theban prophet called Tiresias in the Underworld, told me I will die sailing… lolz
Still very much a work in progress and funded only at R & D level at the moment, Hull Odyssey is currently partnered by Hull Truck, but is seeking support from other organisations, to extend the reach of the project.
Rupert is looking to engage people interested in Hull history, again whether that be learned facts or folklore, to become part of the recording, researching and gathering of stories process. Hull Odyssey will also be looking for musicians, visual artists and designers to engage with the project.
Part of Creative 1 hosted by the genial One Gallery owner Paul Dennis, is given over to networking and information sharing. I did more introducing, acting as I was, cultural ambassador to José and Ana new arrivals from Portugal.
Portugal has experienced City of Culture awards in three of its main cities, Porto, Lisbon and Guimarães so I think José and Ana, are well placed, to discuss the reality of regeneration through culture.
Part two: the floor is given over to those wishing to share whatever it is they are working on.
First was crimefiction writer Nick Quantrill. He has a number of events coming up, the first with Mike Covell local historian – who did so well the other week on Twitter, charting in real time, the last air raid of WW2 that destroyed parts of Holderness Road.
The event called Crime Fiction V Crime Fact will take place at the rejuvenated Annison Buildings Sat 18th April. Nick will also be hosting a writers event at Anlaby Park Library 21st May, where well known names in the genre, share their work, their craft and reveal more, about the world of crime fiction.
Chantelle put a call out for people to get involved in the Hull Carnival planned for 2016 and 2017. She urged those interested to focus on Jamaican carnival, with jerk chicken, sound systems and different flavoured rum, rather than the scantily clad women of Rio. I don’t know I think Hull would look great sporting a ten foot tall glittery feathered headdress. There will be a launch for Carnival 15th May taking place at the Afro-Carribean Centre.
Cat McKiernan invited writers to submit scripts of 1- 10 mins duration for performance at this years Cornucopia Festival in the grounds of Burton Constable. Audiences: mainstream, family and late night revue.
Gary Burnett local writer of stories spoke about working with actor Martin Barrass and musician Gordon Giltrap with a view to developing some of his own writing into live productions.
Gordon Rason representing Street Art Hull spoke about plans to hold a Ferens Open inspired exhibition, on the marina, with artists encouraged to showcase their canvases from across the city, at Street Art Open 19th July.
Catherine Scott, who doesn’t mind being described as Hull’s answer to Pam Ayres but does feel her work is a bit darker thank you, has Argy Bargy a sort of spoken word and improv poetry night taking place at the Leven Recreation Hall this Friday.
Next Creative 1 Wednesday April 29 McCoys 6-30pm – 7pm
Free to attend book early, limited places, with refreshments kindly provided by Wykeland.