‘The new dock stage will push the evolution of outdoor arts,’ says Mikey Martins Creative Director of Freedom Festival Arts Trust. The arrival of Stage @TheDock was announced in front of an audience of Hull’s cultural organisations, practitioners and local media, inside C4Di (Centre for Digital Innovation) this morning.
Described as ‘truly exciting and epic‘, Hull’s newest cultural asset, consisting of a large open air theatre, with 350 person capacity (seated), will bring a new focus to a forgotten area of the city, whilst attracting a wide range of artists and companies to ‘play‘ in this unique space.
Situated in the Central Dry Dock, construction on the new stage is due to be finished in the next few months and the first performance event is scheduled for this Easter. In September, the new amphitheatre will be placed firmly in the spotlight, as a major addition to Hull’s annual Freedom Festival celebrations.
The PR event introduced by John Meehan (Meehan Media) began with a short history lesson, describing the changes to the river front from Wykeland’s Dominic Gibbons. He began in 1642, fast forwarding until the first presence of ship building at Gleadow’s Yard, on to the building of the dry docks in the mid 1800s, the arrival of Drypool Ship Building and Engineering, a brief spell playing host to a nightclub and finally the current regeneration and development programme. The presentation concluded with a rapid time lapse sequence that showed the construction of C4Di from ground works to completion.
‘New development will put Hull on a different cultural footing during and beyond 2017.’ Dominic Gibbons Managing Director Wykeland
Dominic Gibbons stated that Wykeland firmly believe that physical regeneration doesn’t work without cultural regeneration and only with people at its centre. Describing the new stage as a ‘true legacy project and a huge step-change for 2017 and the city,’ he suggested the project reflected the history and maritime heritage in its design: namely the retention of original features from the dry dock structure, which will help to create the sunken amphitheatre feel.
Mikey Martins who has the responsibility for making the place ‘ come alive‘ expanded on the types of acts we are likely to see in the new space. He revealed that Freedom Festival Trust was in discussion with national touring networks, looking to bring the best outdoor arts to the city. The outdoor nature of the space lends itself to many different art forms, including music and theatre performance, installation and more. The unique convergence of The Deep, the history and the proximity of the river, will encourage innovation in performance and programming, thus inspiring Hull-based creatives and attracting national and international companies to Hull.
‘This is our amphitheatre let’s have a lot of fun with it,’ Mikey Martins Artistic Director Freedom Festival Arts Trust
Rosie Millard Chair of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 said that the alliance of Wykeland, Freedom Festival Arts Trust and Hull 2017, was, ‘A brilliant example of partnership,’ and that it was, indicative of, ‘A city on the move about to be transformed.’ She restated to the audience, that Stage @TheDock – the only new permanent venue ahead of 2017 – was about innovation, about creating a permanent impact on the city: permanently changing the future of Hull.
‘Stage @TheDock will cement the Fruit Market as Hull’s Cultural Hub,’ Rosie Millard Chair of Hull UK City of Culture 2017
Rosie also took the opportunity to announce Wykeland, as the third major partner to Hull UK City of Culture 2017, highlighting the developer’s key role as a Bid Angel and praising the company, for both their vision and unwavering support, of 2017.
More details are expected soon, providing guidance on how organisations and artistic communities can apply to use the Stage @TheDock.
Website coming soon: http://stageatthedock.co.uk/