Hull Truck Theatre

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June, 2017

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When I worked in Hull over thirty years ago, “Hull Truck Theatre”: was a small, intimate venue with often only a handful of cast members playing more than one part. John Godber was one its leading writers and I have fond memories of iconic comedies such as On the Piste, Bouncers and Teechers.

How things have changed. It’s now in a smart new location on Ferensway, a five-minute walk from the railway station with two auditoriums the Heron (around 400 seats) and Studio (130 seats). Whilst it’s not quite as intimate as it was, it’s still a small theatre and worlds away from the West End ones I’m more used to. And so are the prices! I booked top price tickets for “Mighty Atoms”: at a reasonable £22.50 each and our seats on row B were excellent as the stage is only a foot high.

There is a café bar on both the ground and first floors and although it was busy, everyone queued in a most orderly fashion, but there was no need to queue for the toilets! At last modern theatres are aware that us ladies make up a majority of the audience.

So, what was Mighty Atoms about? It was inspired by Barbara Buttrick, a world champion in women’s boxing in the1940s and 1950s and known as Hull’s Mighty Atom as she was only 4’ 11”. The story was set in a pub on a run-down estate in Hull where an ex-professional boxer, Taylor Flint, reluctantly trained four residents so they could put on an exhibition match and save the pub which was being threatened with closure.

The all-female cast was excellent (and incredibly fit) and although my Southern partner took a little while to adjust his hearing to the distinctive Hull twang, we both thoroughly enjoyed the night.

The programme changes frequently and if you’re visiting the 2017 UK City of Culture, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Helen Jackson

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