From left to right: Janthi Mills-Ward, Laurie Jamieson, Councillor Stephen Brady, Joanna Holden, Louise Willoughby, Rachel Dale, Councillor Richard Burton, Amelia Donkor, Mark Babych. Image credit: Karl Andre Photography

Local authorities team-up with Hull Truck Theatre for Christmas cracker

Hull Truck Theatre’s Christmas performance will be free to watch for residents across Hull and East Yorkshire this year thanks to a partnership with Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

From festive music to karaoke, unexpected guests and lashings of humour, it is set to bring a dose of excitement and happiness at the end of this challenging year.

Every household is invited to join Prince Charming from the comfort of home at 7pm on Tuesday 22 December as he throws open the palace gates for his annual Christmas ball, a festive fairytale adventure sprinkled with surprises, sparkle and a hint of magic.

Hull Truck Theatre director and artistic director, Mark Babych, with the cast of Prince Charming’s Christmas Cracker. Image credit: Karl Andre Photography.

Hull Truck Theatre has welcomed support from its two local authorities to bring one of the most loved Christmas traditions to residents, care homes and schools across Hull, the East Riding and beyond in an uplifting shared theatrical experience later this month.

Councillor Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council, said: “It’s been a tremendously difficult year for all of us. Christmas is a special time, but sadly this year certain Christmas traditions cannot be celebrated in the usual ways.

“Going to the theatre, whether it be to see a pantomime or a retelling of one of our favourite Christmas tales, is, for many people, one of the highlights of the festive period.

“Credit to Hull Truck for ensuring families and residents can still enjoy and experience the fun of the theatre this Christmas. Hull City Council is delighted to be able to support the performance and we wish all residents a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”

Rehearsals for Hull Truck’s new Christmas show, written and directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Babych, were just about to begin when the country went into its second national lockdown. With continued restrictions, uncertainty and acknowledgement of the impact art and culture has on wellbeing, the theatre’s two local authorities have stepped in to not only ensure the show can go on, but that it can be enjoyed by households across the region and beyond, connecting families even if they’re not watching from the same sofa.

An interactive experience, with behind the scenes footage and unique backstage views, will make the streamed performance different to watching a film or show on TV.

Janthi Mills-Ward, Hull Truck Theatre Executive Director, said “This is the first time we’ve worked together with our two local councils to fund something like this and we’re thrilled to be able to offer residents a magical Christmas experience at the end of such a challenging year.

“Engaging in arts and culture has been found to be associated with increased well being and we can’t thank East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council enough for their support. We hope this innovative collaboration brings a little joy and happiness to residents, schools and care homes, with a shared experience for families and friends to enjoy together, whether as seasoned or first time theatre goers.”

After the initial streaming on Tuesday 22 December, the performance will be available on demand until 3 January, with schools, care homes and community groups encouraged to join in the festivities, with accompanying workshops and resource packs available.

Find out more here.