Assemble Fest interview – Bellow Theatre

Published: Monday 24th April 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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Assemble Fest, a one-day theatre festival that takes over Newland Avenue in Hull, is now in its fourth year.

Saturday 3 June is set to be chockfull of ‘performance where you least expect it’, with shows popping up inside six businesses and venues.

Each show is by a local theatre company and performed five times throughout the day. Performances have been scheduled to allow audiences to see all six if they wish, also saving money if they purchase a full-day ticket.

Bellow Theatre is one of the companies commissioned to create a new piece especially for the festival. We caught up with cofounder and writer Maureen Lennon (above right) about their show.

Gobble is a brand new little piece of madness exploring the relationship we all have with food,” Maureen tells us.

“It’s a blend of contemporary chitchat, fable and fairytale, all mixed together with live original folk music. We’re inviting our audience to lunch, so everyone will get a free meal, and a chance to really chew the fat.”

Bellow has put together a selection of stories that make up the show. Just like on a menu, everyone will get to pick a starter, main, and dessert.

“Excitingly, this means every audience should have a different experience, and get a slightly different flavour of what we’re talking about,” adds Maureen.

This type of show is something that’s been on the cards for Bellow for a while. The company members each have their own experiences of and relationships with food.

“It’s something that is obviously so central to everyone’s lives. However, we all think that this relationship, particularly from the female perspective, has become a little twisted.”

“We wanted to make something that questioned why this was. A show that asked whether there was any way we could tell a tale that would remind us of the celebratory possibilities of food and appetite.”

This is the third time that Bellow Theatre has performed at the annual event, with previous venues being the Rosebery Community Garden and outside The Piper.

This year Larkin’s Bar provides their show’s surroundings, specifically the newly refurbished outdoor area.

“Larkin’s are being brilliant and making all the food for our audience,” explains Maureen. “So a ticket to the piece also means you’re going to get to savour some top-class cuisine!”

Bellow’s team members have been discussing ingredients and how to best work together to tie themes into the dish. They also told us that the Larkin’s menu may pop up in some of their interchangeable stories.

As for the rest of Bellow’s activity during Hull UK City of Culture, they’re running a project called #LittleBellowings.

“We’ve got tiny tales for sale,” says Maureen. “It’s to fundraise for our upcoming productions, and people can order a unique piece of micro fiction personalised however they want. You can take a look on our Etsy page.

The theatre company will also be touring its show Bare Skin On Briny Waters. Additionally, they’ll be at Deershed Festival with their Assemble Fest 2016 show, The Washerwomen’s Warning.

To find out more about Bellow’s upcoming show for Assemble Fest and what else is on offer at the festival, please visit

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Published: Monday 24th April 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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