Playwright Tom Wells tells us about using Hull as his inspiration

Published: Monday 22nd May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is all about celebrating the city’s arts and theatre scene. Come To Where I’m From perfectly encapsulates that message.

As part of Hull Truck’s Grow Festival, four of Hull’s acclaimed playwrights return to their hometown to present and perform a series of short plays. Each writer has gone away and thought carefully about what Hull means to them.

Come To Where I’m From is actually a national project that touring theatre company Paines Plough has been developing since 2010. The concept involves creatives returning to the place where they were born and penning a play that resonates with the town or city.

Previous productions have taken place in major UK cities, including Bristol, Newcastle, Nottingham, Cardiff and Belfast.

The idea is to create a ‘theatrical tapestry’ of Great Britain achieved through a simple smartphone app. Once performed by the playwrights themselves, each piece is recorded and uploaded onto the Come To Where I’m From app.

The curation of miniature plays has built up over the past seven years to create a cross-section of our country. Accents and experiences from growing up in the UK will be presented virtually on smartphones across the nation.

Come To Where I’m From is just one of the many interesting activities that Hull Truck is hosting as part of Grow Festival. The programme, which runs from Wednesday 24 until Saturday 27 May, aims to help artists develop at any stage of their career.

Award-winning playwright Tom Wells is no stranger to taking inspiration from his birthplace. He recently brought Folk and Broken Biscuits to the Ferensway venue. The characters and themes were heavily influenced by his experiences in Withernsea.

This time around, Tom has decided to pen a love letter to Hull:

“It’s been great to write about Hull at a time when it feels like the city is changing, growing and figuring out its place in the world,” he tells us. “The experience made me think a lot about ‘Hullness’.”

His play will follow the story of working with Hull-based theatre company Middle Child. Tom worked with them last Christmas to put on the daring pantomime of Dick Whittington:

“The piece is set against a backdrop of the city gearing up for 2017. It’s also based on letters I wrote to my nan.”

“It’s very exciting to be included alongside such brilliant writers. I can’t wait to see what the others have come up with,” he enthuses.

“Also, I’m looking forward to hearing the introductory discussion about the stories we tell, chaired by Amanda Huxtable. She is properly inspiring. I’m planning on seeing The Roaring Girls’ Get Beach Body Ready as part of First Time Out as well.”

The plays will be performed this Wednesday in the Hull Truck Studio. Tickets are just £5 and can be booked by calling 01482 323638, or you can book online.

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Published: Monday 22nd May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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