Relive Hull 2017 through The Culture

Published: Tuesday 2nd January 2018 by Courtney Farrow

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James Graham has been working tirelessly all year to create a hilarious show about Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

We caught up with the talented writer to find out more about this brilliant piece of theatre,

Can you tell us a little bit about The Culture?

The Culture is a comedy, it’s a farce. Set at the City of Culture offices in the aftermath of Hull 2017, the plot focuses on the arrival and handover to the officials of Coventry City of Culture 2021.

Wow, that sounds interesting. Do you think the story rings true to what’s going on in there now?

Well, it captures Hull 2017 in a very satirical way.

I was very lucky to be granted special behind the scenes access throughout the whole year. I got to meet and interview so many people whilst taking a closer look at what happens when you produce something on such a large civic scale.

I spoke with individuals from Hull City Council, as well as local artists, theatres, venues and other buildings to really gain an insight into how it was all pulled off.

So, we get to see the hard work that went into some of last year’s events?

Yes, definitely. We’ve seen what happens on stage, now it’s time to appreciate the work that went into it. Meanwhile, if this is your first City of Culture event, it is a great way to catch up on the incredible things that been happening over the past twelve months.

The show is a bridge between the Hull 2017 team and the new Culture Company, looking at the programme of work that’s going to be taking place in the future.

Above all, I think everyone can relate to the humour and satire.

What did you enjoy about Hull 2017?

I think the programme has been hugely beneficial to the city. I studied at the University of Hull from 2000 to 2003, so I can see how the city has transformed itself.

Everything has made an impact, whether it’s the direct investment, the new work available, the repaving of the city centre or the influx of new bars and restaurants. The year has been a true showcase of the city and what it has to offer.

What is less quantifiable is the feeling in the city; the pride people have. I think it’s fair to say that, in the past, Hull has had a perception problem. The City of Culture year enabled people to see the promotion of their city, to be proud of their city, and see visitors flock in their millions.

What was your personal highlight of the year?

That’s a good question. I really loved the Made in Hull opening event. I think it was such a clever way to welcome residents into the City of Culture year. It was entirely free, non-ticketed and you could come at any time of the week. It was beautiful and moving.

The Blade was also astonishing and I thoroughly enjoyed the reopening of the Ferens Art Gallery and the more recent Land of Green Ginger parade. Overall, I loved watching some of the wonderful performances at Hull Truck and seeing a well-deserving venue full of people throughout the whole year.

You can catch The Culture – A Farce in Two Acts from Friday 26 January until Saturday 17 February at Hull Truck Theatre. Tickets start at £15 and can be purchased by calling 01482 323638, or you can book online.

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Published: Tuesday 2nd January 2018 by Courtney Farrow

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