The Pub Corner Poets explore the funny side of grief

Published: Thursday 26th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Hull-based Pub Corner Poets are back with their brand new production. We caught up with Artistic Director, Tyler Mortimer, to find out more.

Sad Little Man combines the structure of a stand-up comedy show with the difficult topics of shock and grief. After being toured around the UK, the intriguing piece now comes to Hull Truck Theatre for its city debut performance.

Can you tell us a little bit more about Sad Little Man?

The show is a stand-up tragedy performed by a young man. It takes place during four seconds that it takes for shock to kick in. The man is going through with grief, the immediacy of loss, and trying to programme himself to be able to deal with those feelings through stand-up comedy, poetry and physical theatre.

You’re basically invited into a room with a stand-up comedian, who is trying to negotiate loss through humour. It explores how we immediately react when something completely shocking happens to us.

It sounds fascinating! How did the idea first come about?

It’s a semi-autobiographical piece by our resident writer, Josh Overton. He won the Times Playwriting award for his debut spoken word play Angry in 2015. Sad Little Man is Josh’s attempt at catharsis and to purge his own demons and put them on stage.

The piece actually started its life at Hull Truck Theatre as part of their Grow Festival. Since then, we’ve taken it to Edinburgh, London and the National Student Drama Festival. It feels like we’ve brought it full circle with this show.

So you’re looking forward to playing at Hull Truck, then?

Performing at Hull Truck is kind of a coming-of-age thing for us. We’ve performed at many theatres before, such as the New Diorama Theatre in London, but this feels like a huge move for us, locally. We’re kind of the baby company of the city, so it’s nice that our millennial-twenty-something tantrums have been heard and we’re getting to play our regional theatre.

The theatre has always been very supportive of us, with Tom Bellerby, its Associate Director, giving us a very lovely compliment earlier this year.

He said: ‘You know what’s great about seeing your work? You’re not trying to be the next Blast Theory or anything, you’re Pub Corner Poets. And, when you come to see your work, you see a Pub Corner Poets play.”

It’s very flattering to hear this as we’re trying to find our voice. I think we’re unique among the Hull theatre scene. Some have called us ‘punk theatricals’, others have said we’re ‘middle-class white guys in need of a shower’. Our work has been quite polarising and divisive among the community, but we’re always keen to create conversation pieces.

You can see Sad Little Man at Hull Truck Theatre on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October. 

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Published: Thursday 26th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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