By Louise Drewery on 31 August 2017
Hull UK City of Culture 2017 today announces details of its fourth season Tell The World, which runs from October to December. The response to the year has exceeded expectations and the city's thrilling journey as host to the nation's cultural quadrennial continues with major new commissions and celebrated artists.
Working with a host of partners, including Hull City Council, which successfully bid to secure the title in 2013, Tell The World brings theatre and live performance, literature, visual art, festivals, spectacle and more. There are events and activities across the city to entertain, challenge and bring people together, cementing Hull's reputation as a cultural destination, with a profile that is growing nationally and internationally.
New commissions with Hull Truck Theatre include The Last Testament Of Lillian Bilocca, written by the award-winning actor and writer Maxine Peake, a site-specific commission that will take place at Hull's historic Guildhall, and a brand new play by acclaimed writer James Graham (This House, Ink, Privacy, The Vote), a behind-the-scenes comedy about the City of Culture year, which is due to open in 2018. Hull Truck Theatre also has the world premiere of award-winning writer Tanika Gupta's adaptation of the best-selling novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, directed by Mark Babych.
Visual art includes Turner Prize 2017 at Ferens Art Gallery, which runs until 7 January 2018, with awards night on 5 December. A partnership with international photography co-operative Magnum sees Martin Parr and Olivia Arthur's photographic study Hull, Portrait Of A City at Humber Street Gallery. British Council and Royal Institute of British Architects are partners for the spectacular Look Up public art commission, A Hall For Hull, in historic Trinity Square. Brynmor Jones Library at Principal Partner the University of Hull presents works from the Government Art Collection in An Eyeful Of Wry.
Hull 2017's commitment to innovative and experimental new work, supported by Arts Council England's Ambition for Excellence, sees the culmination of the epic year-long project Slung Low's pioneering multi-format Flood, as well as Blast Theory's landmark 2097: We Made Ourselves Over and curious directive's virtual reality project Frogman, which has just premiered in Edinburgh.
Also embracing technology are virtual reality wizards Marshmallow Laser Feast, whose A Colossal Wave is a major partnership commission with the British Council and Partenariat du Quartier Spectacle, Montreal; and the world-renowned Jason Bruges Studio works its innovative light-based magic in Hull's Old Town with Where Do We Go From Here?, a new art installation that runs into January 2018.
Following its £16 million rebuilding programme, the newly opened Hull New Theatre's first season includes work from Opera North, Northern Ballet and National Theatre, plus The Kings Of Hull, a world premiere from John Godber.
Tell The World builds on the city's strong literary heritage with an unprecedented number of nationally renowned - as well as local - writers, poets and spoken word artists coming together for a variety of events to suit all tastes and ages. Kicking it off, on National Poetry Day (28 September), Contains Strong Language, produced by the BBC alongside Hull's own Wrecking Ball Press and the annual Humber Mouth festival, plus many other partners, is the UK's biggest poetry and spoken word festival.
Running alongside this exciting new event is Out Of This Word, a month-long showcase of top writers, poets, playwrights, artists and musicians from across the UK, being presented by Hull 2017 Principal Partner, East Riding of Yorkshire Council. In November, Hull Noir celebrates the best of British and international crime fiction and also hosts the prestigious Iceland Noir from Reykjavik.
Returning and continuing events include Back to Ours, the popular festival of music, performance, film, art and circus brought to the heart of local communities; the Creative Communities Programme, which has seen 60 projects across the city; and the No Limits learning programme, which has ensured that every schoolchild in Hull has had the opportunity to take part in the City of Culture year.
Tell The World also reflects on how Hull is redefining itself, celebrating the qualities that make it a fabulously unique city. In December, Substance brings together artists, thinkers, commentators and creative mavericks and visionaries for a weekend of art, performance and debate that focuses on Hull and the North's future as a dynamic cultural and creative powerhouse.
Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, said: "2017 has by any measure been a revelatory time for Hull and with season four, the thrilling journey continues. We've an outstanding programme to take the UK's first cultural quadrennial into 2018, which will challenge as well as entertain, ask questions and bring people together. The city's new-found confidence and its growing reputation for culture and creativity help lay the foundations for Hull to take its place as at the heart of the North and in the nation's cultural future."
Arts Minister John Glen said: "The people of Hull have truly embraced the UK City of Culture and I congratulate everyone for an outstanding year which has helped to elevate the national and international profile of this great and historic city. The programme for season four of Hull 2017 is world-class and will no doubt build on this year’s success even further."
Rosie Millard, Chair of 2017, said: "As UK City of Culture, Hull has hosted an extraordinary number and variety of cultural events that have excited and entertained residents and visitors alike. With nine out of ten residents taking part and national and even international attention on the city, now is the time to shout even more loudly, to tell the world. Our thanks go to the huge number of individuals and organisations that have helped make it a success, from the council to our funding partners, and our ebullient and knowledgeable volunteers to everyone living across the city - and of course the fabulously inspiring artists, who have reinforced Hull's status as a centre for culture and creativity."
Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, said: "We've experienced a remarkable programme of events so far and it is set to continue into season four and beyond. It has had a huge impact on the city and the confidence it has unleashed is phenomenal. "The way we have all come together as a city has been at the heart of our success as the UK City of Culture. My thanks go to all of you – the 2017 team, local residents, volunteers, businesses and visitors - for the creativity and belief you have unleashed in 2017. I hope you will all continue on this exciting journey into 2018 and beyond.
"We do not hand over the UK City of Culture title to the next city until 2020 and, over the next three years, we have a plan to ensure this fantastic opportunity leaves a lasting legacy, ensuring the city is well placed to be recognised as one of the great UK cities. This not only supports our local economy but attracts more vital investments and jobs, making Hull a great city to live and work.
Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: "The Hull 2017 programme has so far shown outstanding ambition and creativity. This is continuing and growing in season 4 – bringing us cutting-edge artistic practice, spectacular events and renowned artists. Once again, there are fantastic artistic opportunities for visitors as well as people from Hull, with a range of activities taking place right across the city and region. It’s also exciting that people are coming together to discuss and debate arts and culture in the North through events like Substance. There's no doubt that this year Hull has brilliantly redefined itself as a cultural destination. We believe 2017 will be a catalyst year for the arts and cultural sector in Hull, putting it on the map for many years to come."