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Richard Bean and Amanda Whittington feature in Hull City of Culture plans

Richard Bean.
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New work by Richard Bean, Bryony Lavery and Amanda Whittington will be staged in Hull as part of the theatre line-up for City Of Culture 2017.

Bean’s new play The Hypocrite will star Mark Addy and is based on the life of 17th century parliamentarian Sir John Hotham, whose decisions in Hull made the city a pivotal part of the English Civil War.

The comedy will be co-produced by Hull Truck Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and will run at the former from February 24 to March 18. It then then tour to Stratford-upon-Avon, with dates to be confirmed.

Whittington’s new play is called Mighty Atoms and will run at Hull Truck from June 8 to July 1. Inspired by boxer Barbara Buttrick, it will be directed by the theatre’s artistic director Mark Babych.

Lavery will write a new script based on Charles Dicken’s final novel Our Mutual Friend, which will be produced by Hull Truck’s Youth Theatre in their first performance in the theatre’s main space. It will play there from August 22 to 26.

Hull Truck Theatre will also stage Richard III, a co-production with Northern Broadsides, which staged its first production of Richard III 25 years ago in a boatshed on Hull’s marina.

Elsewhere, City of Culture 2017 has commissioned Slung Low and Blast Theory to create new productions to be staged in the city, while Australian contemporary circus company Circa will perform its new show Depart.

Hull-based company The Roaring Girls will perform a new show, Weathered Estates – a modern adaptation of Euripides’ Women of Troy.

Hull City of Culture 2017 will be launched in January by outdoor multi-arts event Made in Hull, which will see the story of the city over the past 70 years told through large-scale video and lighting projections, live performance and soundscapes.

The project, curated by Hull-born documentary maker Sean McAllister, will be free to attend and will take place over seven days from January 1 to 7.

City of Culture 2017 will also see Hull host the National Student Drama Festival for the first time – an annual event which has helped launch the careers of renowned theatre figures including Caryl Churchill, Anthony Sher and Ruth Wilson.

Babych claimed City of Culture was “a unique opportunity for Hull” and said Hull Truck had programmed “a year of ambitious and exceptional drama, telling powerful human stories which resonate with our city and beyond”.

“We’re excited to be working with international artists and companies whilst staying true to our roots and remaining a cultural hub for our communities,” he added.

The festival’s programme launch, which took place at Hull Truck Theatre on September 22, mostly focused on events in the first three months of 2017.

It emerged earlier this year that Hull New Theatre, which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment, would not be open in time for the first half of the 2017 festival.

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