It’s been ten days since Assemble Fest so it's about time I wrote a follow-up blog entry, especially seeing how I meant to post one straight afterwards. Whoops.
Maddy, Mungo and I are delighted to report that #assemble2014 was a sell-out success, with over 700 bums on seats throughout the day. (That’s the equivalent of filling the Main House at Hull Truck Theatre one and a half times!) We couldn’t have achieved this without the help of our funders and partners, Newland businesses and associations, our event team and, of course, the many wonderful audience members. The atmosphere on the day was both electric and relaxed, the sun was shining (to the extent that I went a bit pink), and the tons of positive feedback made our hearts swell. So from all three of us, we'd like to offer a massive thanks, a warm hug and the highest of high fives for helping to make Assemble Fest a great success. Plus special gratitude goes to Andrew Carruthers and Jose Tevar, who worked so hard with us to bring it all together in those crucial few weeks prior. Excellent work, chaps!
Now, I'm feeling a bit self-indulgent; let's take a look at some of my favourite moments from the day:
Crap Scene Investigation (Apus Productions in Clothes Factor’s car park)
I absolutely loved the piece itself but an additional element also made me grin from ear to ear. Between shows, I spotted the CSI-suited trio walking single file to their green room a quarter-mile down the road, to the bewilderment of numerous passers-by. It was especially fitting when they were outside the Lloyds bank. Classic!
Play (Brick by Brick in a vacant house)
Seeing the lads flawlessly play Phil Collins’ drum solo from ‘In the Air Tonight’ (familiar to most people thanks to the Cadbury’s gorilla) made me so happy. This was mainly because the drums were audience members’ hands covered in tin foil and connected to a computer via crocodile clips and wires. Theatrical science is awesome!
Timeout (Park Bench Theatre at Zoo Cafe)
At this show you were given the choice of 'make', 'do' or 'play'. I went for 'make', which consisted of us visiting The English Muse to then sketch a portrait of the person next to you. The lady who drew mine did an amazing Picasso-esque job and really captured my quiff; it’s now part of a display at TEM until the end of May.
Film Noir at the Monica (Theatre on the Edge at The Piper Club)
As a graduate (about a decade ago) I’d go to the Piper every Friday night for shots, pints, bad dancing and inevitable embarrassment. These days I go about once a month, where I tend to remember my early twenties rather than relive them. Watching a security guard, a burglar, Bogart and Bacall interact on stage was quite a break from the norm!
Oppy Wood (The History Troupe at Newland School)
I’d only seen this group once before, when they adopted a scripted monologue format to pay tribute to Remembrance Day. Experiencing their work performed as a locally-set tale with vintage props and 1920s garb was really enriching, and few people left without a lump in their throat.
Roller-coaster (Single Story at The Fringe)
A musical in a hair salon was amazing in itself. The fact that it was the hair salon that I personally use, and around the chair I often sit in, made it all the better. Plus having Jess Morley pick on me every time she made a reference to typical male attributes (e.g. apathetic grunts and smelly feet) made it all the more… well, let’s say "relatable".
Skirts, Shirts and Vintage Dresses (Rachael Abbey and Lizi Perry at Dove House charity shop)
Dave Windass, a local playwright and fellow audience member, telling me about his childhood flannelette football kit. I’ll never get that image out of my head.
On top of that we had buskers, live art by Something Entirely Different, magicians and even giant bubbles, plus our Hub Space proved popular, with Hull University students working alongside industry mentors the likes of Mark Babych, Sarah Punshon and Alan Lane. At the risk of sounding a bit OTT, it was the best day that's ever existed (for me at least).
To be honest I'm feeling a bit lost now. Guess it's time for Maddy, Mungo and me (brilliant name for a film) to start planning next year's festival! What kind of theatre or street activity would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below.
Author: Rich Sutherland, Marketing Manager