From left to right: Rosie Race, Hannah Scorer, Marc Graham, Grace Waga Glevey, Andrew Houghton and Prince Kundai were selected from 130 entrants who responded to an open call for writers.

Hull Playwriting Festival announces six new commissions for inaugural event

Middle Child have announced the six writers commissioned for Fresh Ink, a new annual playwriting festival coming to Hull’s Fruit Market in July.

Rosie Race, Hannah Scorer, Grace Waga Glevey, Marc Graham, Prince Kundai and Andrew Houghton were selected from 130 entrants, who responded to an open call for writers with “a meaningful connection to Hull”.

Rosie Race and Hannah Scorer will each write a 70-minute play, Grace Waga Glevey and Marc Graham a 30-minute piece and Prince Kundai and Andrew Houghton a 15-minute excerpt of a larger idea.

They will work with Middle Child to develop two drafts of their respective scripts, to be performed in rehearsed readings at Stage@TheDock, an outdoor amphitheatre in Hull.

The Fresh Ink festival programme will also feature a series of workshops, talks and social events over the weekend of 20-21 July.

Hannah Scorer is a writer from Hull, who first took part in Middle Child’s Writers’ Group in 2019 and last year shared a script at Out Loud, Middle Child’s scratch night with Silent Uproar. This is her first full-length commission.

Can We Be Friends? follows a single parent and her daughter as they both discover family doesn’t always look the way we’re told.

Hannah said: “Because I reached my mid-30s without ever writing creatively, I didn’t think it was something I’d ever do.

“The Middle Child Writers’ Group is where this story started, as a 10-minute monologue, so it’s incredibly exciting to have this chance to tell the whole story.”

Fresh Ink: Hull Playwriting Festival will become an annual platform for Hull writers to create and develop new plays in the city.

Middle Child artistic director and chief executive, Paul Smith, said: “When Wykeland first approached Middle Child to explore an idea to support creative skills development in Hull, we knew there was huge potential to build something which could meet genuine need and last long into the future.

“The 130 submissions we received as part of Fresh Ink’s first open call are evidence of this, going far beyond our wildest dreams and proving that exceptional writing talent exists in Hull and needs a platform to match its undoubted potential.

“We were blown away by the creativity, confidence and craft of the local writers who applied this time around and it is no exaggeration to say that we could have commissioned enough plays to fill the festival ten times over.

“We are delighted to announce these six commissions and cannot wait to bring these exceptional ideas to life. Each one is full of the heart, humour and hope that echoes around this city, and we are sure they will resonate with the people of Hull.”

Middle Child hope the festival will attract producers, venues and critics from outside of Hull to experience theatre by artists who may go unnoticed in the current climate.

Find out more here.

The Guildhall in Hull.
Roadworks signs