Middle Child premiere their latest show – Modest – at Hull Truck Theatre next week, but did you know that the story of the play’s extraordinary protagonist, Elizabeth Thompson, already has a connection to Hull?
In 1874, Elizabeth Thompson had the eyes of the art world firmly focused on her after stunning the Royal Academy with her painting, Roll Call.
Five years later, she would fall two votes short of becoming the first woman elected to the academy in a vote marred with prejudice and sexism, in one of many key moments that would deny her talent, career and legacy the respect and recognition it deserved.
Her work however is recognised and given the platform it deserves at Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery.
The Return from Inkerman, painted three years after Roll Call, features as part of the gallery’s permanent collection.
The art establishment’s cold response to Thompson and her work was primarily due to what she chose as her subjects, preferring to paint military scenes rather than more traditionally feminine subjects such as fruit and flowers.
Modest is a collaboration between Hull-based Middle Child and artist-led Milk Presents (JOAN, Trans Filth and Joy), two award-winning companies, developed with the support of the National Theatre’s Generate programme.
The drag show shines a light on the incredible story of Thompson in the swash-buckling and energetic style that Middle Child has become so synonymous with.
The show premieres at Hull Truck Theatre in Hull from Tuesday 23 May until Saturday 27 May before embarking on a nationwide tour.
You can book tickets here.
Ticket-holders are also invited to attend a free workshop at Ferens Art Gallery to view The Return from Inkerman (1877) by Elizabeth Thompson and talk about themes raised by her wartime painting and Middle Child’s play about her life.
The workshop, presented by Critical Fish, takes place at Ferens Art Gallery on Saturday 27 May from 10am-12.30pm. Details on how to book can be found here.