DramaNorth East & YorkshireReview

Ladies Unleashed – Hull Truck Theatre

Reviewer: Christopher Holmes

Writer: Amanda Whittington

Director: Mark Babych

Still in its 50th anniversary year, Hull Truck Theatre present Ladies Unleashed, the latest play in a trilogy by Amanda Whittington. Each of the three plays is a stand alone drama.

Most of the action is played out in the old fishing port of Lindisfarne as four friends embark on low-key break to the Holy Island.

Some of the dialogue brings a certain naïve northern poetry to the proceedings but this gets lost and almost diluted in what is a poor and meaningless idea. Though, not a triptych of plays, this critic couldn’t help but wonder if one was missing something.

The fraught and unnecessary parallels between our four main protagonists in which scenes juxtapose from played down hen do to turn of the century fish factory workers feels disjointed, contrived and confusing, despite the strong performances by Northern actors (Martha Godber and Gemma Oaten are particularly impressive). The six strong cast are unfortunately let down by a plot that makes no sense and a story that simply didn’t need telling.

Stick a Hullism, a landmark or a street name in there and you’ll have audiences eating out of the palm of your hand. This is Hull Truck’s get out of jail free card and, as well as wearing thin now, it’s also rather patronising. Some of the staging also lacks any real imagination as, in true Babych style, most of the dialogue is played out front.

There has been a certain buzz amongst Hull’s theatrical circles surrounding its theatres 50th anniversary year but this play has just not been as exciting or inviting enough to warrant any real merit. Hull Truck Theatre is supposed to be a theatre built for the people of Hull to experiment, to push boundaries and to be organic. Ladies Unleashed has unfortunately missed the mark.

Runs until 22nd October 2022.

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Jacob Bush. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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One Comment

  1. Totally disagree with the above review.I went with three girlfriends to the Saturday 22nd afternoon performance and all of us throughly enjoyed it.I found it funny, emotional and very entertaining.Maybe we are easy pleased but I don’t think so!

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