Hull Play Spoofs City of Culture Year

26 January 2018

A play about Hull’s City of Culture status opens tonight at the Hull Truck Theatre, writes Thomas Barrie.

The Culture- A Farce in Two Acts, written by James Graham, is a satirical look at the inner workings of the Hull 2017 project. The play will include a host of familiar faces, with key figures such as Martin Green, Rosie Millard and Kofi Smiles all being expected to be represented by fictional characters.


The work focuses on Dennis, whose pathway to registering a complaint with the offices of Hull 2017, accidentally leads to him being at the centre of events that could see the whole thing brought to its knees. The play is set during a busy day at the offices of Hull 2017, where the monitoring and evaluation team have to present their statistical analysis of the previous year of culture. It also takes a comedic look at the ceremonial handover to the ambassadors of the next City of Culture. Writer James Graham said:

“The play focuses on the culture behind the culture. It’s a bit of fun and is quite self -deprecating. I wanted to take people’s chaotic expectations and the idea that people have that Hull doesn’t do things very well, and turn it on its head.”

Graham has spoken about his motivation to write the story, having been a student at the University of Hull. He said:

“Having come back to the city, I can really sense the change. I’m not just talking about the physical appearance of the buildings, but the change in people’s spirit. I really feel like the City of Culture year has uplifted everyone.”

The play, which runs from 26 January to 17 February, is expected to be a big hit at the Truck Theatre. Hull 2017 volunteer Katie Mellor said:

“I’m really excited for this one. We’ve seen some great plays this year, but I think this is the perfect one to top it off. We’ve seen some huge interest in this already from the people of the city, so I really think this will be right up there with the most attended plays we’ve seen at the theatre.”

Take a look back at some of the top events hosted at the Hull Truck Theatre here.

Tickets for the show are available from the Hull Truck Theatre Box Office or online at

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