IN THE MARKET FOR PLAY WITH A DIFFERENCE
When: Thursday, September 13, to Saturday, September 15, 7.30pm.
Where: Fruit, Humber Street, Hull.
Tickets: £12 / £10 concessions.
To book: 01482 221113 or 07776 832912.
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Cast: Euphoria will feature a cast of ten, including Laura Aramayo who recently starred in a one-off production of Richard Bean's Smack family Robinson, also at Fruit.
Momentum: Euphoria's producers say they want to build on the momentum of this weekend's Freedom festival, which will hopefully attract thousands of people to the Fruit Market.
Map: Euphoria will be the first promenade production in Hull since 2011's Mapping The City.
A new theatre experience charting six decades of clubbing is taking to the streets of Hull. Literally. Ian Midgley hits the Fruit Market cobbles to find out more
W hat is a night out at the theatre?
Is it a quick pint at the bar? A folding chair and armrests in the auditorium?
A traditional stage, Super Trouper spotlights, a proscenium arch and an ice cream in the interval?
Well, cast aside any preconceived notions of what seeing a show is all about and prepare to go for a walk around the slightly daunting old warehouses of Hull's former Fruit Market.
Technically, it's called a "promenade" performance, says Andy Person, the director of Euphoria, which will take its audiences on a merry dance around four Humber Street venues, for three nights this week.
"The show's about clubbing and club culture," says Andy, whose Ensemble 52 company is producing the show.
"It's about what it means to be a part of a club, a gang, through specific parts of clubbing history.
"It's certainly an ambitious idea," he laughs.
"When we first came up with it, we thought it would be a really interesting thing to do.
"It's only when you've got the dates in the diary that you realise what huge operation it's going to be to stage one over-arching story across four venues at the same time – and all the people you'll need to make it happen."
The show, written by Hull playwrights Dave Windass and Morgan Sproxton – the creative talent behind Hull Truck's recent community crowd-puller City Of Light – features four loosely interlocking stories set against four very different eras of nightlife.
Starting off in the Bohemian arts venue Fruit in the modern day, the audience will be split into three and led to other venues on the street where they'll experience some very different nights out taking place.
From a 1940s wartime dance, where free tea and cake will be dispensed, to a 1970s disco and an 1989 acid house party, the audience will be introduced to a group of characters coming to terms with each of their own generation's hopes, dreams and struggles.
The audience will then be reunited for the show's climax where all its disparate strands will be brought together with some revelations and "twists in the tale".
The idea of a "promenade" production is nothing new – the promenade's roots stretch as far back as medieval times and their penchant for religious Passion and mystery plays.
In these, audiences would be shepherded from cart to cart, where each trader would have paid to have a scene staged outside his stall so the crowd could inspect his wares.
The prospect of now staging a show among the former fruit warehouses that were once the hub of commerce form around the world brings the promenade full circle, says Andy.
"It's daunting," he admits. "But it's very exciting too because we're trying to create a piece of theatre we've never seen before.
"It won't just be like an extended night down at The Welly. It will be a proper theatre experience – just in unfamiliar surroundings.
"The audience won't be able to sit down and snooze in a comfy velvet chair.
"They'll be walked from venue to venue and will be very much part of the action.
"In the Forties section of the show they get free tea and cake – so that alone will be worth the price of admission."