Play has the essence of a night out, from euphoria to misery
James Stanyer points to his mohawk. "My hair's not normally like this," he says, with a smile.
The 25-year-old and his compatriots in Middle Child Theatre cannot be faulted for a lack of dedication.
Alongside changing his look, the actor has been wrestling with the complexities of the Middlesbrough accent – "A mix of Yorkshire, Geordie and Scouse" – for the company's latest production.
Apples, based on the novel by Richard Milward, follows the lives of a boozed-up, drugged-out group of teens in the Teeside city.
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And as part of their research, the young Hull company travelled up to Middlesbrough for a day, and night, on the town.
The purpose was to "flesh out" the details of this tale of tearaway youths, by visiting the estates, pubs and clubs mentioned in the drama, including the famed Empire.
"We saw every character from the book about ten times," said James.
"And when we ended up in Empire it was a fantastic, amazing place.
"We queued up to get in and the vibe was like this was the last night on Earth."
Now it is up to the cast, along with artistic director Paul Smith, to compress the vibrancy of the north-east into Hull Truck's Studio space.
"It has the essence of a night out – from the euphoria to the misery of a hangover," said Paul, 26.
"We are looking to make a club night in the theatre.
"There will be florescent lighting and loud music that will suddenly snap into silence and bright white lights – with everybody stumbling out and looking a lot less glam."
The drama follows a set of 15-year-olds Eve, Adam, Claire and Gary as they attempt to negotiate the complexities of the adult world.
Paul said: "We got really interested in the politics of the story, of kids being forced to grow up too fast and these 15-year-olds being forced to pretend they are much older than they are."
The themes of the drama also neatly tie in with the company's aims.
Formed in October 2011 by a group of Hull University graduates, Middle Child has staged five productions over the past year.
The company, whose members are aged between 21 and 27, aims to create theatre that reflects the lives of young people who, in the wake of the economic slump, find themselves scratching about for work.
They have recently returned from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with 25: 13 Red, 12 Blue – about a group of 25-year-old Britons raised under 13 years of Labour and 12 of Tory.
"It feels like an exciting time in the city," said Paul, mentioning the Freedom Festival and the staging of Euphoria – a clubbing drama by Ensemble 52 – at venues around Humber Street.
"We got back from Edinburgh and it felt like a continuation, there was no sense of a post-festival lull."
Now in their final week of rehearsals at the Goodwin Centre, on the Thornton Estate, the company is to stage John Retallack's drama at Hull Truck from tomorrow.
Alongside the nightlife, it will pinpoint the pains of teen life.
"When you're 15 years old, everything seems like life or death," said James.