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The Hull Truck Theatre, 50 Ferensway, Kingston Upon Hull and The Hull Truck Theatre, Spring Street, Kingston Upon Hull

Formerly - The Humberside Theatre / Spring Street Theatre

Spring Street Theatre - Present Theatre

Hull Theatres Index

The new Hull Truck Theatre on the day of the Theatre's Press Launch, 6th of April 2009- Courtesy Marcus Heald

Above - The new Hull Truck Theatre on the day of the Theatre's Press Launch, 6th of April 2009 - Courtesy Marcus Heald

The old Hull Truck Theatre on Spring Street on the 17th of February 2009, the week the Company moved out - Courtesy Marcus Heald.The original Hull Truck Theatre was on Spring Street, Hull (Shown Right) and became home to the Hull Truck Company on the 4th of April 1983 when they opened it with a production of 'The Adventures of Jasper Ridley' by Nigel Williams.

Right - The old Hull Truck Theatre, Spring Street on the 17th of February 2009, the week the Company moved out - Courtesy Marcus Heald.

The Theatre had originally opened in 1970 under the name of the Humberside Theatre and was a reconstruction from a former Church Hall called the St Stephen's church rooms.

The Humberside Theatre was managed by the Magician Jon Marshall and featured plays from many companies, Hull Truck included, and a lot of work from local playwright Alan Plater.

The Revd. Henry West MBE had been the Vicar of Sculcoates in the 1960s and during his tenure the Diocese had asked him to take on the next door parish as well. This included the church hall and worship centre of St Stephen's (the church was destroyed in the blitz). In the late 1960s he knew Alan Plater who at the time was trying to establish the Hull Arts Centre and had run into difficulties with negotiations for premises, and it looked as if the whole idea would collapse. St Stephen's was surplus to the Church's requirements and they were looking round for options for its alternative use. Revd. Henry West mentioned this to Alan Plater, who, once he had looked at the premises, bit his hand off and the deal was done. - This information courtesy Revd. Henry West MBE.

The Theatre was renamed the Spring Street Theatre in 1981 but closed down the following year and remained empty until the Hull Truck Company, who had been producing touring productions since 1971, beginning with productions in the back of a truck, hence the name, moved in, in 1983.

The Hull Truck Company are one of a very few producing companies in Yorkshire. The Spring Street Hull Truck Theatre's auditorium was refurbished in 1994 and had a capacity of 200.

In 2006 work began on the building of a new Theatre in Ferensway, Hull for the Hull Truck Company by the Quarmby Construction Company, which was completed in 2009 at a cost of £15.5 million and funded by the Arts Council, Kingston Upon Hull City Council, and the European Regional Development Fund.

Left - The auditorium of the old Hull Truck Theatre, Spring Street on the 17th of February 2009, the week the Company moved out - Courtesy Marcus Heald.

The new Hull Truck Theatre was scheduled to open on the 23rd of April 2009, Shakespeare's birthday and St George’s Day, but actually opened to the public on the 25th of April 2009 with a production of 'Funny Turns' by John Goodber.

The new Hull Truck Theatre's main house has an auditorium capable of seating 440 people in some comfort. The thrust stage can be manually raised or lowered depending on the production requirements and has a void beneath the entire stage which enables the inclusion of an orchestra pit for some productions.

The auditorium and stage of the new Hull Truck Theatre at the Theatre's Press Launch on the 6th of April 2009- Courtesy Marcus Heald

Above - The auditorium and stage of the new Hull Truck Theatre at the Theatre's Press Launch on the 6th of April 2009 - Courtesy Marcus Heald

The auditorium of the new Hull Truck Theatre at the Theatre's Press Launch on the 6th of April 2009- Courtesy Marcus Heald

Above - The auditorium of the new Hull Truck Theatre at the Theatre's Press Launch on the 6th of April 2009 - Courtesy Marcus Heald

The new building also houses a smaller studio Theatre and educational space called Inter@ct with 134 seats, spaces for corporate entertainment, and a cafe / restaurant and many bars.

The BBC reported on the closure of the Spring Street Theatre and the opening of the Ferensway one in February 2009, view their video piece here.

You May like to visit the Hull Truck Theatre's own website here...

Some of the information on the Spring Street Theatre was kindly sent in by Neil Barnby and Revd. Henry West MBE.

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