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Community Correspondents

Ian Judson, Community Correspondent

I am a student journalist, and one of Hull’s many creatives – a playwright, director and actor.

As a Community Correspondent I want to make a wider audience aware of what is going on right here in this country’s cultural hub.

I’ve loved playing my part in informing everybody what is going on, at Freedom Festival 2016 and beyond.

Review: 15 foot 6 at Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF)

By Ian Judson

Wow, what a show! This high-octane performance leaves you breathless. Multi-disciplined, with an outstanding sense of fun, while stomach churning as well. Spoken word, comedy, peril and gymnastics all combine to bring a truly memorable experience.

Richard Fox, Tain Molendijk, Jasper D’ Hondt and Thomas Dechaufour bring a huge sense of fun with them to the performance, even before it starts.

This charming group spoke at SIRF about the ideas behind the performance.

Jasper says; “We aged about 20 years in just five, making the show! We took all the funny stuff we did in other shows, put them into this, and a couple of ideas that were being developed for other stuff got put in it too.”

Thomas talks about the show’s funny (and somewhat revealing) costumes not bothering him: “I’m actually more nervous about coming in the crowd with a (fake!) gun – showing my bottom is alright.”

15 foot 6 would be a wonderful addition to Freedom Festival. Perhaps it’s worth looking out for exploding pandas, cheeky stunts and amazing gymnastics next year.

Spotlight on Hull Hero Jack Harrison VC

By Ian Judson

Like William Wilberforce, Jack Harrison is one of Hull’s heroes who made an outstanding contribution to freedom. Born on 12 November 1890, Jack originally made his name as a flying winger for Hull FC.

In 1914/15 season he set a club record of 52 tries by one player, a record he still holds now.

After that he went to fight on the frontline of the Battle of the Somme.

On 25 March 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross for outstanding gallantry after leading a mission in No Man’s Land.

On 3 May 1917 Jack sacrificed himself as he bravely knocked out a German machine gun with a Mills Grenade. He was seen to fall in No Man’s Land.

For his outstanding bravery, Jack was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. He also saved thousands of lives among his men, because the machine gun never fired again. Lest we forget.

Review: Women of Words at Kardomah94

By Ian Judson

A Car Load of Poets brought the fledgling Women of Words to Kardomah 94 for its fifth outing, and provided another afternoon of fantastic entertainment.

The headline act was the fantastic Helen Mort, who also performed as part of Freedom Festival’s ‘Word on the Street’ series of pre-festival events. This time, Helen treated us to a set that included two poems about Big Lil and her Headscarf Revolutionaries.

Hosted by the effervescent, and thoroughly compelling Vicky Foster – who is herself a wonderfully talented poet who cut her performing teeth at the brilliant Away With Words, run by Jim Higo each month at Union Mash Up – it was once again a great success from all angles.

With 14 open mic participants, it certainly shows there is no shortage of female writing talent in the next UK City of Culture, which included the superb author Louise Beech, along with fresh new talent who were having their first go at the spoken word event.

Among the other performers were Catherine Scott and Sue Houlston, and first timer Lynne Taylor with a short story, emphasising that this beautiful gathering is all about the written word in many different forms.

Canadian wordsmith Claire Lacey, who only moved to Hull two days before the event, also found her way to this thoroughly enjoyable monthly gathering, to give a very compelling performance of two poems.