It might have been a season to forget for many, but loveable local theatre did their best to put on a good show.
Hull Truck Theatre, one of Hull’s best loved theatres, made their Prince Charming’s Christmas Cracker show available to everyone online through a partnership with Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Connecting families and friends at the end of what was a very challenging year, the partnership set out to bring one of the most loved Christmas traditions to homes across Hull and the East Riding in an uplifting shared theatrical experience.
The premiere performance of Prince Charming’s Christmas Cracker on Tuesday 22 December received 1,916 views – equating to an estimated audience of 4,598 people. This is the equivalent of Hull Truck Theatre’s Heron auditorium selling out 10 times.
Across the streaming period (23 December – 3 January), when the performance was available to view on-demand via YouTube, it received a total of 10,554 views, equating to an estimated audience of over 25,000 people. The accessible versions of the stream, which included audio described content and captioning were also well received by audiences, engaging with over 3,000 people.
As the country currently experiences a further national lockdown and the closures of schools, Hull Truck Theatre has extended the streaming date to enable all education providers to showcase the performance as part of their learning programmes this month.
The streaming link was originally planned to end on Friday 15 January, however an extension to Sunday 31 January means that educators will have the opportunity to watch the performance with students in school or share with those learning from home until the end of the month. In addition to the one-hour long stream, Hull Truck Theatre’s creative learning team are also providing bespoke learning resources and workshops to accompany the performance and help with lesson planning and home schooling.
Janthi Mills-Ward, Hull Truck Theatre Executive Director, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the viewing figures for Prince Charming’s Christmas Cracker. We’ve received some really heart-warming feedback from audiences who enjoyed the show and it feels really wonderful to have managed to play a part in connecting friends and family over the Christmas holidays. This simply would not have been possible without the support of both Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils who worked tirelessly to help make our vision a reality.
“We hope that the extension of the streaming link for schools over the coming weeks is a useful and enjoyable resource – we understand the pressures that the current restrictions are placing on educators and parents and hope that the joy of theatre is a welcome addition. We’re busy developing further ideas to help bring some cheer over the coming winter months. So, watch this space!”
Councillor Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council, said: “2020 was a difficult year for all of us, so I am delighted that we were able to put a smile on so many people’s faces this Christmas.
People, especially in our region, always come together during difficult times and the collaboration between ourselves, our friends in the East Riding and, of course, the talented team at Hull Truck Theatre, was a fantastic example of this.
I’d like to thank the cast and everybody involved for delivering what was an important and much-needed event for so many people this Christmas.”
Councillor Richard Burton, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the success of the streaming of this show, and particularly pleased that we have been able to assist in that success. These are very challenging times for everybody, and it’s great that we have been able to contribute to bring some cheer into people’s lives over the festive season, and to allow people at home, at school, in care homes and in other settings to share in the delight that a Christmas production can bring.”
For more information about gaining access to the educational stream of Prince Charming’s Christmas Cracker which will be live until 31 January, visit www.hulltruck.co.uk/christmas-stream