Hull to exclusively host free Royal Opera House live screening

Photographed by Ruairi Watson

Hull has been named as the only city in Yorkshire to host a screening of the Royal Ballet’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, live from the Royal Opera House.

On Tuesday 11 June at 7pm, Trinity Square will be filled with 600 seats and people are being invited to come along for free with a picnic and watch Kenneth MacMillan’s celebrated ballet Romeo and Juliet, alongside a live audience at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House and other screenings across the country.

Credit: Mark Douet / Royal Opera House / ArenaPAL

This fantastic night of culture is part of the Royal Opera House’s ‘BP Big Screens’ programme which returns with live screenings of ballet and opera beamed across the UK at outdoor locations over the summer.

Councillor Dave Craker, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism said:

“I am delighted to be working with the Royal Opera House to bring this fantastic free event to our residents. To be the only city in Yorkshire to be hosting Romeo and Juliet is a real coup and testament to our time as UK City of Culture in 2017. During the year we proved there is a massive appetite for these events and I’m confident we’ll see Trinity Square packed with people on 11 June.”

Photographed by Ruairi Watson


Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, commented:

“The BP Big Screens are a much-loved highlight of the summer calendar across the UK, and I am delighted that we once again beam the best the Royal Opera House has to offer to an ever-wider audience. Over the years, our collaboration with BP has enabled more than half a million people to experience ballet and opera – many for the first time – and together we bring this summer highlight to people all over the UK.”

Photographed by Alice Pennefather

Des Violaris, Director – UK Arts and Culture at BP said:

“Each summer we look forward to the BP Big Screens and taking free culture to people all over the country. This year we screen live world-class opera and ballet from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight and build on over 30 years of partnership work between BP and the Royal Opera House”

Gok Wan, who will present the BP Big Screens in July said:

“As a huge opera and ballet fan, I love the BP Big Screens. As a child I would have loved watching for free with my friends! It’s fantastic that 24 sites across the UK become opera houses or ballet stages for the night and share in the magical performances live from London’s Covent Garden. Outdoor cinema is now one of the nation’s favourite summer pastimes and each summer the Royal Opera House BP Big Screens give everyone access to free culture on their doorstep, a great experience for free!”

Photograph by Sim Canetty-Clarke

Trinity Market will be open throughout the event and seats at the screening will be on a first come first serve basis. Booking is not required.

Trixie Mattel and Magic of Motown latest names to confirm for Hull’s Bonus Arena


RuPaul’s Drag Race star Trixie Mattel and the smash hit show Magic of Motown are the
latest names to confirm visits to the Bonus Arena in Hull.

Trixie Mattel will be heading to the Bonus Arena, Hull on 13th May 2020 as part of her UK

Mattel is known for being the winner of the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, and for placing sixth on the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Mattel co-hosts the web series  UNHhhh  and its  Viceland  follow-up The Trixie & Katya Show alongside Katya Zamolodchikova. Her first studio album, Two Birds, was released in 2017, followed by her second album, One Stone, in 2018.

Expect some music and surrealist comedy that only Trixie Mattel could hot glue together.

Magic Of Motown is heading to the Bonus Arena, Hull on 19th June 2020.

Get ready for all the hits, glittering costumes, dazzling dance routines and outstanding
musicianship in this breath-taking live concert spectacular.

You will be going Loco down in Acapulco as we take you back down memory lane with all the Motown classics from artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, The Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson and many, many more.

Celebrate the sound of a generation and ‘Reach Out’ for The Magic of Motown!

Tickets for both shows go on general sale on Friday at 10am from or call 0844 8440444. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

Related: See what’s on at Bonus Arena

Get your skates on for Fruit Market half-term fun


Skaters of all ages can strap on wheels to enjoy a pop-up roller rink in Hull’s Fruit Market this half term.

The outdoor roller skating rink will be in the Stage @ The Dock amphitheatre from Monday May 27 to Sunday June 2, with hourly sessions for skaters of all ages and abilities.

While the wearing of leg warmers and eighties-style neon lycra is not compulsory, skaters can hire old-school roller boots and have fun on the waterfront rink while enjoying some of the best views in Hull.

Roller skating is experiencing a revival with the pastime being a great way to keep fit and have fun at the same time. A whirl around a rink is easy on the joints, builds endurance and burns between 300 and 600 calories an hour.

Natalia Cleary, Fruit Market Events & Community Co-ordinator, said: “Roller skating is such a fun activity and it’s something that the whole family can enjoy together during the May half-term holiday, so we think this will be really popular.

“Skating isn’t just for children, we think the roller rink will appeal to students, groups of friends, couples and anyone who wants to do something fun in a unique part of Hull.”

“Stage @ The Dock is just perfect for an event like this, with a big open area for skaters to whizz around and lots of seating for spectators. The amazing views overlooking the water are an added bonus!”

Up to 70 skaters can be on the rink at any one time, with an hour of skating, including hire, costing just £5 (cash only). People can bring their own skates and the event is free for spectators. Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied on the rink by an adult, while under 14s must be supervised by an adult at all times.

The first session every day is for children under the age of 8. Adults can wear flat normal shoes to accompany their little ones on the rink.

The roller rink opening times are:

  • Monday to Thursday: 10am – 11am (5 yrs – 8 yrs), 11am – 5pm (open to all ages).
  • Friday and Saturday: 10am – 11am (5 yrs – 8 yrs); 11am – 7pm (open to all ages);
  • Sunday: 10am – 11am (5 yrs – 8 yrs), 11am – 5pm (open to all ages).
  • Skates are available to hire from size 8 infant through to adult sizes.

The unique Stage @ The Dock venue overlooks the River Hull and Humber Estuary. You can find it behind the C4DI tech hub and Bert’s Pizza & Gelato restaurant in Queen Street in the Fruit Market.

Is Detective Pikachu the best video game movie?

Copyright: Warner Bros.

By Adam Brannon
Film Reviewer from Movie Metropolis for What’s On Hub

Growing up in 90s Britain, Pokémon was absolutely everywhere. You couldn’t turn a street corner without seeing Pikachu and  his sidekick Ash (or should that be the other way around) emblazoned across every toy shop window or on every bus. It was a true phenomenon that took the world by storm like nothing else.

Fast forward to 2019 and perhaps even more impressively, Pokémon is still very much in people’s consciousness. The adorable Pocket Monsters, if we are referring to them with their full title, are still something of a cultural mainstay across the globe – yet true global box-office success has eluded them.

Copyright: Warner Bros.

Enter Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. The first live-action movie from the universally loved series. It’s taken over 20 years to get to this point, but is the resulting film worth the wait? Or are we looking at yet another video game to move adaptation dud?

Ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son, Tim (Justice Smith), to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds). Finding that they are uniquely equipped to work together, as Tim is the only human who can talk with Pikachu, they join forces to unravel the tangled mystery.

It was a peculiar choice for Warner Bros. and The Pokémon Company to adapt one of the lesser known video games in the franchise in which a talking Pikachu helps a young man solve the mystery of his missing father, but it ended up being a master stroke. For those not familiar with Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow etc, the film needs no introduction and no prerequisite of Pokémon knowledge, meaning it’s suitable for Pokémon fans and Pokémon novices.

What the movie does need however, is complete immersion. The central setting of Ryme City is a thriving metropolis in which Pocket Monster and human live alongside each other, free from the battles that brought the franchise universal success. It’s a bold move, putting aside what is essentially the main money-making aspect of the series, but it works well for the most part.

Director Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) creates a vibrant world that is as immersive as anything we’ve seen on the big screen in years. You feel a part of the adventure and to be frank, it took me back to my first experiences with the trading cards and the Gameboy games.

With charm, wit and heart on its side, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is by far the best video game movie, although that’s not saying much. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s Justice Smith plays the lead role of Tim with gusto and true emotion and his character arc throughout the film is pleasingly well-written for a film in the genre. Bill Nighy adds some class to proceedings as wealthy businessman Howard Clifford and Ken Watanabe pops up now and then as a detective inspector.

But the main star is of course, Detective Pikachu himself. Ryan Reynolds takes to the role like a Magikarp to water and brings a little of his Deadpool magnetism to the portrayal. It shouldn’t work, but it really does and the humorous little mouse is a delight to spend the film with.

The cinematography too is lovely. John Mathieson, who worked on Robin Hood with Ridley Scott and X-Men: First Class brings to life stunning locations, filled with mystery and magic – and that’s everything you could ask for in a Pokémon movie. The special effects are on the whole, very good. With a reported budget of $150million, you can see where the money has been spent. The creature designs are astounding, bringing these historically cartoon animals living and breathing into the 21stCentury. There are a couple of lapses here and there, but nothing to write home about.

It’s not all good news. The plot is both predictable and nonsensical at the same time, especially towards the film’s climax. The thrill here is definitely not in the story but rather in the exceptional world the film-makers have built. Rumour has it that a sequel is already on the cards, and with a confidently filmed, funny and emotive first outing, the Pokémon franchise continues to be in good health.

Our score: ★★★★

Watch if you liked: Pacific Rim, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

Detective Pikachu is showing now at Odeon Luxe Cinema, Hull

Check Cinema Times

THRILLER LIVE Review from Hull New Theatre


The longest running Michael Jackson tribute show arrived in Hull last night. Thriller Live has been running in London’s west end for over 10 years but is back on tour and performed the opening night at Hull New Theatre on Tuesday.

Laura and I are big Michael Jackson fans and always thought about going to see this in London but could never make the trip. It last came to Hull in 2015, but I missed the opportunity back then too, so I’ve been very excited to see it since it was announced last year.

The show was a dedicated tribute to Michael Jackson’s huge legacy of songs, covering all his albums from the days of the Jackson 5 to his later solo hits from the 80s and 90s.

The show was absolutely spectacular and the perfect tribute to the King of Pop himself. Before the show, I expected it to be more like a typical tribute act where one person would do their best to impersonate the star, but it wasn’t like that at all and I was glad.

We were given a team of superb dancers and 4 brilliant vocalists who delivered their own versions of his songs. Rather than pretend to be him, they just performed his hits in their own way and they really delivered a spectacular set.

The opening few songs and introductions got us all in the mood for a bit of participation. Two of the vocalists, Britt and Trace had us on our feet joining in with the songs, and by the end it was more like a concert than a musical at the theatre.

Although the first half of the show was brilliant and really enjoyable, it was the second half that will live in my memory for a long time. It was just sensational with the cast delivering the hits I remember as a kid.

The four vocalists – Letitia Hector, Trace Kennedy, Rory Taylor and Britt Quentin – were excellent. But it was the dancing from Danyul Fullard who performed Michael’s role in Smooth Criminal and Billie Jean which really blew me away. His performance was just like Michael Jackson in his prime, and it was an absolute joy to watch.

If you’ve been thinking about going to see this for a while, take the opportunity now while it’s in Hull. Tickets are good value in comparison to the price you’ll pay in London and the quality of the show is nothing less. If you’re a fan of MJ’s music, you’ll absolutely love it and will no doubt be just like us, and wanting to see it again.

Right now, tickets are still available from just £15 at but are very limited.

Green Day has a musical?


I was unsure what to expect before seeing the show. While knowing about Green Day, and their music, I had no idea they had created a musical based around their American Idiot album. I was excited to see exactly what it was all about, and how a rock album could be made into a piece of musical theatre.

My expectations for the show were mixed. I already knew I would enjoy the music, therefore I was excited to see how these songs were going to be delivered and performed as musical numbers. After seeing the show, I have to say that the music definitely lived up to these expectations as all the performers were great singers, and really brought the music to life. As I was unsure about the actual premise of the show, my assumptions were not particularly high, but also not particularly low either. As a whole, the production exceeded my expectations as the acting was superb, the singing fantastic, and the ideas behind the show were brilliantly brought to life.

The show began with a television screen showing news reports in America following the 9/11 attacks, displaying the country in fear and full of chaotic thought. We see a few members of the cast frustrated at the situation before breaking into a powerful rendition of American Idiot. We were then introduced to the remaining members of the cast, as well as the band stood up above them behind barred gates. This opening was a fantastic way to start the show as it let us see every member of the cast, but also perfectly displayed the angst of American youth at this point in history.

Related: Find out more about American Idiot

My favourite scene was the beautiful rendition of Wake Me Up When September Ends. It was delivered perfectly by everyone involved, especially Tom Milner who performed this track effortlessly and managed to convey its emotion. While you could tell that they were all engaging their feelings into their performance of the song, Milner provided that ‘something extra’, that just made it a perfect part of the show.

Related: What’s on at Bridlington Spa

As a whole the cast was fairly small, but each one stood out individually and made you notice them in different ways. You could never forget any member because they all acted and sang brilliantly. To single one performer out, I would have to say that Tom Milner’s performance as Johnny was outstanding; he meant every word that he sang, that he said, and he made you feel what the character was feeling at each moment – which to me is always the sign of an incredible performer.

This show would appeal to anyone who has ever felt some kind of disenchantment with society, with their government, or with themselves. While on the surface, those who are not fans of Green Day, or grunge rock music in general, may think this show is not for them; but if you have ever felt that you are disconnected from society, that the world would exist perfectly without you, that you are unloved or nobody wants you, and everyone is having fun without you then you need to see this show!

American Idiot is running at Bridlington Spa until Saturday 11th May. Make sure you don’t miss out on this spectacular rock drama!

Words by Natasha Lesko

Hull’s award-winning international Freedom Festival extends to five days


HULL’s award-winning international Freedom Festival, an established fixture on the national and international cultural calendar, returns for its 12th year in 2019 with an extended and audacious arts programme spanning five days.

In an extraordinary celebration of art, community and humanity, artists and audiences from Hull and around the world will once again converge on the city, transforming it into a world of wonder, to feast upon a world-class programme of art and a festival as unique as the city to which it is anchored.

With a largely free, family-centric programme spanning circus, music, dance, debates, visual arts, theatre and more, including multiple commissions and events which explore themes relating to human rights, Freedom Festival 2019 will affirm its position as one of the UK’s and Europe’s finest and most distinctive arts festivals.

Presented in public space, occupying streets and transforming unusual spaces, this year’s programme will celebrate the city’s rich heritage whilst encouraging visitors to discover and rediscover a city of unparalleled potential, fuelled by humanity.

Mikey Martins, Artistic Director and Joint CEO of Freedom Festival Arts Trust, explains: “A festival powered by people, that’s what Freedom Festival is. At what other festival are themes of empowerment and the potential of community artistically woven together with world-class street theatre, visual arts, participatory installations, dance, circus, live music and a programme of exhibitions and debates?

“We believe bold, artistic experiences and festivals are fundamental and a necessary part of our modern society, the kind of artists we work with are brave, innovative and hugely talented and we’re incredibly excited to have expanded the celebrations beyond a weekend to five days of wonder. In 2019 we will expand our indoor programme following on from the huge success and feedback from last year’s ticketed programme of events, this will allow more people the opportunity to see extraordinary performances by award-winning artists from across the world.”

Save the date to experience a journey of discovery as Hull becomes the city’s stage. You’re invited to join us as we continue to delight, entertain and surprise audiences in unusual locations with jaw-dropping UK premieres, laugh-out-loud moments, thought-provoking performances and sometimes mischievous projects that engage with both the young and old.

The programme for Freedom Festival will be announced next month. Freedom Festival 2019 will take place from Wednesday 28 August – Sunday 1 September 2019. It is a free festival, with some ticketed performances. For more information and ticket announcements visit and follow @FreedomFestHull

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