Why is our generation having less sex than our parents’ generation? That’s the question that sparked Middle Child’s latest production, One Life Stand, which comes to pubs and clubs across Hull next week.
It’s the latest piece of gig theatre from the multi-award winning Hull company who wowed audiences with their Hull UK City of Culture 2017 commission, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, at Welly last year, before it sold out at Edinburgh Fringe and won three awards.
One Life Stand sees the cast of three actor-musicians perform live music, written by James Frewer and Glaswegian duo Honeyblood, as they tell Eve Nicol’s story about a search for intimacy in a city obsessed with sex and screens.
“We follow Kat, her boyfriend, Kit, and Momo, a single student, through one night in Hull as they all search for some kind of connection with other people, all while being bombarded with constant distractions, both real and digital,” says director Paul Smith.
“It asks how we form relationships and interact with people when we’re buried in our phones all the time. How do we manage all of the pressure and expectations that come with presenting a version of yourself on social media?
“What role does monogamy play in the 21st century, when we’re told the world is our oyster and the promise of fresh excitement is just a swipe away? These are all major themes in the show.”
Middle Child events are also as much about having a good night out with banging tunes as they are about hearing stories that ask important questions. Cue James Frewer and Honeyblood.
James is a long-time collaborator with Middle Child and the man responsible for the nostalgia-tripping tunes in All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, as well as the off-piste electro-pop in I Hate Alone, which toured Hull in October 2017.
Honeyblood are Glaswegian duo Stina Tweeddale and Cat Myers, whose 2016 album, Babes Never Die, was described by Clash Magazine as “one of the year’s best guitar albums, a record of spite, venom, humour, and melancholy.”
They’ve played the likes of Latitude Festival and T in the Park and supported Courtney Barnett and Foo Fighters, while Cat recently played drums with post-rock legends Mogwai on their Australian and South American tours.
“It’s been brilliant working with Honeyblood and having them in our rehearsal room for a couple of weeks. We were able to come up with broad musical strokes for the show that give a sense of a grey night in a rainy city, through a mix of electronica, rock and a little bit of folk.
“Any busy city has its own rhythms flowing through and I thought it would be interesting to replicate that musically.
“There are also two strands to the music in the show: the real world and the social media world. Honeyblood were instrumental in creating the music and the ‘choruses’ for the real world music, while I built the musical social media world.”
You can see One Life Stand in Hull at the William Gemmell Club, Kardomah 94, Polar Bear, Adelphi Club, New Trinity Club and Thieving Harry’s, from 6-12 July.
It then heads to Latitude Festival, before a month-long run at Edinburgh Fringe in August and a national tour in the autumn.
Tickets are on sale now for £7.50 via Hull Box Office or £10 on the door, with a limited number of £5 tickets available from the bars William Gemmell Club, Kardomah 94 and Thieving Harry’s.
There is also a Pay What You Want performance at The New Trinity Club on Southcoates Lane. Simply book a free ticket in advance and then pay what you want on the night, after the show.
One Life Stand is funded by Arts Council England and Absolutely Cultured, with support from Hull City Council and Goodwin Development Trust. Middle Child are also an associate company of Paines Plough.