Something I have been highly anticipating in the 2017 line up is Paul Smith’s All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, Middle Child’s most daring enterprise yet. Did it deliver? It delivered, far and beyond the show’s personified asteroid. The night began with The Holy Orders, an alternative indie rock band born out of The Strokes / Interpol / Editors and occasionally Queens of the Stone Age. The guys’ performance matched the heavy energy of their music which found its way into every nook and crevice of Welly, they were nothing short of captivating to hear and watch. The short set flowed into the commence of the narrative.

The Holy Orders

Marc Graham must be commended on his ability to carry the show as the MC. Think of the waltzer’s ringmaster at Hull Fair, yet a multifaceted, story telling version who leads and helps engage his audience. We first meet our characters in the 90’s, the beginning of Leah & Chris’s lives. Played by Bryony Davies and James Stanyer, Leah and Chris are from opposite ends of place, class and opportunity in Hull. Yet their journeys into adulthood are somewhat parallel. Bryony’s Leah is one which any working-class twenty-something Hullian could relate too. As is James’ Chris, who struggles to cope with the pressures of University and the subsequent life expectations. Supporting these two protagonists are their single parents, Leah’s dad Brian (Josh Meredith) and Chris’s mum Kimberley (Emma Bright). Both tell so truthfully what it is to bring up our generation of 90’s babies, that detachment and difference which develops as our age experiences much sociological change.

Marc Graham

The versatility of all the actors creates such a spectacle as they lark and dance around the playing space taking hold of various different musical instruments. In doing so they amplify the constant rhythm of Luke Barnes’s pen, who’s writing was something more like verse against the changing genres of music. James Frewer’s composition tied the entire show together and made a new gig theatre fan in me. He has the flair of bringing us into time and place with his well-made tunes. The lurking doom hovering over us is the cool Asteroid (Alice Beaumont) who remains eerily present with her futuristic beats which build unto the crescendo ending of our narrative.

Paul Smith has directed something spectacular in the Hull 2017 line up. This being a personal favourite so far, it has reached beyond entertainment and has invited me into the world as I relate to it. Be prepared to laugh a lot, cry a little, be engaged in action and feel a beat which resonates in memory and moment. It’s one hell of a night out.

Words: Laura Peterson


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