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We receive orders for wheelie bins from all kinds of people, to be used in all different ways. From households and offices, to shops, café bars, universities, hospitals, local councils, churches, farms, doctors’ surgeries and practically anywhere else you can think of, everyone needs a bin. However, this week we dispatched a wheelie that is going to be used in a very unique way: someone’s going to hide in it.
Assemble Fest is an annual theatre festival taking place down Newland Avenue in Hull, East Yorkshire. The UK City of Culture for 2017, Hull is seeing a huge surge in creative activity, with Assemble Fest being an excellent example. The organisers receive funding from Arts Council England, Hull City Council, Community First and KC, with Hull University and Hull Truck Theatre as partners. In addition to this financial and in-kind support, the festival reaches out to local and national businesses for help wherever required, such as Arco for health and safety equipment, and Concept Carpets for artificial grass to make the children’s show extra comfy. In our case, one of the commissioned theatre companies requires a large bin, and for safety and hygiene reasons it has to be brand new. We immediately replied to this enquiry, saying that we’d be delighted to send a wheelie bin to Hull free of charge.
The theatre company is called Silent Uproar, and they’re retelling the classic fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel through a promenade performance. Audience members meet at a designated spot, are given silent disco headphones, and then led around the avenue by Hansel, who tells the story of how he lost his sister on that fateful day. Using live and recorded sound design and visual elements integrated into the surroundings, at one point a character emerges from a wheelie bin. To begin with Silent Uproar tried the regular 240-litre wheelie bin, but even a skinny contortionist would have trouble fitting inside whilst wearing a headset. So we’re supplying them with a 660-litre model, giving them enough space to hide half the audience if they fancy it.
Assemble Fest takes place on Saturday 23 May and presents a variety of street activity alongside the commissioned theatre shows. This includes face painting, buskers, magicians and even a yarnbombed Smart car, so we can’t wait to see the photos of one of our wheelies being super cultural and helping people to access the arts.