Hull Takeover theatre companies © Tom Arran

HIPI Programme

The Hull Independent Producer Initiative supports and develops Hull’s performing arts sector.

In addition to providing training and mentoring to independent producers, HIPI champions and supports emerging theatre companies and individual artists living and working in Hull.

We recognise that running a project-funded company, being a freelancer or sole trader is not easy. HIPI provides help with a whole range of activities from opportunities to showcase the work, completing funding applications and monitoring and evaluation; all in a supportive, informal and accessible environment. We do this through a combination of one to one advice sessions, training, masterclass events, sector gatherings and through developing networking opportunities.

Previously we have provided support to Silent Uproar with grant applications that resulted in raising over £110,000 as well as helping them to generate an extensive UK wide tour; Middle Child with their NPO bid and Bellow Theatre in securing their first funding to make work. HIPI has also supported numerous artists in the city including Josh Overton, Lydia Marchant, Tess Seddon, Mark Rees and Ian Winter, along with companies including Roaring Girls, The Herd, No Twaddle, Brick by Brick and many others. 

Supported by HIPI, Hull theatre companies toured their work and showcased at New Diorama Theatre in London, selling out 90% of the shows; and initiated a ‘Hull Takeover’ at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017, where the companies picked up numerous awards and rave reviews.

If you are a professional theatre or dance artist living and making performance-based work in Hull, sign up to our Absolutely Cultured newsletter and follow our social media channels to find out about HIPI opportunities.

HIPI is an Absolutely Cultured project, funded by Arts Council England, Hull City Council Arts Development and Back To Ours, with support from Hull Truck Theatre.

HIPI is working with Sarah Sansom as Strategic Coach for the project, as well as providing Producer coaching and training courses.

HIPI Hang Out Forum
Humber Street Gallery

On the first Thursday of each month the HIPI Hang Out will host a forum for artists and producers working in performing arts to discuss their work with each other and invited guests, develop their knowledge and get support with taking the next step to produce their project. Join the conversation in an open and supportive environment with leading arts managers and producers from Hull and the region. From the inspirational to pragmatic, the programme of discussions coming up are:

Funding: How to raise the money?
Thursday 5th September 2019
6-8pm, Humber Street Gallery

Fundraising for a project is a daunting task that can bring up lots of questions. How do you know where to begin or what strategy is best for your project? Where can you get funding from? What’s best to include in an application or proposal? Join the discussion with local and regional arts professionals to help demystify the fundraising process.

If you have any questions about or suggestions for future forum discussions please email

Hull Takeover

This summer, Hull is heading back to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as Absolutely Cultured’s Hull Independent Producer Initiative, in partnership with Middle Child, supported by Hull Truck Theatre and Back to Ours, support shows by five, highly acclaimed and exciting theatre companies from Hull.

The Hull Independent Producers Initiative supports and develops Hull’s performing arts sector through training and mentoring, along with championing emerging theatre companies living and working in the city.

Taking place from 2 to 26 August, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will once again see a Hull Takeover as Hull-based theatre companies The Herd, Middle Child, Roaring Girls, Just Club and international acrobats Casus Circus, commissioned by Back to Ours take to the stage to show the world what Hull is made of.

Three of the visiting companies – The Herd, Just Club and The Roaring Girls – will receive financial support from Absolutely Cultured. In addition all companies will benefit from in-kind support including PR and marketing from Absolutely Cultured as well as wellbeing support from Middle Child. The Herd, Middle Child, Roaring Girls, and Just Club will also be supported by Hull Truck Theatre to preview their shows as part of their ‘Grow’ season and will benefit from the peer support they can provide each other. Both Middle Child and Casus will be able to offer the benefit of their previous successful experiences at Edinburgh fringe to the other companies in the Takeover programme.

Made in Hull: Proud to support emerging theatre companies and artists.

HIPI Programme

James Mulkeen