Honouring one of Hull’s trailblazers who battled to improve safety on North Sea trawlers, Hull Truck Theatre and Hull UK City of Culture 2017 premiered The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca during the final season of Hull 2017, Tell the World.
Written by Maxine Peake, directed by Sarah Frankcom and Imogen Knight and with an original live score by folk’s finest – The Unthanks – the unique site-specific production took audiences on an unforgettable journey. Using music, storytelling, movement and performance, the show celebrated an inspirational period in Hull’s history and a force for change that resonated far beyond the city.
As audiences followed Lillian Bilocca and her crew of head-scarved revolutionaries through Hull’s historic Guildhall, they were transported back to 1968 to witness the Three Day Millionaire’s riotous return home from the wet and wild west and dance at the ghostly Silver Cod Ball, the trawler owners’ annual slap on the back.
The immersive piece of theatre allowed the audience to become part of Hull’s fishing community, celebrating the vivid and dangerous lives of its trawler men and uniting against the feudal power of the ship owners.
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Installation view, 2020. Jamie Crewe, Solidarity & Love. Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist, 2020. Photo by Jules Lister.
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Hull Truck Theatre
The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca