Here’s a message from my friends at Hoipolloi. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to reading about myself in the third person.
Hoipolloi and Hugh Hughes have taken a bold step toward new creative challenges and a more flexible model of operation in a bid to help Hugh Hughes, and his stories, reach a wider audience than ever before.
Hugh Hughes has been delighting audiences since 2005. He’s made five stage shows with a number of his friends and members of his family, and all of that has been possible through the support of Hoipolloi as producer, Arts Council England funds and the generosity of commissioning and presenting partners across the world.
Over the course of Hugh’s nine year journey, starting out as an emerging artist right through to deciding he simply wanted to be a member of the world, Hugh has made work for stage, for radio, and digitally as video, audio, text and image. The radio adaptation of Floating won the Best Scripted Comedy BBC Audio Drama Award in 2011.
In the summer of 2013, working with National Theatre Wales, Hugh made the bold step of returning home to Anglesey to make his fifth show. Things I Forgot I Remembered exploded from the stage into nooks and crannies of Llangefni through a story walk, across libraries in a series of storyboxes, onto the pages of a specially printed newspaper, into the Dingle woods for a twilight gig and on to the high street in a specially created story shop. It was a remarkable occasion, and a fitting way to complete the circle of Hugh’s achievements on stage.
Shortly after returning to Cambridge, Hoipolloi knew that it would have to make some choices about Hugh and his creative future with the company, with application dates looming for further revenue funding from its primary supporter Arts Council England. It was clear that Hugh’s appetite for making work was rooted in exploring how art can make a difference to the world, and that Hugh wanted to connect with the most people possible to share stories, trigger imaginations and encourage connections. We decided to support Hugh to explore how he might work with a broader range of people, in different kinds of media. To do that, we knew that public subsidy might play a part in the business model for the company, but that we needed to increase the amount of freedom we had to explore other opportunities. So, we decided not to apply to remain in Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of arts organisations.
With the support of Arts Council England, we are now working through the transition from regularly funded organisation, with an especial focus on providing Hugh the time and space he needs to develop his skills and form relationships with new producing partners.
In the meantime, whilst he’s not connecting with people in arts centres and theatres across the world, Hugh is exploring what it means to connect online in a 100 day internet safari. He’s sharing stories through facebook, twitter, instagram and vine, and for those who want to see everything, he’s also sending a daily email. Sign up for your daily dose of Hugh and make sure you’re following on your platform of choice.
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