Gossip: Is John Godber Set to Leave Hull Truck?Date: 11 December 2010
Reports in the Hull Daily Mail, December 7 2010, stated that John Godber is to leave Hull Truck, but new information from the theatre itself suggests that his role is merely changing.
Andrew Smaje, Chief Executive said: “It is wrong to say that John Godber is 'leaving Hull Truck'. It was made very clear in Hull Truck's statement issued to the Hull Daily Mail that John Godber and Hull Truck will continue to work on productions both present and future.”
Hull Truck are currently staging Godber's comic drama The Christmas Office Party from 2 December until 15 January 2011. They are also planning a new production of April in Paris which ends its extensive national tour with a two week run at Hull truck in June 2011.
A Hull Truck spokesperson said: “The working relationship between Hull Truck and John Godber was always that of an independent artist whose services were secured through a retainer.”
Smaje indicated that the value of Godber's retainer, as written in the Hull Daily Mail was “purely speculative.” The new informal relationship between the theatre and Godber will not involve this financial retainer. Regardless of the amount paid to Godber in the past, his plays have generated £6.5m for Hull Truck over the past 26 years.
The spokesperson stressed that the change in relationship does not indicate a huge difference for Hull Truck and Godber, but that the news has been misinterpreted: “The move from a formal relationship to a more informal one is not as radical as it sounds; John's new relationship with Hull Truck allows him more options to work outside of Hull Truck and is of great help to the theatre in times of significant cuts in funding to the arts.”
Fans of Godber's work with Hull Truck need not mourn the end of his Hull Truck career; the change in relationship seems only to indicate the end of his retainer payment. We can look forward to more collaborative work between the two, in addition to seeing Godber in other theatre settings, in the new year.
- Ruth Kilner