IT’S a bit like thinking Cheddar and not cheese or Melton Mowbray without pies.
The people of Hull may not quite have got round to applying for protected status for the playwright John Godber, but it must have come close.
This week saw the end of the speculation, the stage whispers about just what was going on at Hull’s shiny new £15m Ferensway venue and, it has to be said, with John Godber.
It is less than a year since Hull Truck Theatre moved from Spring Street where many of John Godber’s plays premiered during his 26 year tenure with the company.
Change was clearly in the wind. But few outside the region could perhaps have expected that the shake-up that followed.
For John Godber and Hull now read – John Godber and Wakefield?
While it might take a little adjusting to, a quick look at John Godber’s history means this week’s news that he is to take up residence at Wakefield’s Theatre Royal makes perfect sense.
John was born the son of a miner in Upton, went to school at Minsthorpe High School, trained as a drama teacher at Bretton Hall College and while head of drama at his old school won every major award at the National Student Drama Festival before going on to fame and good fortune.
None of those places is a million miles from Wakefield. So local boy made good returns home.
It could be the start of a whole new era for Wakefield’s Theatre Royal and perhaps bring fresh inspiration to a man whose plays are among the most performed in the country.
But bearing in mind the squeeze currently gripping arts funding, new starts, new work will not be easy, however big the reputation involved.