Where: Hull Minster
When: March 2 & 3, 7.30pm
Tickets: £15/£10 from www.uglychief.eventbrite.co.uk
Artist and performer Victoria Melody teams up with her dad, TV antique dealer Mike
Melody, for her most ambitious show yet. Ugly Chief is a comedy based on true-life
events, performed by a real-life father and daughter. This is Victoria’s return to Heads Up after going down a storm previously with Major Tom.
In 2013, Mike was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given five years to
live. Victoria was put in charge of planning the funeral (complete with eulogies, a
New Orleans jazz procession and a congregation dressed in Blackpool FC
tangerine). But a year later the doctors realised they had misdiagnosed Mike.
Victoria and Mike decided to go ahead with the funeral anyway and Victoria went to
Port Talbot to train as a funeral director. Ugly Chief plays out two funerals – the one
Victoria planned and the one her dad really wanted. And Mike is guest of honour at
both. As the show unfolds, it unpicks the complicated relationship with a parent
whose opinion you don’t always agree with.
Mike will be running his own version of the Antiques Roadshow during the show. The
audience are invited to bring along their heirlooms, curiosities and collectables for
him to value during the show. No promises but if he likes it, he might even buy it!
Victoria Melody is an award-winning British artist with a background in fine art. She
has made one-woman theatrical shows, performance interventions and films mainly
about Britain’s pastimes, passions and tribes. Fascinated by anthropology, she
immerses herself into communities and becomes an active participant in their rituals
as research for her work. In the past she has become a pigeon racer, a Northern
Soul dancer, a championship dog handler and a beauty queen.
Musicians James Gow, Steve Pretty (Hackney Colliery Band), Kieran Rafferty and
Gemma Storr provide the appropriate live accompaniment for the funeral – including
Soul classics and more. They will be joined on stage by a band of brass players from
the Hull area.
Ugly Chief’s creative team is director John Gordillo, known for his work with Eddie
Izzard and as host and co-creator of the BBC’s The RDA (Recommended Daily
Allowance); set and costume designer Lucy Bradridge; musical director Tom
Parkinson; and lighting designer Sean Philips.
Ugly Chief is at Heads Up Festival on March 2 and 3.