Television antique dealer Mike Melody – instantly recognisable from shows such as Real Deal – wants to help you put a price on your family heirlooms.
Along with his daughter Victoria Melody, Mike is appearing in Ugly Chief at Heads Up Festival (March 2-3). But before the curtain goes up on the real-life father and daughter double act’s national tour, Mike is offering his expertise in Hull free of charge.
Members of the public are invited to pop down to Kardomah94 on Thursday, March 1 at 1pm with their antiques, curiosities and collectables so that Mike can put a price on them. He may even buy them if he likes the look of what he sees.
The following day, Mike will take to the stage in the recently revamped Hull Minster, which is playing host to Victoria Melody’s most ambitious show to date.
Ugly Chief is a comedy based on true-life events. 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 also be running his own version of the Antiques Roadshow during the show.
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 will be performed at Heads Up Festival on March 2 and 3 at 7.30pm at Hull Minster. Tickets are priced at £15/£10.
Recommended age: 12+
Running time: 90 minutes plus interval
Created by Victoria Melody. Produced by Farnham Maltings. Commissioned and developed at New Wolsey Theatre, Farnham Maltings, Battersea Arts Centre and Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. Supported by The Point Eastleigh, The Spire, The Marlborough, National Performance Network and Unity Theatre Trust. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Originally seeded by house with The Old Market.