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Emma Thompson’s big event for Hull children

14 May 2010

It is a privilege normally reserved for film critics, but actress and screen-writer Emma Thompson turned to Hull’s children yesterday to receive feedback on her recent film Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang.

The Oscar-winning star took part in a Q&A session run by school children who were particularly interested in writing and acting. The Nanny McPhee screenplay was written by Ms Thompson, so it was interesting for the children to learn about the transition from book to screen-play.

Emma Thompson took centre stage with hosts Jack Stelloo and Amelia Grimes

Although the film is aimed to engage audiences of all ages, she is keen to hear how the younger audience responded to her work, and has invited them to a special screening of the film prior to her visit.

This was a unique opportunity for the city’s children to meet and interview one of the best-known and most accomplished actors in the UK.

Emma Thompson said: "Writing, which I love more and more, is a wonderful thing to communicate, especially to young people. I talked to a lot of children when writing the second film and they were very influential. I learn a lot from their energy and enthusiasm."

Hosting the event were Sydney Smith pupils Jack Stelloo, and Amelia Grimes. They were given the privileged roles in recognition of their story-board diary of their experiences following the floods in 2007.

Emma chats with some of Hull's school children

This was the University’s first annual children’s writing showcase and is one of a number of events, hosted by the Philip Larkin Centre for Creative Writing, aimed at encouraging the community to be actively involved in their University. Many children do not visit the campus until they start the university application process, so this was an opportunity to break down boundaries and create a sense of inclusion.

Professor Martin Goodman, who has facilitated this and other Larkin Centre events, says:

“Emma Thompson is one of the biggest names in British cinema and we are delighted that offered to share her time and expertise in order to nurture the creative talent in the city. Emma’s love of children, and genuine enthusiasm for hearing what they have to say, inspires us. We changed our whole format to turn our biggest lecture theatre into a kid friendly zone.  The day’s success has kick-started a great annual series.

“The University has a strong heritage of drama and literature and we are keen for the community to enjoy and contribute to the creative energy in the city.”


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Notes to Editors

About the Philip Larkin Centre for Creative Writing
The Philip Larkin Centre attracts some of the very best writers to platform appearances in Hull - to excite readers, and make sure some of the very best writing keeps coming out of Hull.

The Centre takes its name from Philip Larkin, one of the twentieth century’s foremost poets who anchored his life to the University of Hull. That Hull poetic tradition stretches back to Andrew Marvell, and forward through some of the top poets of our day. Poets explore the personal to find what is universal.

From William Wilberforce onwards, Hull also has a pioneering history of driving the social agenda for change. We call on writers to help us envision and shape a fairer world which recognizes the transforming power of individual and collective stories.


Page last updated by Stacey Knaggs on 1/19/2015