In what is probably a TV first, an Israeli sitcom has been relocated to Hull. Hullraisers – a laugh-out-loud six-parter about the messy but joyful lives of three working-class woman – was previewed by its writers, executive producer and one of its lead actors at a joint RTS Yorkshire/Channel 4 event in early April.
Executive producer Hannah Farrell, creative director at series producer Fable Pictures, said: “We became obsessed with Little Mom – those characters are just extraordinary. They exist in a world that feels universal in terms of… dating, friendship and parenting. We wanted to take the heart of that and make something… that was ultimately born and bred in Hull.”
Hull-bred Lucy Beaumont (co-star of Meet the Richardsons) wrote the pilot, with Anne Marie O’Connor (Trollied) and Caroline Moran (Raised by Wolves) forming the series writing team.
“It’s set on a street I lived on,” explained Beaumont. “It’s still got the spirit of the original [Little Mom] but it’s very different.”
Moran added: “There’s a similar feeling coming from Wolverhampton, [which I do,] as there is coming from Hull. They’re often places that are the punchlines of jokes… but they’re actually where a lot of cool people live, and there’s a lot of pride and creativity. It was great to be able to bring that to screen.”
O’Connor, a native of Bradford, added, laughing: “I think we are the only three working-class female comedy writers in the country.”
Hullraisers stars Taj Atwal (Line of Duty), Sinead Matthews (The Crown) and Leah Brotherhead (Zomboat!). The latter, another Hull native, explained the appeal of the series: “It’s not, ‘It’s grim up North’. Yes, it can be grim up North, but we still have a good time…. There’s such a strong community spirit in these cities that we’re all from and… I think we’ve been successful in getting that across.
“I want [viewers] to feel joyful about these somewhat forgotten cities and put Hull on the map.”
Beaumont added: “I’m from stand-up so, for me, it’s ‘funny or die’… I have a real issue with comedy that doesn’t make people laugh…. For me, it was so important that it was actually funny.”
O’Connor added: “I want people, obviously, to laugh, but also to see themselves in it.”
Hullraisers begins its run on Channel 4 on 12 April, with all episodes available on All 4.