New women’s performance project at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

We can’t believe it’s March already! And, in the week of International Women’s Day, we’re excited to announce our new women’s performance project which will be kicking off with taster sessions next week!

Investing in Voices – Gaskell the Musical is a project where women local to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House can come together and get creative. We’ll be taking inspiration from the house to devise and perform a new musical which will be part of the Manchester Histories Festival in June. Absolutely no experience is necessary and, with a bit of music, drama and a chance to play, there’s sure to be something for everyone!

Just by taking part, women will also have the opportunity to earn a Level 1 BTEC qualification in Employability, which will be great for anyone looking to get back into the world of work or volunteering.

The project begins with two taster sessions on Tuesday 15th March (1-3pm) and Wednesday 16th March (3-5pm). These taster sessions will be in the Community Room at Cornbrook House (please see the flyer for address details) but regular weekly sessions after that will be at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. All women are welcome, there’ll be plenty of tea and biscuits – and we’re sure to have a lot of fun!

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We’re delighted to be working again with wonderful musician Claire Mooney on this project and to have secured support and funding from Arts Council England, One Manchester and Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

Please call the number on the flyer if you’d like any more information or watch this space for updates!

Takeover Day Sunday 22nd November

Following the success of our performance, ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, we’ve been working on an exciting event for National Takeover Day specifically as part of Kids in Museums Takeover Day.

We’ve been working with the young women who were involved in our performance back in May, to devise and plan a creative takeover of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester. The young women have been attending weekly sessions, finding out more about the house and the roles of volunteers. These sessions are working towards Sunday 22nd November, where the plan is for the group to takeover the house as young volunteers!

They won’t just be normal volunteers though… Using their heritage knowledge of the house and their creative skills, the group have devised their own creative activities for the general public to learn more about the house, both as audience members and by taking part in exciting activities. There will also be an opportunity to see footage from the performance project the group took part in earlier in the year.

We don’t want to give too much away so if you’re interested in finding out more please get in touch or just come along on the day. The House is open as normal with the group’s activities running 11:00am – 3:00pm, normal admission prices will apply and more information about this can be found on their website.

For a sneak preview of what the girls have been doing, here’s a little look at some of our sessions so far….

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Making Creative Connections at our Training & Networking Event

We had a fantastic time delivering a training & networking event with our friends at Tandem Theatre last week. We were pleased to be back at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, sharing our learning from the Tales of Manchester Life project with professionals from the youth, arts and heritage sectors. It was great to be in a room filled with such creativity, positivity and a real spirit of teamwork as people made new connections and formed new ideas for future projects. We discussed the challenges and benefits of forming partnerships to deliver creative heritage projects with young people as well as getting stuck into some fun creative activities! Thanks again to everyone that attended and we look forward to hopefully working with you all in the future…

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Tales of Manchester Life Celebration Event and Short Film

We had a fantastic time returning to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House to celebrate the achievements of the young women involved in our Tales of Manchester Life project last night!

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All of the young women earned their Bronze Arts Award as part of the project and were given individual medals and certificate packs. We were also pleased to be able to present each young woman with a framed professional photo of themselves taking part in the project as a special keepsake. The young women and their guests – including proud parents, teachers and youthworkers – took their seats for the film premiere of their ‘Gaskell, Interrupted’ performance before enjoying a lovely celebratory buffet. We’d like to say another huge well done to all the participants and a big thank you to everyone who worked so hard on the project!

Here are a few photos of the night:IMG_0530 IMG_0516 IMG_0514 IMG_0511

IMG_0531We couldn’t leave you without a taster, so check out a short Behind the Scenes film about the project here:

And, if is this has left you wanting to know more, we’re running a special training and networking event inspired by the project for youthwork and heritage professionals on Thursday 16th July. The event will take place back at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House (our new home from home!) and you can get tickets here.

Tales of Manchester Life: ‘Gaskell, Interrupted’ Performance

15 young women from our Tales of Manchester Life project took over Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in 3 fantastic performances last week! The final piece was called ‘Gaskell, Interrupted’ and encouraged the audience to imagine the different ways in which Elizabeth Gaskell might have found herself interrupted not only by the demands of daily life but by her desire to give voice to those most in need.  sm sm-19 sm-22

The young women worked incredibly hard to develop an extremely slick promenade performance which led the audience through the different rooms of the house and showcased both dramatic scenes and original music created by the groups.

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We couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved and look forward to celebrating the young women’s achievements at our project celebration event at the house in a couple of weeks’ time!

One week to go!

Young women from our Tales of Manchester Life project are very excited about their upcoming performances, the first of which will be in just one week’s time! Here they are inviting you to come and watch.

Click here for more info on how to book tickets – it’s sure to be a fantastic performance!

Tales of Manchester Life – upcoming performances!

Just three weeks to go until our ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ performances by young women at the incredibly atmospheric and inspiring Elizabeth Gaskell’s House! We can’t wait to share what the groups have been creating and the good news is you have not one, not two, but THREE opportunities to join in the fun! Please call or email us for tickets (details on the flyer below) and be speedy as spaces are limited!
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Tales of Manchester Life Project Update

Our young women’s groups have been hard at work putting together what promises to be a lively and innovative performance at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House! Here are Tyra & Tamara talking about what they’ve been up to so far:

Heritage Project Trips and Visits

We spent a fantastic week during half term bringing together young women from Wythenshawe and Salford to explore local heritage sites in connection with Elizabeth Gaskell as part of our ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ project.

We began the week at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, where the young women were able to explore the rooms and take part in creative activities inspired by what they found there.

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On Wednesday we travelled to Knutsford to see where Elizabeth Gaskell spent her childhood and the church in which she married. We enjoyed a walking tour courtesy of Knutsford Heritage Centre and we saw an exhibition at the Brook Street Chapel.

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Then, on Thursday we visited Quarry Bank Mill, where we found out what life was like for the young people who worked there during Victorian times through a tour of the Apprentice House. We were also shown some of the machinery they used and given the opportunity to explore an archive with particular reference to Elizabeth Gaskell’s connection with the mill (her uncle being the local doctor). Finally, we enjoyed a fantastic session on Victorian dress where the girls where able to try on some beautiful outfits!

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We came back to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House to round up the week and share what we had learned before looking ahead to ideas for our performance.

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We’re now looking forward to an exciting couple of months of creativity as we work with each group in weekly sessions to create this performance. The final piece will be performed at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House at the end of May and we know it’s going to be fantastic!

We’d like to thank all the staff at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Knutsford Heritage Centre, Brook Street Chapel and Quarry Bank Mill for such a fun-filled and inspiring kickstart to this project!

Musician and Workshop Leader Required

enJOY arts and Tandem Theatre are seeking an experienced Musician and Workshop Leader for ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ a creative heritage project for young women aged 14 to 21 that aims to explore the life, work and times of Elizabeth Gaskell through performance. The project will run from January – July 2015, including public performances at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House at the end of May. This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots Programme and Arts Council England.

Please see the Musician and Workshop Leader Recruitment Information and Project Timeline Document, or email info@enjoy-arts.org.uk for details on how to apply.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday 4th December.

Interviews will take place in Manchester on Friday 12th December.

We look forward to hearing from you!