We’re busy gearing up for ‘Turning Tides: First in the Fight’ – an innovative promenade performance devised by young women and inspired by true stories of women’s fight for the vote, over 100 years ago…
The performances of ‘Turning Tides: First in the Fight’ will take place on Thursday 31st May at 7pm and Friday 1st June at 3pm and 7pm at Victoria Baths. Tickets are free but, as this is a promenade performance exploring the whole of this incredible historic building, audience numbers are limited so booking is essential.
Now we’re gearing up for more visits and creative workshops in the Easter Holidays: we’ll be heading to the Pankhurst Centre and the Working Class Movement Library as well as trying our hand at some music and dance. We can’t wait!
As today marks 100 years since the first UK women were granted the right to vote, it’s about time for an update on our Her Hidden Histories project!
Last summer saw two groups of young women, from Wythenshawe and Gorton, create some fantastic performances at both the Museum of Transport and the Greater Manchester Police Museum. ‘In the Driving Seat’ told stories of the first women to work on trams and buses, largely owing to the absence of men during the First World War. ‘Top of the Bill’ explored experiences of the first women in policing during a similar period, many of whom had also been on the other side of the law as suffragettes. Both performances enjoyed a rousing inter-generational musical finale, thanks to our fantastic Herizons group!
This year, we are bringing both groups of young women together to create another ambitious performance at the stunning Victoria Baths. ‘Turning Tides: First in the Fight’ will weave together the stories uncovered in the previous two performances and celebrate the role of everyday women in the struggle for suffrage. Exact times are yet to be confirmed but there will be 3 chances to catch this exciting new piece, with an evening performance on Thursday 31st May and both a matinee and evening performance on Friday 1st June.
Fancy something to look forward to as the nights draw in and the leaves begin to fall? How about a very special performance at National Trust’s Lyme by our Herizons Creative Women’s Group?
Legends of Lyme is an innovative devised piece, exploring the untold stories of women from Lyme’s Regency Era through drama and music: Meet Sarah Glave, the mother to Lyme’s illegitmate heir; Ellen Turner, the young woman at the heart of an abduction scandal; Ellen Jane Legh, a motherless girl who finds solace in daydreaming, and Maud Lowther, an accomplished musician ahead of her time. The stories and secrets of all these women will unfold against the atmospheric backdrop of Lyme’s Saloon on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October, at 12pm and 3pm each day.
The Herizons group excelled themselves in a rousing performance inspired by strong women from Manchester’s history at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House last night!
From Peterloo activist Mary Fildes, to modern day anti-racism campaigner Louise Da-Cocodia, they took their audience on a lively journey through time with sketches and songs.
The group have been working on the performance in weekly sessions since the beginning of March and were delighted to be able to share the stories they’d uncovered to an enthusiastic audience:
‘Fabulous performance – entertaining and informative, well done… When’s the next one?!’
‘I hope you continue to inspire others and carry on being powerful!’
‘Loved it all – the final song was very uplifting, great!’
Herizons is a community performance group of local women who meet every week for music and drama workshops at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. Some members of the group first came together to devise and perform ‘Gaskell: The Musical!’ – a sell out sensation at Manchester Histories Festival 2016 – and we are pleased to have welcomed new members along the way. The group were recently honoured to perform at Manchester City Council’s International Women’s Day Awards at the Town Hall. This term, the Herizons group has been funded by the One Manchester Community Fund and sessions are delivered by enJOY arts and Claire Mooney, in partnership with Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.
We’ll soon be able to share some exciting news about what Herizons’ next adventure will be – so watch this space!
We had another great day at the Museum of Transport yesterday, exploring the archives and uncovering some fascinating stories with our Wythenshawe group of young women. The group are working towards a performance at the museum as part of our Her Hidden Histories project and so we took this opportunity to dig a little deeper and start taking creative inspiration from the museum’s collection. We were joined on the visit by the wonderful Heather Roberts, our Archive Consultant on the project, who helped the young women get to grips with some great journals, records and photographs from a bygone age. The group particularly enjoyed rooting through all the ‘old stuff’ and clambering into the driving seats of various different vehicles! They’ve got loads more ideas for their upcoming performance now so we’ll be sharing more details of that very soon…
We’re delighted to announce our new young women’s project: Her Hidden Histories!
Over the next 2 years, we’ll be working with young women from Wythenshawe and Ardwick to uncover and celebrate stories of everyday Manchester women, creating 3 brand new site-specific performances at small heritage venues across the city.
In the first phase of the project, spring/summer 2017, we’ll be teaming up with the Museum of Transport Greater Manchester (Wythenshawe group) and the Greater Manchester Police Museum (Ardwick group), creating site-specific performances at both venues. Incorporating music, drama & dance, these performances will be inspired by hidden histories of women in the typically male-dominated industries of policing and transport in the early 20th Century. Each group will then work towards a Takeover Day at their venue in autumn 2017 where they will become creative tour guides, devising methods to engage other young people and the general public with each place, based on what inspires and excites them.
The second phase of the project in 2018 will bring the two groups together to create a larger scale performance at Victoria Baths. This will build upon elements of each previous piece and coincide with the centenary of the first women being granted the vote in summer 2018. Throughout the project, the young women will preside over the development of an interactive online resource in collaboration with Digital Women’s Archive North (DWAN) & MadLab. The project will conclude with the launch of the digital archive in December 2018.