Last Friday was the final show of #TheIdleWomen Summer tour — another water-borne adventure! To see some highlights, do visit the Alarum Theatre Facebook page.
“Roll Up! Roll Up! Roll Down! Roll Down!” *
During the tour Kate Saffin and I were interviewed by Sony-award winning David Bramwell for Waterfront, a monthly podcast from the Canal & River Trust, dedicated to the stories, people and heritage around England and Wales’ historic waterways. Here’s the link to listen. It lasts 16 minutes and includes one of my poems and an extract from one of my songs.
* Our potential audience were above us on a slight hill.
Living Waterways Awards
We’re absolutely delighted that the Alarum Theatre 2017 tour The Idle Women: Recreating the Journey is one of the finalists in the Living Waterways Awards. The winners are announced on 20th September. Fingers crossed!
A photo I took when we were on the beautiful Chesterfield Canal
Kate took this one at the bottom of the spectacular Bingley Five Rise on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal
Kate Saffin and I (Alarum Theatre) finished our Spring tour of Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways last Saturday in Calf Heath Marina, Wolverhampton. We’re now preparing for the Summer tour which starts at the beginning of June. The first show is in Stoke Bruerne, then we’ll be on the Chesterfield Canal in West Stockwith. Click here for the full schedule and to book:
Here are a couple of audience comments from the Spring tour to whet your appetite!
“Wonderful show – beautifully and compassionately performed.” – Sarah & Tony
“A wonderful performance – it brought the whole situation alive.” – Sue & Geoff
I’m delighted to be featured in this wonderful new film by Erin Hopkins:
Tiller, Kettle, Windlass – A Narrowboat Film
100 year old windlass – backdrop, NB Tench, 2017
After our successful 50-show summer tour, Kate Saffin and I have put together a short run of performances of Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways in and around Oxford at the end of this month. See below for dates. Here’s a review to whet your appetite:
“Both women are exceptional storytellers, their performances brimming over with personality” London City Nights
OXFORD CANAL & THAMES October 21st-29th 2017 Tickets £10/£8
Sat 21 7.00pm Shipton-on-Cherwell Village Hall, Kidlington OX5 1JP
Tue 24 8.00pm St Margaret’s Institute, 30 Polstead Road OX2 6TN
Thu 26 7.30pm Rock of Gibraltar, Station Road, Enslow OX5 3AY
Fri 27 7.30pm Wolvercote Village Hall, 1 Wolvercote Green OX2 8AB
Sun 29 6.00pm Unicorn Theatre, Medieval Abbey Buildings, Checker Walk, Abingdon OX14 3JB
Advance booking via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/alarum-theatre-9882552992, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 01865 364095 or pay on the door. See also www.alarumtheatre.co.uk
If you would like to see the show I have been touring with Kate Saffin since the end of April, there are just 3 more opportunities – two at The Rising Sun, Berkhamsted (Monday & Tuesday) and one at The Pirate Castle, Camden (Saturday) – the last time we will perform the show in London. This will also be the last chance to see historic narrow boat Tench which has been with us all the way. After the tour, owner Alex will whisk her away and get back to her own solo adventures!
We have had very appreciative audiences, rave reviews and have been featured in national press so we’re delighted, if a trifle tired as we have done quite a few lock miles over the past 15 weeks too! Do come and support us at one of our final shows if you can.
Here’s one of my ‘found’ poems from the show which is also in the book we have produced to accompany the tour:
A horse on the path
Early in the morning
a horse on the path
the ring of shoes on cobblestones
the swish of a bow, a shout
the whip of a line, the soft flap
as it drops on the cabin top
another whip, another shout
lock gate thud, rattle of paddle
through cabin doors nudged ajar
we stir to grey outlines
on a slack-black star-stippled sky
© Heather Wastie
using words found in The Amateur Boatwomen Canal Boating 1941-1945 by Eily Gayford
Saturday’s performance will be our 50th since we launched the tour in April and the journey has been incredible. See www.alarumtheatre.co.uk and our Facebook page for more.
Once the tour is over I will be taking a well earned break!
During our tour of Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways, Kate Saffin and I have been invited to write a couple of guest blogs. Here’s a link to one I wrote for Frost Magazine which is introduced by Milly Adams. It’s all about the route the women took from Birmingham to the Coventry coalfields, a route I remember from my childhood.
I’m about to embark on a 49-show tour of Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways – an Arts Council funded double bill with writer/performer Kate Saffin. Although I’ve spent many holidays travelling on a 70ft narrow boat, this will be a very new experience! I will be blogging about it on the Alarum Theatre website www.alarumtheatre.co.uk so may go a little quiet on my own blog.
To find out a bit more about this work, see/hear these interviews:
A BBC London interview with myself and Kate click here
An interview (just me) in Theatre Weekly click here
And have a look at the Alarum website which has all the dates and lots of information.
Wish us luck, and I hope to see you at one of the shows!
Narrow boat Tench with L to R: Steerer Heather, performer Kate, owner & steerer Alex, performer Heather