what we do & why we do it
Whats New for 2021!
2021 will see TWT taking on new challenges and expanding our areas of work into new areas. A number of projects that we’ve been working away at, in some cases for several years, are coming to fruition, and we are very excited to be able to report on their progress!
Our production of Dracula, running at Whitby Abbey over the summer holiday weekends, has been reimagined and, with a new cast, is thrilling and entertaining audiences. It’s getting great feedback and reviews. It is a part of a programme of events celebrating Victorian gothic, which will culminate at Halloween with a nine day event over the half term exploring the Victorian obsession with all things supernatural! We are providing the characters, the concept and a soundscape for “A Night of Victorian Gothic”. Next year TWT will play a major role in the celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We’ll keep you posted!
Originally scheduled for 2020, our play about gardens, and the history of The Plantation Gardens in Norwich was created for schools, but with a family audience also in mind. It proved a hit, with our usual trademark rapid costume changes, hyperspeed leaps through history, and clear but captivating storytelling. It was such a success that we’ve already been rebooked for 2022, and we will be adding slightly extended evening shows for all!
We’ve been working with Ely Cathedral on several projects, one of which is going to be filmed in September. In conjunction with the cathedral and the Clewer Initiative, our film for schools, “Sanctuary” explores issues around refugees and modern slavery, but viewed through the experience of two English women in the period after 1066, focussing on the Harrowing of the North, and the Hereward rebellion. As they flee death and destruction, they find themselves caught up in a conflict that they cannot avoid, with little chance to escape. We’re very excited about this work, as it brings a little known episode in our history to life, and shows in some ways how the same issues still exist today..
Another project that we have been working on for several years. Our fascination in Pablo Fanque, the first black man to own a circus in Victorian England, finally came together with support from Historic England and the Shakespeare’s Guild Trust. We were able to film in King’s Lynn at the Guildhall, with two cameramen, four actors and two actor musicians over two days. Our film on the incredible life of William Derby, who performed as Pablo Fanque is a story of rags to riches to rags, set against the background of the touring circus of mid- Victorian Britain. The film is designed to inspire students about lesser known historical characters, and their local history.
Dover/Audley End House
Over the years we have worked at both these prestigious English heritage sites, so when the tender to provide live interpretation came up we tendered for Audley End, and, in partnership with HistoryRiot, for Dover Castle. We were delighted to be accepted for both. Simon created the scenarios for the WW2 interpretations over April and May at Dover Castle, and Kathy brought her years of experience as Mrs. Crocombe to manage the Audley End House weekend events throughout the summer.. This has proved both challenging and rewarding, and a ‘step up’ for us in terms of contract management. Most delightful has been the success of the collaboration with HistoryRiot, which is hopefully an excellent starting point for developing more joint projects and continuing our association within both these sites.
Hedgerley Memorial Hall
As sometimes happens with us, one job leads to another. We were originally approached by Hedgerley Memorial Hall in 2019, on the recommendation of a previous client to provide a pair of 1920s characters for an open day. 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the hall, so now we are also going to be performing a short piece on commemoration, Memorial Halls, and the history of Hedgerley for another open day. This sort of work ranks amongst our favourites; when we are invited back to create something to celebrate a particular character, building or event anniversary at a site we have built a relationship with over time.
Richmond, North Yorkshire is a town that Simon is very familiar with, having spent many seasons there working with North Country Theatre. It is also a pleasure to get work after recommendation from our fellow performers, Paul and Gill of Trouvere. We will be performing a piece of street theatre in the market square celebrating the history of the town and castle in September as a part of ongoing 950th anniversary events. This will be a knockabout, lighthearted look at what would happen if two characters from Richmond’s Norman past were to see how the town has changed over the centuries, as they are catapulted into the present day.
We have worked frequently at Lincoln Castle and Prison, providing plays, historical characters, storytelling and online content. We were thrilled to be approached by The Greyfriars Project to provide an introductory film for their work to reopen this historic building from Lincoln’s medieval pomp, as an exhibition and event space. We created a short film, exploring the history of the Greyfriars through a series of vignettes based around discarded objects from a museum collection, with Simon playing all the characters across the span of The Greyfriars long and fascinating history! We hope this is the start of a longer association with The Greyfriars as a performance venue!
Coventry City of Culture 2021
We were asked to create two films; one on the story of St. George and his connection to Coventry for St. George’s Day celebrations and beyond, and the other as a film for a trail around the city centre, which could also be shown as a stand alone, exploring the myths associated with Coventry. The viewer was a potential knight, Guy of Warwick, given a series of situations to resolve, created by the arrival of a giant, a bull, a dragon and a boar. On his successful completion of each task he receives another token of knighthood until his task is complete. These were filmed in a day, and Kathy had great fun playing the noble lady with Simon as her faithful retainer!Project Overview ►