Theft of a Girl

They say there’s no rest for the wicked. We’re still not sure of the crimes Caroline Lamb, Elka Lee Green and Helen Parry have committed, but only a couple of days after zipping back down the motorway following our production of Shirley in the Yorkshire Dales, they were setting to work on another intense project! Luckily for them, it was a pretty fantastic one.

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Picture © Jason Lock Photography +44 (0) 7889 152747 +44 (0) 161 431 4012 info@jasonlock.co.uk http://www.jasonlock.co.uk

The seeds were sown for Theft of a Girl a few months back, when we were awarded a commission from Creative Industries Trafford, who had struck up a partnership with the National Trust‘s exciting new venture known as “Trust New Art” – a branch of the charity that forms bridges between independent artists and National Trust places. Their upcoming project was Live at Lyme, and they were looking for artists and performers to create pieces inspired by the Regency period that would be shown around the beautiful and expansive Lyme Park estate in Cheshire – and within the walls of the grand house that presides over its grounds – throughout September.

The story of Ellen Turner – a schoolgirl from a wealthy family who was kidnapped and duped into marrying a much older man under false pretences – immediately sprung out at writer Caroline, and she composed a simple, atmospheric monologue to be performed in the nursery of the house, accompanied by a stop motion video. Once the commission was secured, Caroline and filmmaker Morag Hickman set out to Lyme Park armed with thirteen-inch artists’ mannequins painted in matte black and adorned with a variety of hats, and a delicate poseable doll in regency dress to painstakingly craft a film over two days.

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Picture © Jason Lock Photography +44 (0) 7889 152747 +44 (0) 161 431 4012 info@jasonlock.co.uk http://www.jasonlock.co.uk

The film completed and beautifully edited by Morag (who incidentally makes stunning jewellery too!), the project was put on hold while we staged ShirleyCaroline, Elka and Helen then regrouped to prepare the monologue.

On the weekend of the performances, the weather was beautiful and the trip to lovely Disley by train was swift. Lyme Park looked regal in the morning light, but we had little chance to wander around – Elka was straight into costume, and we hurried to the nursery for the first performance at 11.30am. Three more performances followed that day, and four the next. The room was packed, with audience members huddling up on the little iron-framed bed and clustering around the fireplace at the back. There was a hushed buzz in the nursery, which was thrilling.

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Picture © Jason Lock Photography +44 (0) 7889 152747 +44 (0) 161 431 4012 info@jasonlock.co.uk http://www.jasonlock.co.uk

We experience lovely feedback, and truly enjoyed our experience with Creative Industries Trafford and the National Trust. If “Trust New Art” can afford creatives like us the opportunity to work in places steeped in such rich and intriguing history as Lyme, and continue to introduce new audiences to theatre and art, then we hope the scheme goes on for many years!

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Theft of a Girl

Theft of a Girl

Dangerous To Know has been lucky enough to receive a great commission from Creative Industries Trafford to produce a piece of live art, which will be performed over multiple instances during the 23rd and 24th September 2017. The event is called Live at Lyme, and features multiple pieces and performances being shown at Lyme in Disley throughout the end of September.

Theft of a Girl Publicity

In response to a very exciting brief, we produced Theft of a Girl, a piece featuring a simple and soulful monologue performed by Shirley‘s Elka Lee Green about the abduction of 15 year old heiress Ellen Turner from Pott Shrigley in 1826. The performance will also feature a stop motion film about the events, created by Caroline Lamb and visiting artist Morag Hickman.

There is no further cost above admission to the house to see the piece. Please find further information here.

Theft of a Girl

A Few Big Days

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(Images courtesy of Ian Howard)

There’s been a flurry of activity over the last couple of weeks, despite the fact that the production itself won’t launch until November! The cast all met at Contact on Oxford Road on 15th April for our first table-reading of the revised script, which ran to just under two hours. It was also a chance to meet our new director, Helen Parry, and discuss what was to come. Everyone left very tired but extremely enthused about the coming months. A few months previously, after seeing an invitation on Facebook, producer Caroline leapt at the chance to sign the whole company up to a mysterious foray into the unknown wilderness of the Yorkshire Moors, to assist Ian, the man behind Wuthering Hikes, and Oliver of gVisions media in the filming of an Ask The Locals documentary about the locations that inspired the Brontës. See the trailer below!

The day started with a bit of an honour – we met at the Black Bull pub, where the staff kindly brought down the chair that is reputed to have been Branwell Brontë’s favourite. Still in visibly good nick but apparently rather fragile-feeling when sat on, the cast and crew of the shoot were allowed to use it for a brief few moments before it was whisked away again (see the shots of “Branwell” in front of the stained glass window in the video above.)

We shot a scene in the pub, then were whisked along a winding road to the reservoir and up past Ponden Hall, the grand house the young Brontës used to visit, home to a well-stocked library that they famously used. Up and up we went, scrambling up jagged stone steps and over boggy moorland for what seemed like millions of miles to those who are used to the uninspiring grey concrete of Manchester. But what a reward! The scenery was utterly stunning, and Oliver, who was operating the camera, captured some absolutely gorgeous pieces of footage in a location that was like no other on earth.

We shot a further scene at the Alcomden stones, near to the site of a near-disastrous bog-burst that almost claimed the lives of the young Brontës, then wandered back down via the fairy cave (see the clip of the three women in the video above) and past Ponden Hall again, where the residents kindly granted the crew permission to film a couple of scenes in the garden. With aching legs and buzzing spirits, the company headed back into Haworth, where we enjoyed a delicious meal and a cheeky drink at The Fleece Inn, then set off for home. We’re now eagerly awaiting the release date of the documentary, which, we’re told, will organically develop with each shoot, but will focus on some unusual secrets hidden around the moors that may suggest Druid activity in Haworth at the time, as well as elements of the Brontës books that may cryptically hint towards Masonic inspiration. Keep an eye on gVisions media for more! As a final update, the company’s funding bid has now whizzed off to the Arts Council, complete with superb supporting documents provided by The Brontë Parsonage Museum, Bradford City Council, Salford Community Leisure and Two Yolks Theatre as well as the lovely feedback we received from our sharing in January. Here’s hoping!

A Few Big Days