Feedback!

Well, now that we’re just about ready to send a summary of our activities over the last few months whizzing back to the Arts Council, we thought we’d share with you a few choice comments from our audience feedback forms. We’re not big-headed, we just appreciate that our audiences have excellent taste!

“A very well written, well produced and well performed piece.”

“Very professional and very enjoyable.”

“We loved it! Beautiful.”

“Sam Redway’s performance of Branwell was superb – he did “drunk” very well indeed. I particularly liked Caroline Lamb’s Emily, stomping on set in search of powder for her musket.”

“Fantastic. Brilliantly written. Moving.”

“Totally absorbing!”

“Exceptional performance from all – well written and acted. Tears and laughter – well done!”

“A detailed and honest performance with a multitude of emotions portrayed. A beautiful insight into the lives of such a notable literary family, the sorrow and hardships behind the brilliance!”

“Original and dynamic storytelling. Beautifully written and acted. Thanks.”

“A terrific play, actors & script. More please!”

“Brilliant play. I look forward to more.”

Congratulations to Team Percy for achieving these brilliant results, and many thanks to our audiences for your overwhelming support! In response to those calls for more, do keep an eye on this site, along with our Twitter account (@DTKManc) and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DangerousToKnow) as the New Year will bring new opportunities for us, and new ways for you to get involved!

Thank you all once again. Happy Holidays, and we’ll see you next year!

Sam Redway - IMG_4105ED

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Feedback!

Fundraising walk: Final day

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TRAILER / INFO / CAMPAIGN

We had an early start, and set off from Haworth with the sun beating down upon us as we set a course for the final point in our journey: Sowerby Bridge, where Branwell Brontë once worked as a clerk  on the railway.

It isn’t just the Brontë connection that causes me to be fascinated by Haworth – it’s the fact that, visually, it has changed so little since their time, and the thought that a number of its inhabitants can boast local ancestry stretching back before the time of the famous literary family.

VIDEO: “MYSTERIOUS” HAWORTH

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The names used in the area also suggest their link to the town’s history. The Haworth Free School may once have welcomed Branwell into its tutelage, but for some reason – be it his highly strung personality, the mental or physical health issues that many now suggest that he had, or something else – he could only have attended for a few months before being withdrawn for home-schooling.

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I got the chance once again to pass over the lovely West Yorkshire Moors, though the terrain wasn’t always on my side.

VIDEO: DAD JOKE

Though I did make a couple of friends along the way. The locals of West Yorkshire are friendly whatever their species!

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As is always the way with the North, one kind of weather didn’t seem to be enough and, suddenly I found myself battling gale-force winds as I made my way through Wainstalls.

VIDEO: BIT WINDY!

Eventually, signs for Luddenden Foot, where Branwell briefly enjoyed a promotion to the position of clerk in charge, lifted my spirits someone despite the sweltering sun, as my destination was getting ever-closer:

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However, I knew my legs and feet wouldn’t hold up for much longer, and was grudgingly grateful that this was the final ten miles of my 130 mile journey. I decided to write a short song to commemorate the quest as I hobbled along. (Warning: suggests a naughty word!)

VIDEO: CAROLINE’S TOTALLY ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

Trivia: Caroline holds Grade 8 with distinction with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Seriously. It’s on her Spotlight and everything. The fraud.

I was overjoyed to arrive in Sowerby Bridge in good time, and found a wonderful welcome awaiting. This fab display really made it all feel a bit special, and was particularly poignant as this was the final date of my readings tour:

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Audience members were arriving a good fifteen minutes before the start, and, once I began, all seemed highly interested in the subject and started some really interesting discussions after the talk was finished. Sowerby Bridge library really seems a vital part of its community, and this seemed evident in the numbers that attended the event.

At the end, I packed away my things with a degree of sadness, because, though I was looking forward to heading home for a good rest, I knew I would miss this project hugely. I hope to put on some more readings in the near future (there is one lined up for 8th July at 7:30, at the Kings Arms in Salford), but it was the combination of those and the walking that really made this an experience to remember.

The adventure had also left its mark on my trainers, which evidently decided that enough was enough and have now been given last rites.

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You have served me well, trainers. You will be remembered.

VIDEO: TRIBUTE TO MY TRAINERS

So it’s over now! A few really exciting opportunities have arisen from this venture, and we have big plans for the next couple of months before The Dissolution Percy hits the stage at the Kings Arms in Salford from 4th – 7th November and for one night in Haworth at the Parkside Social Club on 14th November.

So keep an eye on our website and Twitter feed (@DTKManc) for updates. In the meantime, please do take a look at the below link for The Dissolution of Percy‘s trailer, further information about the production, and for the chance to donate to our exciting new company! Please share the information wherever you can – any assistance is hugely appreciated.

TRAILER / INFO / CAMPAIGN

Fundraising walk: Final day

Brontë Readings Tour: June 2015 Fundraiser

General

Caroline, The Dissolution of Percy‘s Emily Brontë, will be walking over 130 miles in one week to raise money for the company’s November production. Along the way, she’ll be stopping off at major sites related to the story to deliver performed readings of work by the Brontës as well as pieces inspired by the famous family and donated by friends, colleagues and audience members!

There is no need to book in advance for the readings – all you need to do is come along on the night.

To donate a piece of writing inspired by The Brontës, please email dtkmanchester@gmail.com with your work attached or in the body of the email. Please include your name and the venue you will be attending!

Current Venue List

The Black Cock Inn, Broughton-in-Furness – Saturday 20th June – 14:00pm

Kendal Library, Kendal – Sunday 21st June – 12:00pm

Cowan Bridge Village Hall, Cowan Bridge – Sunday 21st June – 19:00pm

Halifax Central Library, Halifax – Tuesday 23rd June – 17:30pm

The Cardigan Centre, Leeds – Wednesday 24th June – 20:00pm

The New Inn, Thornton – Thursday 25th June – 20:00pm

Cobbles and Clay, Haworth – Friday 26th June – 18:00pm

Sowerby Bridge Library, Sowerby Bridge – Saturday 27th June – 14:00pm

Follow the company on Twitter (@DTKManc) and use the hashtag #nocowardsoulismine to tweet about this adventure!

Brontë Readings Tour: June 2015 Fundraiser

No Coward Soul is Mine: The Tour!

From 20th – 27th June, The Dissolution of Percy’s producer, Caroline, will be travelling on foot around the North of England, covering a distance of over 130 miles! At points, she’ll be stopping off at venues to perform readings of works by the Brontës along with new pieces donated by kind friends and colleagues. There’ll also be the opportunity to submit your own work to be read! All this is to help raise money for Dangerous To Know’s first production, The Dissolution of Percy which will run from 4th – 7th November at The Kings Arms in Salford, then for one day only in Haworth, West Yorkshire, on a date to be confirmed! If you wish to donate, our crowdfunding page is still under construction but links will be available soon. In the meantime, Caroline has confirmed venues in Cowan Bridge and Haworth, but is still looking for places to deliver readings in Broughton-in-Furness, Kendal, Halifax, Leeds, Thornton and Sowerby Bridge. If you think you can help, please get in touch via dtkmanchester@gmail.com. Wish us luck!

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No Coward Soul is Mine: The Tour!

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

Work in development: The Dissolution of Percy

Branwell has tried and tried and tried. He has missed his calling and his genius has faded. He drinks too much, maybe, and can’t quite shake himself free from his own imagination. But he still has Lydia.

Lydia has had enough. Gnawed by loneliness and physical frustration, immobilized by her station, companionship and release must be had, and soon. An afternoon or two in the company of her son’s young tutor might be enough.

Charlotte has a plan. Her younger sister stays up late into the night, hunched over papers. If this is what she thinks it is, something might be beginning. But perhaps it is of no importance.

A searing critical exploration of the cruel gender politics that destroyed a man, made a villain of his lover and chained his sisters to a life they despised, The Dissolution of Percy tackles the controversial events surrounding the final few years in the life of Branwell Brontë. Reflecting on our surprising lack of moral evolution between the nineteenth century and the modern day, the play plunges its audience into a world balanced in stark counterpoint between high, violent passions, steady, grim pragmatism and gallows humour.

Work in development: The Dissolution of Percy

Responses to The Dissolution of Percy sharing, January 2015

“It’s rare that a costumed, fully staged rehearsed reading with such a reliance on the use of props can be successful, but nothing seemed to hinder the production and it was exceptionally smooth.”

“The use of language was subtly balanced to believably represent the manner of speaking in the 19th century while still proving accessible and emotive for a modern audience.”

“Themes explored were highly topical and sensitively approached, with a focus on both the masculine and feminine angles and benefits of gender equality.”

“The acting was of a uniformly high standard.”

“I thought the production was excellent; it really kept my attention. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done to all the cast.”

“It was an excellent taster. I know a lot had to be cut out to get the production into the time limit allowed, but it really would benefit from being shown in full; this one deserves it. The acting was of a very high standard. The scene setting was minimal and effective, and changes were efficiently swift. Well done to everyone involved.”

“The “pub scene” was very VERY good and, I think, achieved the difficult requirement of injecting some light relief at the same time as moving the narrative on and continuing to track Branwell’s dissolution; the scene was very funny and was well-appreciated by the audience.”

“When writer and performer are ad idem with each other, as they were here, it truly makes for a formidable partnership.”

“The writer has a particular talent for dialogue and comedy, as well as melodrama, and the way the action was constructed and moved along is exemplary. Great skill is also shown when it comes to characterisation – the subtle (and occasionally not-so-subtle!) differences in character between the three sisters were impressive.”

“I was gripped throughout and fascinated by the story of Branwell, whilst being offered honest glimpses into the beginnings of the Brontë sisters’ literary fame. Caroline Lamb’s attention to detail and in depth consideration of the character relationships is astounding, and her script came alive with the help of honest and empathetic portrayals by the actors.”

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Responses to The Dissolution of Percy sharing, January 2015