Commissions


THE RIVER’S STORY

In associated with 509 Arts for the National Trust at Hardcastle Craggs and Gibson Mill in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, I was asked by 509’s company associate – Sonya Moorhead, to produce a bespoke piece of sitespecific theatre to be part of ‘Hardcastle Ways’ a National Lottery Heritage funded project that was due to run from May 2020 and reveal the neglected narratives of the much loved 400-acre site that is Hardcastle Craggs.

From the following information I created the character, ‘The River’s Story’ and using song and humour, created a 30 minute set telling the history of the river: suitable for all ages with the help of weird and wonderful props: including a super soaker which helped on the hottest day of the year!

Hebden Water and the surrounding countryside is very much loved by local people. The river flooded a number of times in the last 10 years and caused devastation in Hebden Bridge and further downstream in Mytholmroyd.

The local organisation,”Slow the Flow”has been working to alleviate this.

In the early 20th Century Gibson Mill closed and was reborn as an “Emporium” of Edwardian entertainment. At its height 500k visitors a year came to Hardcastle Craggs and Gibson Mill to enjoy the clean air, boating, roller skating, massed choirs, dance bands, restaurants and swing boats.

Due to the devastation casued by the flooding there were plans to dam and flood the valley in 1934, 1948 & 1969. These were thwarted by campaigns of local resistance led by the Hardcastle Crags Preservation Committee and actively supported by communities across Yorkshire and Lancashire. The 50th anniversary of the last attempt was commemorated in September 2019 by an event produced by Sonya Moorhead called “Footfall”: Involving 80 people processing up the valley at dusk with bells and banners to the site of the proposed dam, where the successful resistance was marked in song, music, fire and the spoken word.

The hidden history of the Crags is part of a wider narrative about people’s changing relationship with the natural landscape. Hardcastle Ways enables the community to connect contemporary attitudes to the environment with the longer term impact of climate change on a much-treasured local resource’.

SCREENS – THE SITCOM

Alongside Paula Williamson, I co-wrote and produced the comedy pilot ‘Screens’. We were commissioned by ScreenWM to produce a teaser trailer of the pilot. Production company – Junction15 filmed and directed the production.

‘Screens’ is set in a cinema on a dilapidated retail park in Stoke-on-Trent where Paula Williamson was born and bred.

The sitcom follows the on going battle between the cinema staff, the imbalance of it’s management team and the resident troublesome gang, the ‘Ramones’.

After time spent doing whatever the hell they wish to do suddenly the Icelandic owners arrive on the scene, giving a rude awakening for the staff resulting in some needing a change of pants but are the owners who they say they are?

Does life imitate film? Or does film imitate life? One things for sure, within the crazy walls of this cinema, anything can happen!

‘Screens’ Main cast
Additional characters ‘The Ramones’

We were commissioned by ScreenWM to produce a teaser trailer of our sketch show ‘Brides of Comedy’. Showcasing all the wild and wonderful unique characters we had created over the years since drama school with also a heavy focus on impersonations of well known celebrities and spoofs of popular shows such as ‘Come Dine With Me’, ‘Supernanny’, ‘You Are What You Eat’ and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’. We worked with production company Junction15 who filmed and directed the production. We went on to launch the show at a premiere at Trentham Gardens.