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Celebrating women's voices
From left to right: Josie Sutcliffe, Ruth Mitchell, Saskia Portway, Claire Ingleheart, Michelle Ridings & Natalie McGrath. Photo by Charlie Parker.
Hello Everyone!
 
How are you? We hope that you have had a good summer.
 
As we head into Autumn we are moving into the next phase of Dreadnought’s work. We have recently undertaken a research and development project supported by Arts Council England, South West, Devon Fawcett, Exeter City Council, Literature Works’ Grassroots Fund, and Elmgrant Trust. This has enabled us to develop future touring possibilities for The Orchard in 2017/18, and its creative potential has been explored. We have also been looking at how our building archive of stories about women and activism can really establish itself as the Rebellious Sounds Archive. Watch this space.
 
There have been visits to our friends at the Hypatia Trust in Cornwall, and a new connection made to the St Ives Community Archive in Carbis Bay, where much was learnt from both archivists. Thanks to Melissa Hardie and Janet Axten for their time and care in answering our questions about archives.
 
Natalie recently gave a talk at the Regional South West Community Archives Conference at The House, Plymouth University, and found out more about some of the exciting archives across the region and their network. Particularly looking forward to the development in Cornwall called Kresen Kernow, which will preserve the historic Redruth Brewery in making it its home. Click this link for more information on the Community Archives and Heritage Group.
At Exeter Respect Festival: Michelle Ridings, Natalie McGrath, Kathy Norris & Josie Sutcliffe.
Many of the Dreadnought team joined us for two days of unpredictable weather (the sun did shine at some point!) at this year’s Exeter Respect Festival. Here we met many generous people, a bit like last year, finding out about their stories of activism and sharing Dreadnought’s story so far. We never tire of telling people about the women from the Great 1913 Suffrage Pilgrimage and got to play Top Trumps: Female Scientists! Thanks to all who joined over the two days of this brilliant festival to celebrate diversity in Exeter.
 
Two Rebellious Sounds writing workshops have been delivered. One at the Heritage Centre in Teignmouth and one at Exeter Phoenix. The final two will take place in Bodmin and Plymouth respectively. If you are interested in joining us please drop us an email: info.dreadnoughtsw@gmail.com .
 
Our recent development work on The Orchard has been really exciting and has charged new life into the play, with musical composition now at its heart and a new character. There is an opportunity to come and see the play on 4 October at the Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter, where we are really excited to be part of their Calm Down Dear Festival. This is a festival of feminist theatre, originating at Camden People’s Theatre. Have a look at this link to book tickets (book soon if you can as it is a one-off event and tickets will sell fast) for just £5.
 
The Orchard:
An imagined meeting. Amidst heightened militancy. Amidst the sound of women walking. One is on the run. A fugitive. The other is marching. In her element gathering her army. The moderate & the radical. Which is which? Meeting in an unnamed orchard, where no one else can see.
 
The creative team are as follows:
 
Writer – Natalie McGrath
Director/Dramaturg – Josie Sutcliffe
Composer – Claire Ingleheart
Actors – Ruth Mitchell, Saskia Portway & Michelle Ridings
Producer – Charlie Parker
 
This is a performed reading of a script in development, with live music and song, and will be followed by an invitation to debate the work in conversation with the cast & team.
 
Our aim is to produce high-quality feminist theatre, arts and heritage work that inspires, educates and raises awareness of often unheard and unseen courage. If you would like to be part of the conversation, then please do get in touch.
 
Thanks to everyone who supports us.
 
Best wishes,
 
Natalie McGrath and Josie Sutcliffe – Co-Directors.
 
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