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Idle Women: (2PM SHOW) – a new musical play from Busylizzies Theatre Company with Long Way Home Productions
October 8 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm- £10.00 – £15.00 at Ropetackle Arts Centre
A new musical play based on the lives of women working on canals during World War Two, nicknamed ‘Idle Women’ due to their “IW” – Inland Waterways – badges. This is a little-told story within a setting that pushes the characters to explore their beliefs and values
Idle Women is an original work developed by 6 local actors and musicians. A performance of the work in progress was a sell-out sensation during Brighton Fringe, and Shoreham Wordfest is proud to present the full production as part of our autumn festival.
Cast: Emma Baars, Catriona Judt, Maple Preston-Ellis and Elizabeth Kroon Musicians: Phil Jones and Nicola Bloom.
Busylizzies and Long Way Home Productions.
Background to the story:
It is a little known part of our history that the quiet canals of England received a burst of wartime effort in the form of 40+ women volunteers who left hearth and home, despite their inexperience, to work on “the cut” – specifically the Grand Union Canals, ensuring safe passage of essential supplies between London and Birmingham in the later years of the Second World War. The work was gruelling and relentless, but accounts tell of journeys rich with community, connection with nature, and a chance to experience an entirely different way of life.
The writing process for Idle Women was entirely collaborative, with a group of actors and musicians dedicated to creating a tapestry of music and story to herald these women, as well as exploring themes that resonate still today: purpose, connection, community, work, gender, sexuality, and identity. Inspiration for this play came from the possibility of what might occur in this unique context.
This new writing explores the daily challenges a group of four intrepid new boatwomen face, with songs which describe their resilience, their hopes, and their secrets, and gives a tale of encounters that shake their beliefs to the core.