All posts by Unity Arts London

Educational community heritage projects in the East End of London

Woeful Puppet at St Katharine Cree 20-30 June

An installation and Live Events funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Mounted at St Katharine Cree and created by our community team of researchers and artists to explore the religious and political turmoil in Tudor England that led to the execution of the Nine Day Queen – Lady Jane Grey.

St Katharine Cree C Of E Church
86 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3A 3BP

St Katharine Cree Map

LIVE EVENTS Free via Eventbrite

22 June @ 7pm Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, The Puppet Master

https://puppetmaster.eventbrite.co.uk

 

29 June @ 7pm Lady Jane Grey, The Woeful Puppet

https://janegrey.eventbrite.co.uk

****A Jealous Lassie’s Karma – Brighton Fringe

Marlborough Theatre, Princes Street, Brighton June 2017

McLuckie’s outstanding talent shines brightly at the Brighton Fringe. This big Scot is a difficult man to pigeon hole. A sharp, biting wit with a surgical ear and eye to the vagaries of speech patterns from characters that stay in the Glasgow high flats to the Hollywood Hills. (Personal favourite was the malevolent assassin of Marilyn Monroe and Maria Callas).
At times absurd and very camp yet a split the room ditty about incest may not be every one’s cup of tea. As I said he is hard to pin down and describe. He is a poet, singer, political observer and an extraordinary performer. Wrapping his long, tall person round clearly observed and defined characters with so much energy you yearn for him to have a larger space so that us in the audience can sit further away to really appreciate the detailed depth of his writing and performance. I laughed so hard at his story about being gay in Paisley and going with a straight guy in the Littlewoods toilet that I gave myself whiplash.
Do fasten your seatbelts for the story about how Judy Garland was able to reach those notes with the added bonus of a delicious Bette Davis impersonation.
Both entertaining and searing work makes for a bumpy night but you are in the hands of an exceptional artist, so enjoy the ride.
Reviewed by Oscar Ciros

Heritage Workshops May and June

We are hosting Heritage Workshops in Hackney throughout May and June to complete our installation for St Katharine Cree.

We have been working on researching the Throckmorton family and their links with the events that led to Lady Jane Grey’s execution. The life of the martyr Anne Askew and the inner life of Lady Jane Grey as she was cruelly manipulated for political gain and greed.

If you wish to learn more about the project or receive a workshop application pack and be part of the installation at St Katharine Cree please contact us here or at unityarts@hotmail.co.uk

There are still opportunities to join the research teams as we have an event at Sutton House on 8 September 2017 and our flagship event at The Tower of London 12 February 2018 and return research trips to Hampton Court and the Tower of London.

 

Lady Jane Grey Psalm 51

We have found several sources telling us that Lady Jane Grey recited Psalm 51 in her room at The Tower of London before she was executed. The whole team agreed it would be good to have a version on our website as well as include excerpts in the finished documentary.

Some of the Digital Output Team have kicked off the creation of the dramatized segments of the finished film piece (and also with an eye on how to use  primary sources at the Woeful Puppet’s 3 exhibitions differently).

It was agreed that Sarah (pictured here) who is researching the part religious schisms and changes to the laws in England led to Lady Jane Grey’s execution should deliver this.

A great start to what we are sure will be a wonderful heritage output.

Read Psalm 51

RESEARCH IN ACTION VIDEO

Woeful Puppet – Research In Action

 

We have been conducting practical Heritage Skills workshops, getting Archive and Research training and going on field trips to museums and galleries. And READING and READING.

The long process of sifting and collating begins early and here is a video made by our Digital Output Team of one of the steps in our research trail into the life of Lady Jane Grey.

With the St Katharine Cree installation coming up in June and work started on Sutton House installation we covered the Throckmortons and Anne Askew a lot in this session at Diorama Studios during our latest set of workshops and installation creating.

Lady Jane Grey Documentary

Filming has started on the Heritage Lottery Funded Documentary and Digital Outputs for WOEFUL PUPPET.

We have had delivery of Heritage Film Workshops from Meddle Films (with more to come in May) script meetings and Practice Sessions.

To be able to deliver a high standard across all our outputs (3 Exhibitions, Documentary, Education Packs, Colour Booklet, Specialist Speakers and Expert Interviews) we are having to conduct very deep research and also have a lot of practice and expert practical support as well as the use of found and created images.

In Search of Throckmorton

There was a recent photography tour of the City Of London to search for relevant Throckmorton and Lady Jane Grey heritage sites to support the Heritage Lottery funded installation at St Katharine Cree from June 19 2017.

Included was a visit to The Guildhall.

The Guildhall was built in 1440, but parts date to 1411. And where the trials of Lady Jane Grey, and the Protestant Martyr Anne Askew took place.

The Guildhall was also where the trials for the nobles involved in Wyatt’s Rebellion were held. The accused did not have legal counsel, but had to conduct their own defence. Tried for treason, the nobles were given the death penalty. Of the accused, only Throckmorton was acquitted. To get acquitted from a Tudor court, particularly when you’re accused of committing treason, was a very unusual thing. Throckmorton must have been a very skilled public speaker – and had many connections – to manage this.

Also visited was St-Sepulchre-without Newgate.

A historical plaque outside St. Sepulchre’s with some history of the church. Roger Ascham, a scholar and tutor to Elizabeth I and secretary of Mary I, worshiped here, while its vicar John Rogers was the first Protestant martyr burned by Mary I.

One of our researchers, Pauline Goldsmith, discovered an ancestor George Goldsmith was buried here in 1785!

CARVING RETURNS TO ST KATHARINE CREE

Some news from our heritage partner St Katharine Cree.

Following the article in The Guardian in December

Guardian Article

the carving has now arrived from Belgium, Here is a quote from Phil.

Phil Manning, a churchwarden at St Katharine Cree, said: “This is an amazing time for this carving to be coming back to the church … The building is on the heritage at risk register and there are significant plans for its restoration over the next few years. The return of a fine piece of carving which belongs on an existing monument of a historically important figure is really quite something. “It is not only a beautiful object but a gateway to the understanding and interpretation of our heritage.”

Our work continues in preparation for our installation at St Katharine Cree 19 – 30 June 2017.

 

STRANGE THE ROAD by LIL WARREN Review

“STRANGE THE ROAD” – The Hope Theatre, London Feb 2017

From the moment the audience enters this studio space at the Hope & Anchor Pub Theatre they are confronted with a display of violent hierarchy in a frozen tableau of the full cast. 1930s New York Gangster Malloy (Pat Koupland) at the centre, drink in hand aggressively keeping his subordinates Randall (Darren Paul McStay) and Hughie (Rikki Chamberlain) in check.

Separated by this melee stage right we see a waitress (Andromeda Godfrey) who we will later meet as Verda, and stage left we see Frenchie (Joey Ellis) leaning with an air of melancholy surrounding him. He is however the first to spring into life signifying the start of the play. This is his story. Ellis’ character takes relish in explaining his emotional turmoil at every opportunity. The audience in this intimate space clearly hang on his every word as he explodes into exposition. We witness Frenchie falling in love with Verda who works at the club that these gangsters hang out at but he is Malloy’s driver and he has his aggressive sight set Verda, as does Randall. (Godfrey and McStay clearly enjoy playing Verda and Randall with verve and style). Wonderful subplots involving Randall and Hughie keep the audience on their toes as they flip between hilarious childhood buddies and ugly underworld villains.

This play is so well written by writer director Lil Warren. Every character brought to life from their opening frozen state are well rounded and immediately endeared by the audience without cliches attached. The carefully crafted black humour is immensely enjoyable and the staging within the space is sometimes intimate as characters plot secretly upstage then other times the audience are jolted back in their seats as characters are attacked. Lil Warren has achieved something wonderful with a very strong cast in this small space. I hope that one day STRANGE THE ROAD will be given the opportunity to spread its wings in a larger auditorium.

Simon Bowles   Production Designer   
Portfolio & Showreel: http://www.SimonBowles.com  
Member of the Britsh Film Designers Guild 
Member of British Academy of Film and Television 
 simon_bowles

Our Researcher Accepted on Heritage Cookery Course

One of our research team SusieQ has been accepted onto an online course to research historical food delivered by the Historical Royal Palaces and Reading University.

She will join expert historians, curators and even Heston Blumenthal for A History of Royal Food and Feasting, which charts the rich history of royal cuisine, as told through the tastes of five monarchs; Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, George I, George III, and Queen Victoria. The changing palates of successive generations of royals, and experience the splendour of the palaces they called home. From Henry VIII’s Tudor kitchens at Hampton Court Palace, to the rooms specially designed for the preparation of chocolate, the course offers the chance to go behind the scenes of some of the greatest palaces ever built, while uncovering the secrets of royal cookery.

Professor Kate Williams and food historian Marc Meltonville will share riveting tales of food fit for a king, and challenge some common misconceptions about the impact of monarchs from the past on dietary tastes today and Susie will receive a diploma for Reading University.

A great start in her goal of delivering a food installation as part of the Woeful Puppet Installation  at The Tower Of London in February 2018.