Shoreham Wordfest: Idle Women

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A new musical play from Busylizzies Theatre Company and Long Way Home Productions.

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 six 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.

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 the 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 show explores the daily challenges faced by a group of four intrepid new boatwomen, with songs which describe their resilience, their hopes, and their secrets, and gives a tale of encounters that shake their beliefs to the core.

Cast: Emma Baars, Catriona Judt, Maple Preston-Ellis and Elizabeth Kroon Musicians: Phil Jones and Nicola Bloom.

Reviews of the Brighton Fringe performance:

“I can’t recall seeing a show so successfully co-written, directed and produced that it chimes with one voice.” ~ Lisa Wolfe

“This show is musical theatre at its best. A brilliant and well adapted set, a brilliant story and songs which transcends the stage.” ~ Andrew Melrose

Duration: aprrox. 2hrs, plus interval

  • Date
    Sun, October 8, 2023
  • Start time 2:00 PM
  • Price SOLD OUT
  • Duration TBA
  • Event format TBA

Event Expired

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