Live Performance

19:30-20:50, Thursday 5th August 2021

The Cockpit

 

There will also be an interactive broadcast of this show at 17:00-18:45 Sunday 8th August 2021. A recording of that broadcast will be available for 28 days.

 

Music and Words: Red Gray and Sarah Nicolls

 

Full Price: £15; If you can’t afford it: £5.

 

 

It is 1837 and Mary has been arrested for a breach of the peace. She is an outspoken woman and the authorities of Doncaster are confounded. They sentence Mary to a lifetime confinement in Wakefield Asylum.

 

The Unravelling Fantasia of Miss H. is a poetic portrayal of a Victorian woman imprisoned by a society intent on control.

 

Mary Frances Heaton’s tale is told through her own words and her defiant protests stitched into embroidered samplers, discovered in the asylum years later.

 

Mary’s struggle to hold on to her identity and reach the outside world speaks across the years, her outrage at a corrupt system urging us to ask ‘How much have things have really changed?’

 

This contemporary opera is a new composition by soprano Red Gray and Sarah Nicolls with her inside-out piano.

 

The Pre show music as the audience take their seats will feature the works of composer and performer Kate Loder a contemporary of Mary Frances Heaton though born a little later in 1825 who at the age of 19 became the first female Professor of Harmony at the Royal Acadamy. Once married it was insisted upon by her husband that she give up her career as a public performer although she did continue to teach and compose. We wanted to give her back the chance to have a 21st century London audience. Enjoy.

 

The interactive broadcast will include a presentation about the community engagement connected with the show: Radical Embroidery Workshops with Women’s Community groups.

 

Age range: 13 upwards.

Content advisory: Depiction of mental illness.

 

In a festival of new work, please note that shows can often overrun.

 

Produced by Stitched-up-theatre

 

 

Venue: The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, London NW8 8EH.

 

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www.stitched-up-theatre.com/

sarahnicolls.com/

 

 

To see more of Mary’s samplers on our website (courtesy of MHMuseum, Wakefield) visit https://www.stitched-up-theatre.com/mary-heaton

 

 

If you would like to help Tête à Tête and the artists creating this show, take a look at this.

 

Mary Frances Heaton (Voice): Red Gray (Voice)

Mary Matthewson (Inside Out Piano): Sarah Nicolls

Overseer/Asylum Attendant: Katie Webster

Director/Co-Devisor: Zoe Bouras

Writers/Composers: Red Gray and Sarah Nicolls

Movement Director: Katie Webster

Lighting Designer: Kristina Hjelm

Costume Designer: Rosie Whiting

 

On the same day:

Mary Frances Heaton (Voice): Red Gray (Voice)

Mary Matthewson (Inside Out Piano): Sarah Nicolls

Overseer/Asylum Attendant: Katie Webster

Director/Co-Devisor: Zoe Bouras

Writers/Composers: Red Gray and Sarah Nicolls

Movement Director: Katie Webster

Lighting Designer: Kristina Hjelm

Costume Designer: Rosie Whiting