Saturday 20th August 18.00


Operatic Shorts and Freathy Tippet




The text is taken from London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew, and from interviews conducted by Christine Bacon of the human rights theatre company iceandfire; Mayhew‟s interviews are with working people in the 1840s, Bacon‟s with contemporary Londoners who are living in poverty.


In the 1840s, Henry Mayhew wanted his book to “cause those who are in „high places‟ … to bestir themselves to improve the condition of a class of people whose misery, ignorance, and vice, amidst all the immense wealth and great knowledge of „the first city in the world‟, is a national disgrace to us.” In 2008/09, 13½ million people in the UK were living below the poverty line: one in five of the population [].


From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:


Article 3:   Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.


Article 25: (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Voicing originated as a collaboration between director Julie Osman and composer Caroline Heslop at Arch 468; the original material for the piece was developed with a company of nine performers in a two day workshop in March 2011 and has been extensively reworked for this performance, which is a work-in-progress.


Developed with the support of Arch 468


Original company for development workshop: Alistair Sutherland; Anil Kumar; Calita Rainford; Christina Gill; Jane Moriarty; Kristína Chalmovská; Lowri Lewis; Michele Moran; Michael Cooper; Orna Salinger.


With Thanks To:


Rebecca Atkinson-Lord at Arch 468; Christine Bacon at iceandfire; Woodbridge Violins, Woodbridge; John & Terry Pearson; Elspeth Wilkes; Ellie Moran; Christina Gill; Frances Higgs; Sebastian Grand; Victoria Newlyn; Emily Murphy; and Josh Lowe for web marketing.


Rehearsal space for this performance generously provided by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.






Music: Caroline Heslop

Words: David, Laura & Zara (21stC) and four anonymous interviewees (19thC)

Directed: Julie Osman

Designer: Martin Thomas

Lighting designer: Steve Lowe

Baritone: Alistair Sutherland

Soprano: Merryn Gamba


Suni La

Doris Lanz

Calita Rainford

Piano: Leah Wingham

Viola: Danyal Dhondy

Cello: Jay Jenkinson


Caroline Heslop: composer has written music for a diverse range of ensembles and has collaborated with theatre directors, photographers and film makers. 2011 highlights include Uno for Guitar Quartet (Queen Elizabeth Hall), Combattimento for harpsichord and electronics (Handel House), Whispering Leaves for solo piano (St Lawrence Jewry) and Voices from the River (Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich).


Julie Osman: director is joint artistic director of Freathy Tippett, for whom she directed Licence My Roving Hands and Your ObjectsMove Us (The Space). Theatre includes: Three Minute Hero (Cock Tavern), City Girls (co-director, Jermyn Street); Turning Point (Theatre 503 platform); Cake and Mistakes Were Made (Brockley Jack: writers‟ showcase); Resident Artist at Arch 468, 2010–11. Opera: associate director, Madam Butterfly (King‟s Head Theatre).


Martin Thomas: designer trained at Wimbledon School of Art. Design credits include: Four Nights in Knaresborough (Southwark Playhouse); John and Jen (Landor Theatre); Yoroboshi (New Wimbledon Studio); Harvey (Cooma Theatre, Australia); Streetcar Named Desire (Oxford Playhouse); he was nominated for an „Offie Award‟ (best set design) for Smokey Joe‟s Cafe (Landor Theatre), and Buried Child and The Drowsy Chaperone (Upstairs at the Gatehouse).


Steve Lowe: lighting designer Opera: Madam Butterfly and Pagliacci (OperaUpClose). Theatre: Studies for a Portrait (King‟s Head Theatre); The York Realist (Riverside Studios); Good Night Deer and Good Morning I‟m Sleeping (ICA);The Miser, Thérèse Raquin and Molière (Cochrane Theatre). Music theatre: City Girls (Jermyn Street Theatre & New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich), Lanza and Now or Never (King‟s Head Theatre). Joint Artistic Director of Freathy Tippett.