Salisbury 1915: Aspiring journalist Dorothy Lawrence returns from a mysterious assignment to Paris suffering from a nervous complaint, and harbouring secrets the War Office forbids her to tell.
Dorothy refused to surrender to society’s ideas of what she should do and who she should be – and came face-to-face with the dark heart of war-torn Europe.
What made Dorothy brave enough to defy authority and follow her ambition?
And what price did she pay?
Based on new research, Dorothy’s story is brought to life by two powerful performers to a soundtrack influenced by the shifting musical landscape of the early 20th century.
Combining storytelling and song in a music hall setting, ‘Over the Top’ gives this remarkable and overlooked woman a voice 100 years after the events that led to her downfall.
Each show is accompanied by a half-hour discussion in which director and performers share some of the fascinating new research that has informed the show.
‘Over the Top’ is supported by local arts organizations The Pound arts centre in Corsham, and The Natural Theatre Company in Bath, is supported with public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and is sponsored by Gore Browne Investment Management.
LOCATION: The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9HX.
TICKETS: Buy here: The Pound website – £10 (£9 for concessions)
RUNNING TIME: 1 hour, followed by a ½ hour post-show discussion
INTERVAL: A 10-minute interval between the show and discussion
AGE RESTRICTIONS: Suitable for ages 12+
4th March The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham. 7:30pm
10th March The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum, The Wardrobe, Salisbury 7pm
21st March Salberg Studio, Salisbury Playhouse (part of Theatre Fest West). 7:45pm
30th June The Chalke Valley History Festival, Broadchalke. 6:30pm
7th July Hamilton House, Stokes Croft, Bristol. 7pm
8th July Bradford-On-Avon Library, Bradford-On-Avon. 6:30pm
The Heroine Project Presents aims to enable audiences to engage emotionally, intellectually and imaginatively with history through a mixture of performance, discussion and educational activities.
‘Over the Top’ is therefore accompanied by heritage engagement activities developed in collaboration with arts and heritage specialists ‘Now Heritage’ CIC, in partnership with Wiltshire-council museums consortium ‘Wiltshire at War’, funded by The Chalke Valley History Festival Trust and by Wiltshire Council through Corsham Area Board.
1. TOURING EXHIBITION FROM ‘WILTSHIRE AT WAR’
The Wiltshire at War: Call to Arms, and Wiltshire at War: Wiltshire Does Its Bit, exhibitions are the first and second of five themed displays that are touring museums, libraries and community venues throughout Wiltshire between 2015 and 2019. The five themed displays have been put together by members of the Wiltshire museums and heritage community and they form a key part of the Heritage Lottery funded Wiltshire at War: Community Stories project.
This four-year programme of activities aims to bring people together to explore how the impact of the First World War has shaped the lives and landscapes of Wiltshire.
Wiltshire at War: Call to Arms, and Wiltshire are War: Wiltshire Does Its Bit, provide contextualizing information for audiences, and one of them will accompany the show to two of the five tour locations (Corsham and the Rifles Museum).
The back of the exhibition is the literal and metaphorical space that Dorothy’s unusual story occupies, and offers an intriguing alternative narrative to the more recognisable depictions of Wiltshire at war on the front. This new content will take up the two outer panels: the first panel will outline Dorothy’s story and will share the evidence connecting her with Wiltshire. The second panel will be a space for ‘postcards to Dorothy’ – inviting the public to reflect and make a personal connection with this overlooked person and what she did. We will collect postcards from each audience that sees the theatre show, and keep a set of blank postcards with the exhibition to invite further contributions.
2. WORKSHOPS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE
We will run a series of workshops for young people in the Corsham area. These have been devised in collaboration with Emma Golby-Kirk of Now Heritage CIC, and will use the resources from the Wiltshire at War website.
All workshops are open-access and available to all.
Workshop 1: ‘Finding the story in the photograph’ Thursday 25th Feburary 3:30 -6pm Corsham School SN13 9DF.
Workshop 2: ‘Rebel or Wrong un: storytelling’ Saturday 4th March 12:15-2:45pm The Pound arts centre SN13 9HX
Workshop 3: ‘Creating a character’ Saturday 4th March 2:45-5:15pm The Pound arts centre SN13 9HX
3. POST-SHOW DISCUSSION
Each performance will be followed by a structured half-hour discussion of the theatre-making process and the research that has informed it.
Education programme developed in partnership with Now Heritage and supported by funding from Wiltshire Council through the Corsham Area Board.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Tweet us with the handle #whatwoulddorothydo
Feature on CorshamTV here.
You can read more about the research on Dorothy Lawrence’s story that Lizzie Crarer undertook, on the Wiltshire at War website here.