Turkeys and Trifles: St George, Bold Slasher,
and – mind your finger!! …
Poetry, verse, and sometimes worse
Turkeys and Trifles
A highly adaptable Christmas concert, featuring a choice of poems on several different seasonal themes; plus, time permitting, a Mummers Play with audience participation, in which St George and Bold Slasher sink their differences to subdue the Dragon.
Spring in the Air!
You can probably guess what some of this is about …
Mellow poems for the "season of mists" - and Harvest Festival.
High Flight: poems and music for VE Day
Costumed performance celebrating individual trials and triumphs in World War II.
The Glorious Fourth
Some sidelights on the American dream!
For all seasons
Where the 'Art Is
Poets' quirky views on painting, theatre, music - and on other poets!
Well-loved sonnets from Shakespeare (of course), John Donne, William Wordsworth and others - and less well-known gems from writers like Hilaire Belloc - plus some contrasting poetic forms to vary the pace.
Celebration (but you can choose your own title for this!)
Popular birthday programme with poems of love, celebration and growing older disgracefully.
Specially devised for the first Celebrate Headingley Festival, this programme is full of lively and unexpected pieces by local poets.
"Imagination all compact": or, A Stage of Mind
An entertainment based on the weirdness and - let's face it - absurdity of the acting experience ("We're actors - we're the opposite of people!" as the Chief Player says in Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead). Originally devised for a psychiatrists' conference dinner, but ordinary people enjoy it too!
These include The Tinder Box - three stories by Hans Christian Andersen brought to life and illustrated by snatches from his life. With a specially-commissioned video installation by artist and set-designer Will Holt.
Including "Twilight tales: Tales by the Light of your own Lantern" – three original stories designed to fit the atmospheric West Garden at Harewood House following a lantern-making workshop for 5-8-year-olds. Suitable for anywhere after dusk ...
"Stories from the Estate"
Newly-written stories, devised with the help of letters, diaries and financial accounts, bringing to life how it felt to work in one of the great country houses.
Sketches by Uz
Short scenes from time past, with costumes and music, to give an entertaining taste of life as it might have been for our forebears - on a good day ...
Her Ladyship Entertains
The lady of the house invites you to join her for a musical soirée interspersed with vignettes of life in a Victorian household. Originally devised for Harewood House, but adaptable to other venues.
Snapdragon: Thomas Jackson magicks some flowers
into existence for Miss Peach, while Mrs Oliver looks on.
Snapdragon: Mr Jackson's Christmas Party
Mr Jackson, the Victorian butler, is trying to plan the Christmas celebrations below stairs with the help of the housekeeper and the kitchen maid - but they seem set against him doing any of his magic tricks ...
Originally devised for Harewood House, this little play was so successful that we had to devise a sequel. In Mr Jackson's Easter Mystery the intrepid trio take a break from spring-cleaning to indulge in magic, music and a mummers' play with the help of the audience.
These and a further "below stairs" play (Jigs and Jellies: Mr Penry Plans a Party) have been enjoyed by all ages and are adaptable to other stately (or not) venues.
Home Sweet Home
A Victorian “At Home” with songs, recitations and parlour games.
Adelina Patti, Queen of Song
The life and songs of the famous Victorian diva , seen through the eyes of her loyal and devoted dresser.
Full length dramatic entertainments with costume and music
Gawain, the (Almost) Perfect Knight
Sir Gawain is one of the best-loved - and busiest - of the knights of King Arthur’s Round Table. But are the stories all they seem? Was Arthur at the back when courage was handed out? Who really was the Carl of Carlisle? And exactly how smelly was the Loathly Lady of Ingleswood? The launch of a new education initiative, Biographic and Literary Online Opportunities in Middle English Romance, has had one or two false starts, but this time there is nothing that can possibly go wrong ...
Father and Son: The Miltons of Bread Street
John Milton is perhaps the most influential (and least read) of the major English poets - which is a shame. Our entertainment uses clues from his lively (and short) early poems to paint a colourful picture of the influences on the poet. Chief of these is his father, John Milton senior, a scrivener by profession but also a highly-respected composer whose music can be heard alongside his son's poems for perhaps the first time.
We also spare a thought for his Mum, Sarah Milton, running a household in which were two chaps dedicated to the Muses - the inspired composer and the transcendant poet. Did they ever come for meals on time? ...
P&O 1930: Mrs Ashpole, Mr Frith and Mrs Frobisher
Aunt Emily's Christmas
A Victorian family Christmas in the home of a strong-minded and wealthy lady, with favourite songs of the period and parlour games for the audience to join in
… if they dare.
Noel Coward's brilliant evocation of life aboard a great P&O liner on the voyage from Shanghai to London in the year 1930. Deck games, romance, exotic ports, the terrors of the Indian Ocean, the inevitable ship's concert - all are part of the fragile world lost in the second World War, here captured by Coward in a kaleidoscope of elegant comedy and nostalgia. With songs by Noel Coward and Ivor Novello.