On the eve of the 2018 Sylvia tour, we have had lots of really good news!
Sold out in Salford
A friend phoned us to tell us that she had been unable to get a seat to see Sylvia at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford on 3 March. They only started to publicise the performance on Monday of this week, advising people to book seats. Now the places have all gone – and even the waiting list is nearly full!
The performance is not until 3 March, so we have asked about organising a second performance to meet the demand. Watch the website for updates, or add your name to our mailing list.
This is not the first time that our friends have been caught out by waiting too long to get a ticket. When we first re-launched Sylvia at the Crossroads Women’s Centre in Camden in 2015, one had to queue for returns, and another who had planned to come down from Cambridge missed out altogether.
In the news in Leicester
The Leicester Mercury has just published a piece about the show at The Guildhall tomorrow night, and Jackie was interviewed by BBC Radio Leicester last week. The BBC wanted one of us on this morning’s breakfast show too, but we will not arrive until tomorrow, so it was not possible.
We are really pleased to be part of Leicester’s celebration of the new statue they are unveiling to Alice Hawkins. Philip French, an expert on the shoe industry will be joining us for the audience discussion along with Rob Johnston Policy & Campaigns Officer for the TUC in the Midlands.
Sylvia Pankhurst had painted Alice and the workers at the Equity shoemaking co-operative as part of her northern tour. The unveiling takes place on Sunday, and we have been invited to that event too. We created a special design for the poster and leaflet for Leicester, using the shoe-makers instead of the chainmaker for the image.
This performance is being backed by TUC Midlands and Unite the Union East Midlands.
Scottish funding secure
A third piece of good news is that we have heard that the Scottish Borders Rape Crisis Centre has got the backing of the Scottish Borders Council for the performance at the Wauchope Hall in Town Yetholm on 8 March.
We have had a lot of excitement over the publicity for this booking. Because the leaflets are being shared with two other venues, we had to get them out before the funding decisions in Scotland had been made. When it came to the posters, though, poor William has been having to switch between an old off-line laptop to access Photoshop and an online one to update the website and send the new versions to the printers and the venue. He also had to make an extra trip to collect the second version, but this third time around they will be printing them in Yetholm.
If you would like an A4 poster for Sylvia, we have some for sale ...
The performance will be the first trip to Scotland for the play and for the director/stage manager – William too! – and we are delighted at this level of local commitment. Scottish Borders Unison Public Services has also given us support.
Joining us for the post-performance audience discussion will be Dinah Iredale, author of The Bondagers about the local tradition of women agricultural workers whom Sylvia painted.
South of the Border
Dinah is also joining us at the Cheviot Centre in Wooler, just south of the border, the next day (9 March), together with Pat Heron, the current chair of regional women's TUC fora and the chair of Unison's Northern Region Women's Network. This performance is being supported by the RMT, at present, but we hope that other trade unions in Northumberland will join them. We are building up such an impressive list of backers now, that we have created a new web page!
Don’t forget Wolverhampton
Last, but by no means least, the other performance is at the Newhampton Arts Centre in Wolverhampton on 2 March. Here we will be part of the Women of Wolverhampton’s annual celebration of International Women’s Week, and the performance has been supported by The Women’s Vote Centenary Small Grant Scheme. [This performance was cancelled because of the snow, and is happening on Monday 12 March instead.]
It was when we were touring last year that we got an excited request about whether we were planning to come to Wolverhampton, and we are very pleased that it has all finally come together.