Re-Writing the Archives
In January 2015 we invited five professional playwrights to delve into Cotesbach Educational Trust’s Archive. After a weekend of sifting through the documents in the archive, we commissioned a short radio play from each playwright based on their discoveries.
By clicking on one of the icons you can hear recordings of these radio plays and also explore the documents and photographs that inspired them.
Deserving and Undeserving
A small article in the 1866 Leicester Mercury was the start of the spiral of research material that inspired this piece. The article simply describes the sentencing of Ann Jordan, who had broken a workhouse window. Using real characters, Sue Mackrell’s play looks at the stories lurking beneath the surface of this seemingly innocuous newspaper article.
The Diary of Eve Marriott
On Friday December the 29th 1922, Eve Marriott set out on a journey that would take her far from Cotesbach. This play uses diary entries that describe Eve’s journey.
How can important and emotional news be delivered in a limited number of words? Ben Weatherill has taken inspiration from one particular telegram found in our Archive. His play looks at the journey a telegram makes as it passes through many different hands, and examines the enormous effect that a tiny piece of paper can have.
The Case of the Burbank Baby
A baby is killed and buried near a farmhouse on the Estate. The play looks at how this impacts on a range of characters. Archive material is used as a jumping off point for further research revealing a full picture of how a single incident can have ripple effects throughout a person’s life.
The Monkey Puzzle Tree
The Marriott Family archives describe a huge range of events. From the day to day purchasing of seeds for the Estate, to extraordinary moments of both sadness and celebration. Francesca Millican-Slater’s play is told from the perspective of a unique character who has witnessed so many of these stories and still resides on the Estate.