The Play’s The Thing

Empress 4

Book your ticket here.

Last year, at the launch of the third Tom Harper novel, Skin Like Silver, an actor named Carolyn Eden became Annabelle Harper, giving a speech of suffragism that Annabelle delivers in the book.

She inhabited the character and brought to life a woman who’s lived in my head for a few years now. I’ve tried to tell Annabelle’s story in fiction, but suddenly I saw another way. A play. A one-woman play.

The process of rehearsals has tentatively begun with a read-through and we’ll be moving ahead. The good people at Leeds Big Bookend will be giving us a chance to show some of it on June 4 at 2.30 pm in Leeds Central Library. It’s a work in progress, an exclusive preview. You’ll have a chance to see where it’s going, to become part of Annabelle’s story.

Made in Leeds TV have plans to film Annabelle’s story at historic locations around Leeds and she seems to be drawn to radio too. There’s no substitute for the live experience, but you might be treated to a sharing of more than the stage version as the project develops.

It’s a picture of working-class Leeds in the 19th century, from the grinding poverty of the Bank to relative prosperity as the landlady of the Victoria public house in Sheepscar, and her awakening to the world, to feminism and politics. It’s a story for all of today, as much for today as more than a century ago.

The pleasure and love along with pain. And hope. Because every story needs outrageous hope. Tickets are now on sale, and it will be worth your while. Annabelle will be very much alive in front of you.

You can find out more and book your tickets here.

You need to come.

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