Its been a few months since I scooted by you on my bike Tina, and I have been busy developing some the inspiring learnings into theatre ideas.
GUTS is a radio play celebrating fish workers past, present and future. GUTS is 3 x 10 mins audio experiments inspired by the people I met and stories i heard on my journey from the Shetlands to Great Yarmouth on my bike Tina Following The Fish Workers back in the spring. You have been part of this journey I’d love you to be part of the audience and to get your feedback for the further development of this work.
There are 3 ways to hear GUTS:
1: Live Performance at Camden People’s Theatre on Saturday 2nd Oct 6pm : Link to the event here: https://www.cptheatre.co.uk/production/shape-of-things-to-come-guts/
2: Live Stream: Its quite a journey to the theatre from where you are - no fear - you can listen to the play LIVE on saturday at 6pm from your own home. It will be LIVE STREAMED through the internet -lINK AVAILABLE HERE later this week.
3: Recordings: you can also have a Listen to GUTS after the event, this is going to be recorded and Split into 3 episodes, these can be sent out to listen to after the event.
This is a Work In Progress performance, and the three episodes represent the seeds of ideas to develop in 2021/2022 of a touring stage play and an audio series.
If you would love to come in the flesh but could do with the cost of travel please get in touch and we’ll see if we can help out. I’m really excited to be developing this work and I would love to know what you think and ideas you have for further development. If you would be interested in further collaboration for touring this work - Let me know!
Please do share with anyone you think should or might like to hear this too. You can also support by sharing on instagram @followingthefishworkers and twitter This Tweet
GUTS @ Camden Peoples’ Theatre
“You worked in threes. two gutted and one packed. Every girl that gutted had a gut tub…she flung her guts into it.” Annie Watt, Herring Worker
Up to 10,000 Herring Workers/ Fesh Quines /Herring Lassies/ Gutters travelled the Herring ports of the east coast, from the Shetlands and the Highlands all the way to East Anglia, gutting 60 fish a minute. These self organised women crews Struck on issues of pay and conditions – and won.
What can we learn from these legendary workers?
This Live Radio Play uses the testimony of fish workers past and present to delve into world fish work now and the future.
Supported by Arts Council England ‘Developing Your Creative Practice’ Grant
Credit to the fish workers, and thanks to all the people who have shared their experience, stories, knowledge and time with us on this journey. Picture courtesy of Ang from Tyne Brand Herring Factory
To Billingsgate Market in search of our Herring pals.
We are deep in development of project ideas! under the working title of GUTS!
Polly Rowley Sams, musician, theatre maker, builder herring lover from Newcastle who is collaborating on this adventure into Gutsy workers past and present and myself (and Tina ofc)
Went on an earlish morning hunt for Herring early in the morning in London. with marginal success! listen to the audio below for our walk around Billingsgate Market. Also video below see polly guttin the Mackrel we got given by Reggie. we then BBQd it late at night and it was delicious.
And our learning continues! next time we hope to get a box of herring to practice the infamous quick action on..
More on some of our creative development...
Polly Guttin a Mackrel
We may be quiet but this is because we are in deep in development of some of the ideas and inspiring stories shares on this trip!
We were to be showing some of these ideas in a Scratch performance at Camden Peoples Theatre this week, which sadly has had to be delayed due to covid. Details of where and how you can see any of this will be shared.
This project is big and We are in for the long haul so please do get in touch, I am on the Fish Work flex everyday!
Here's a couple pics of playing with some incredibly talented actors in the room at LIMEHOUSE TOWN HALL.
Fish Quines great article here http://www.mcjazz.f2s.com/FishQuines.htm
WELL THEN. What a way to end a journey following the fish workers than aboard a fishing boat that brought the fish to harbour?! and not just any boat, but the only working Smack (type of boat) in operation. well thats just what happened when Nora, Tina and I arrived in our final FINAL destination of LOWESTOFT.
so lucky to get a grand tour of the 100 year old Excelsior from Alice Jan and Leon in Lowestoft. An Audio below of us knocking about on the boat, chatting about herring workers and getting shown the ropes with expert guidance.
I also got given these wonderful ceremonious hand crafted herring, made by Jan and this Herring worker painted egg, crafted by Alice.
sublime ending to this trip. my gratitude for the time, generous ity, knowledge and encouragement from folks today and all the days is really hard to put into words. We have learnt so much, and met so many incredible folks on this journey- that is definitely just the start of many ways to unearth and celebrate the struggle of the herring workers. watch this space...
but If you are looking for me and can't find me, I'll probably have joined the Excelsior crew... <3
The Excelsior : Lowestoft
.Leon taking up through how the fish are caught and netted.
More on the Excelsior Here: http://www.theexcelsiortrust.co.uk/our-ship/excelsior-lt472www.theexcelsiortrust.co.uk/our-ship/excelsior-lt472
we made it!! and it was a slog that last 50km into a strong head wind and with Tina creaking and me creaking. but we made it. and in time to nosey around the astute Time n Time Museum.
mostly we super enjoyed soaking up the vibe in G Yarmouth! it feels exciting and lively and a melting pot.
more to come from Time and Tide when they open their herring workers exhibition later this month, with Pictures from the excellent Craig Easton.
Great day in Sheringham.
55km cycle here, very hilly and no tail wind. Had far too many comments from MAMMALs about whizzing past me which is really getting my goat after the hundreds of miles.
(I know I know the best intentions)
It'll be cool when a woman cycling solo isnt a spectacle that produces the response "good girl!".
Arrived to shout of "this is a one way street!" From an angry resident, but that was soon put to rights in settling into a coffee in the The Little Theatre Sheringham. So nice to be in an active theatre community venue that is buzzing with local activity.
Had the pleasure to get shown round the museum by local heritage experts, Lesley, Jan, Ron, Wendy, Ken Janet and resident artist, Colin. (Painting pictured below).
Check out the SHEITHS for the knitting needles! didnt realise what weapons they are, and how that adds to badass workers on their time off.
Great to learn about the photographer Olive Edis who lived locally and photographed fishermen/ workers and the elites. Beautifully crafted, and as Wendy pointed out, Sheringham attracts Strong Women. She married in her 50s too (and was maybe queer? - that is hearsay but got me excited!)
Great conversation about the power, economic independence and strength of the herring women crews too.
Cool to see the wind farm exhibition too, as wind has not only pushed us down the coast but is also strongly present in the absence of fishing as an economy that is live and growing up and down the east coast. Here unlike in Grimsby, maybe some of the servicing jobs Have gone to Fishermen.
VERY grateful for the time, knowledge and enthusiasm, and most of all- for my Netted scarf, made by Fisherman and Netter Ken.
Link to Sheringham Museum here: http://www.sheringhammuseum.co.uk/
AUDIO TO COME
my cycle reflects!
1st july lincolnshire to sandringham
120 km across flat land, lush river cycles down through lincolnshire to boston andnonwards to kingslyn and some norfolk woods!
lincolnshire : herb and tyme
a nice 50 km cycle from grimsby to through the rolling hills of this beautiful place