POSTED JULY 6, 2016 BY CHOL THEATRE
From talking Statues to the craft of the Brontë Sisters
Today was our first day at Chol theatre for our PaWS week and I already feel like I’ve been here ages! After arriving (drenched from the rain) and finishing a quick cup of tea and a chat, we caught the first train to Leeds to have a look at the Talking Statues installation. A really amazing blend of 19th and 20th century statues around the city with monologues that you can listen to as through the statues were ringing you up for a conversation. Famous voices like Vic Reeves and Brian Blessed told the stories and the origins of some of Leeds’ most well known statues. The Drury Dames told the tale of how their risqué fashion selections and bare chests made them the talk of the city. Even the civic centre owl, voiced by Claire Benedict, had her story to tell. It was an adventure trying to find the different statues around the city and it really gave us an idea of how fluidly classic and contemporary art styles can work together with performance. We even stopped in a café for a bagel for lunch- and it looks like Rayen and I might be revamping the theatre’s Instagram account!
For our second day, Carly picked Rayen and me up from Hebden Bridge train station and we made the short journey to Haworth for a visit to the Brontë Parsonage. As well as being aesthetically amazing (the rolling moors and summer flowers embodying that classic Yorkshire beauty), knowing the intricate and tragic history of the small house made the trip so interesting. Furniture owned by the family stood in the rooms and it felt so inspiring to be stood in the very room the sisters penned their classics and lived their own quaint, short lives. After the visit we discussed what it meant to be a woman now who was interested in writing, and the way Rayen and myself felt having so much more opportunity to find our voices than the Brontë sisters did. We pondered on whether it would be possible for the Brontë legacy to be revamped as such, made accessible for young people like ourselves, keeping the beauty and gothic intrigue intact….?
Now time for some writing of our very own….
Lauren Varley, aged 17