Gaskell House Blogs

The Sound of Servants – it’s getting louder!

26th February 2019
in blog, Events

In December 2018, we were successful in securing funding from the Arts Council England for a new collaborative programme of arts activities at the House inspired by the exhibition ‘Household Commotion: Elizabeth Gaskell and the awful treasure of her servants 1832-1865‘ which is on display upstairs at the House until end of June 2019.

Visitors at Elizabeth Gaskell's House new exhibition about Servants

As part of the programme, the creative team behind the successful ‘Gaskell: the Musical‘ will creating a new promenade performance telling the stories of some of the servants who worked for the Gaskell family. Led by enJOY Arts members of the Herizons Creative Women’s Group, with professional singer songwriter Claire Mooney, are devising ‘The Sound of Servants’, a musical adventure of drama and original songs which will bring the servants to life for us and let us share their world and experiences.

‘The housekeeper has her chores

And with the bell she answers doors

Meets and greets the great and good…’

I went along to their rehearsal last week to ask the group what they enjoyed about developing a performance.

Helen, June and Yvonne all agreed that the welcome and the friendship of the group – what Helen called the camaraderie – is what makes it special. For Yvonne, developing a performance is about ‘ fun, friendship and creativity’

Ann and Lorraine enjoy being challenged and taken out of their comfort zone. Ann particularly enjoys the support of the group – ‘working together is relaxing. It doesn’t matter how bad I am, being in the team makes it work.’

Pauline and June both talked about how satisfying it is to create the production from scratch. For June ‘We start with nothing and then when we’re finished and have a show, I think ”We’ve done that!” ‘

For Monica and Adele, it was their first meeting. They’d come to see what it was all about and were staying to enjoy the experience. If you would like to join the Herizons group, get in touch with Erica from enJOY arts on 07752 711650 or at

There will be two public productions of ‘The Sound of Servants’ on 26 and 27 April 2019 from 7.00 to 7.50 pm. Tickets are £3.00 each. Make sure you book early – it’s sure to be popular!

Lesley – House volunteer

This project has been funded using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, The Granada Foundation and The Duchy of Lancaster.

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