Walthamstow Notes

Walthamstow Noyse event

Tudor sounds and stories

All through 2018 we have been uncovering sounds and stories of Tudor Walthamstow, working with local groups and organisations on the first phase of our Heritage Lottery funded project. In July we staged a major event, “Walthamstow Noyse”, which showcased our work in St Mary’s Church, Vestry House Museum and the Ancient House.

The day included two exhibitions and an installation curated by Gary Stewart presenting the discoveries of our project researchers about the Walthamstow-based Bassano family, two performances of Tudor music, one by local primary school children the other presenting young composers’ responses to it and several walks and talks.

The day’s activities were recorded for East London Radio, and more of the work will soon be available online.

Now the project has moved on to look at music and charity in Victorian Walthamstow – we are working with three primary school groups, the Waltham Forest Music Service and Vestry House Museum. We will be staging a number of events, with a particular focus on musician and philanthropist J F H Read, a City grandee who made his home in Hoe Street and who spent three separate fortunes on making music available to all.

Will Birch in After Aphra

After Aphra and The Widow Ranter

“After Aphra” is a new look at the story of Aphra Behn and her final play, “The Widow Ranter”. We wrote and staged it in two locations in 2018 – the Hen and Chickens Theatre in Islington and, thanks to the generosity of the Company of Watermen and LIghtermen, the wonderful surroundings of their 1700 Court Room.

The play is set as “The Widow Ranter” is staged for its first and only run in the aftermath of its author’s death, and looks at Behn’s own life story as well as incorporating sections of the play and its music, using an actor and a musician of the day as two of the three characters, while the third, a former indentured servant who has returned to London with the fortune he made in Virginia, is based on the stories of real people of the time.

We plan to revisit “After Aphra” next year as well as working towards a full production of “The Widow Ranter” to tie in with the 350th anniversary in 2021 of the staging of Aphra Behn’s first play.

Ultima Britannia

Continuing City: Arts in Education at All Hallows by the Tower

All Hallows by the Tower has been part of the City of London landscape for thirteen hundred years, and people have lived and worked there for far longer. Clio’s Company and the community of All Hallows have been working together since 2001 on a series of arts in education projects, some also involving the Company of Watermen and Lightermen. In the current series, we use a combination of known historical and imagined but possible events to stage a series of site-specific plays and complementary workshops for primary school children to bring to life the rich and complex history of the church in its context.

In November 2018 London primary school children took part in “Ultima Britannia”, a project focusing on London 2,000 years ago when it was a raw, new, dangerous town on the edge of the known world and All Hallows was a building site where a Roman villa was being constructed.


Lundenwic: Saxon London's dark lands

In the spring we staged our latest programme at All Hallows by the Tower – a new version of "Lundenwic – Saxon London’s Dark Lands” involved a new storyline, poetry, music and a mystery. Nearly 500 children and teachers took part.


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For further information on any of these projects and events, please contact us by email.