Foundry: Heroic Hertfordshire

Foundry is Pursued by a Bear’s highly successful research and development programme for new scripts. We’re now building on the success of Foundry 2018 which was based in St Albans and platformed two new plays by exciting female writers:

Nothing on Earth by Anna Reynolds, inspired by Trestle’s Heritage Lottery funded Hertfordshire Hidden Heroines project

The Wake by Afia Nkrumah.

Both celebrated the Suffragette Centenary – honouring Heroines, historical and contemporary, local and global.

In 2019 we are working to develop these plays further and to secure the investment required to bring these scripts to the full productions they deserve before audiences in Hertfordshire and beyond.

If you can help, want to know more or get involved please contact us.

Foundry 2018: Writers and Plays

Nothing on Earth honours ground-breaking local women, weaving together the stories of five rule breakers, risk takers and daredevils, real women who fought for suffrage, made astonishing scientific advances, travelled the globe and performed breath taking aerial feats. We follow these women through time and space where they connect with a lonely and confused but curious young millennial.

Anna Reynolds is based in St Albans. Of her opera Push, The Guardian wrote ‘brilliant, celebratory, painful, tremendous.’

The Wake is a contemporary psychological drama that takes place during the vibrant rituals of a Ghanaian funeral. It tells the story of Yaa, a young British Ghanaian woman, who returns home after her mother’s sudden death. Yaa is expected to take her mother’s place as the head of the family, despite her lack of familiarity with her tribe’s rituals. Caught in a net of secrets and mendacious relatives, Yaa navigates through bereavement and finding her place. Set in a female Ghanaian household, The Wake is an intense and funny story of loss, betrayal and family expectations.

Afia Nkrumah (BBC Talent Hot List 2017) developed The Wake from her short film The Trousseau

‘I am delighted to be developing new work by  two wonderful playwrights at Trestle Arts Base and celebrating the power of women’s writing. It’s 100 years since women won the vote and there’s a lot to celebrate on this May weekend, besides that historic victory. New writing company Pursued by a Bear is moving to St Albans and beginning a rich collaboration with the Trestle team. Local writer Anna Reynolds is spinning a glorious tale of Hertfordshire heroines, including the brave suffragette Constance Lytton, and Afia Nkrumah’s piece will take us to the heart of Africa, sharing the age-old predicament of what happens to a family when a much loved matriarch dies. Fearless and fascinating, the women featured in these two plays, whether they lived 100 years ago or in the present, are inspirational figures on the march towards an equal world.’

Rosamunde Hutt, Artistic Director Pursued by a Bear

Foundry 2018 was led by Artistic Director Rosamunde Hutt assisted by Project Manager Rachel Barker. It was created in partnership with Trestle and with the help of collaborating artist Emily Gray, Artistic Director of Trestle.