The Ballad of Barrow Market
A live promenade theatre performance inspired by tales and reminiscences from Barrow Market. Written by local writers, performed by local people, for everyone.
In the winter and spring of 2017-18 Signal Films ran an Oral History Project celebrating the history of market trading in Barrow. Hundreds of people attended the Signal Films stall on Barrow Market, bringing photographs, objects and memories of Barrow’s markets, old and new.
From that starting point Kate Davis ran a series of writing workshops for local people to develop short play scripts inspired by those stories. Finally, The Ashton Group’s Theatre Factory, using a cast of local performers, staged the pieces first in Barrow Market itself and then at The Dock Museum.
The Mystery Shopper, Compere and Guide to the Market Ballad Phill Gregg
Bell Man Eric Nelson
Bethany Bridget O’Brien
Council Official Dan Hardie
Banana King Nathan Powell
Boris the Butcher Conrad Birchall
Mary Douglas Tracy Jones
Radio Cumbria Reporter Robbie Bown
Rosie Nicole Rose
Jilly Tara Edwards Doughty
Nan Chrissie Bentley
Vikki Karen Hall
Ernest Jon Bissett
Abigail Nicole Rose
Kellie Kelly Tara Edwards Doughty
Andy Damian Rose
Trish Tracy Jones
The scripts were created in writing workshops led by Kate Davis for Signal Films
Banana King Ravi Jeydendren, Caleb Staples, Ellis Dunn
Demolition Jean McSorley
Milliners Tales Brenda Fishwick
Vintage Advantage Derek Bradley
Unmentionables David Clancy
One Cherry Craig Lockhead
The ideas from which the stories evolved were explored and developed by the whole group. Ballads were also written by the whole group.
Polly Wright created and wrote the character of Bethany and the characters The Bell Man and the Market Official were created by Vicky Tighe.
Theatre Factory Team
Directed by Phill Gregg, Karen Hall and Rachel Ashton
Project Managed by Julia Parks for Signal Films
Performed at Barrow Dock Museum on Friday 18 May 2018