Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Songs and costumes

We’re slowly approaching our big performance at Manchester Histories Festival on the 7th June. Last week we told you all about the audio script, which we’ve recorded as part of the performance. This tells the story of Susannah, a girl who was admitted into the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes and was subsequently emigrated to Canada.

The young people want to give you more than just an educational story however. Further skills have been developed in song writing and costume making alongside the main recording. Two songs have been created for the piece, one describing the sea journey made from Liverpool to Canada, and the other concentrating on education in Manchester in the late nineteenth century.

Composing sea shanties

Alongside the songs we’ve also been working with a costume designer, looking at the various different outfits worn by the children in the 1900s. Photographs from the archives reveal a similar style of dress, pinafore or high collar Sunday best for the girls and trousers and jackets for the boys. Of course these were often clothes donated to the charity. Many entered the refuge in rags, and those clothes that could not be saved were burnt.

For th
e performance on the 7th, ideas taken from these photographs will be seen in the costumes worn by the young people. Previous trips to our heritage partners such as Salford Museum and Art Gallery and Merseyside Maritime Museum have already given ideas as to how people dressed in the Victorian era. We hope to give a more authentic performance by being in character.

Victorian outfits

So listen out for our songs in our radio piece. After the performance on the 7th June we will be putting the piece on our website for everyone to enjoy. Of course it won’t be as dramatic as our live event but it will continue to disseminate the story of the Together Trust to a wider audience. We hope you can join us in June.

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