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RISING UP: PETERLOO 2019 - A newly commissioned theatre and folk music project to tour UK in October 2019

In 1819, the concept of freedom of speech, protest and democracy were tested dramatically when armed soldiers charged at peaceful protesters. Two centuries on this new commission tells the personal stories of two women linked across time and through experience as they struggle to rise up and find their voice.

Rising Up combines compelling and original narrative and song, with text by acclaimed storyteller, Debs Newbold (King Lear Retold, Through The Seasons) and original songs by Sean Cooney (The Young’uns). The songs and music will be performed by Sam Carter (False Lights), Lucy Farrell (Furrow Collective) and Jim Molyneux (4Square / The Lost Words : Spell Songs). The piece also features actresses, Helen O’Hara (‘Kat’) and Joanna Holden (‘Maggie’).
In 1819 one of the bloodiest and most defining moments in our history took place in the centre of Manchester. A peaceful mass meeting of some 60,000 working people, no longer prepared to suffer poverty and discrimination, was turned into a massacre by a fearful ruling class. Fast forward nearly 200 years and Rising Up asks do many people in Britain still consider themselves as distanced from Government and the new ruling classes as those of early 19th century Britain? What might those orators, poets and community leaders have said about society today?

Rising Up is a unique, creative folk music and theatre project to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre and considers the conditions that led to this incident.

The folk song tradition has for many centuries been a key device in documenting national and international events, generating awareness of social injustices and as well as the joys, trials and tribulations of the working classes. Wherever people have felt injustice, hardship and lack of representation, they have turned to culture; and frequently song. This is as true today as it was in 1819.

Touring Venues October 2019:
17th October - Home, Manchester Folk Festival
18th October - Colston Hall, Bristol
19th October - The Music Room, Liverpool
24th October - Cecil Sharp House, London
25th October - The Sage, Gateshead