Mother of The Revolution: The World Premiere – at Leeds Industrial Museum

Rehearsals are underway for the world premiere folk musical ‘Mother of the Revolution’.

Based on an original concept and directed by archipelago art collective’s co-founder Beth Knight, Mother of the Revolution will unearth the untold story of Yorkshire legend and successful industrialist Betty Beecroft, alongside those of the working communities that followed her.

Kathryn Hanke, Richard Kay and Adam Bassett.

The script by Rosie MacPherson and original music by Sean Ryan have been influenced by conversations within the local community since 2021, painting an honest picture of the impact of deindustrialisation on the area while showcasing the ingenuity, strength and compassion of working people in Leeds across multiple generations.

Cherie Gordon, Reece Carter, Millie Watson and Claire O’Connor.

Bringing this ambitious promenade production to life is a mostly local cast including Kathryn Hanke in the title role, alongside Adam Bassett, Reece Carter, Cherie Gordon, Richard Kay, Miles Kinsley and Emily Snooks, with musical performers Claire O’Connor and Millie Watson. This immersive journey through Leeds Industrial Museum will also feature young performers from Interplay Theatre’s Youth Theatre and a community choir.

Emily Snooks, Millie Watson and Sean Ryan (Composer and Musical Director)

The production set is being built with support from CEG, the developer behind Kirkstall Forge, and its capable team of learners at its Forging Futures training and skills campus.

Lizzy Whynes (Associate and Movement Director) and Sean Ryan

CEG is also sponsoring the community engagement and family outreach of the production, which will touch the lives of so many Kirkstall residents.

Miles Kinsley and Adam Bassett

Accessibility is at the heart of the production, with access direction by Kirsty Pennycook, pre-show access packs, embedded BSL interpretation and integrated audio description at every performance. 

Benjamin Wilson (Audio Description Consultant), Kirsty Pennycook (Access Director), Lizzy Whynes (Associate and Movement Director) and Beth Knight (Director). Photography by Emily Goldie.

Far from your average history lesson, Mother of the Revolution is a new folk musical celebration of what we share with our neighbours, what we learn from our past, what brings us together and what tears us apart.

Beth Knight (Director) and Dave Wycherley (Interpreter)

The production will take place on Thursday to Sundays between the 2nd – 5th and 9th – 12th May at the Leeds Industrial Museum. Tickets are available through this link.

Main image: Reece Carter, Richard Kay and Adam Bassett. All photography by Emily Goldie.

Leeds Living