I was born and brought up on the ‘orse drawn workin boat, ‘Persia’
so I was very interested
Geoff Deighton - Belper Folk Club
"A CUT THROUGH TIME" - KEEPERS LOCK
The Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield, 23rd July 2011
Barges, Bonnets and Boggarts!
I shall start by admitting to a certain degree of bias; I love the canals! I’ve never lived on them, though I have had several very enjoyable holidays cruising around many of our inland waterways and I have walked several miles of their towpaths. So, when I found out that there was to be a presentation at our local theatre on the history of the canals and the people who lived and worked on them, I couldn’t resist turning up. And, I wasn’t disappointed.
The show, illustrated with slides, songs and poems, was presented by the duo Keepers Lock who are Suzie Litton-Wood and John Meleady, along with assistance from Janet Gell Thompson, Simon Brooks and John Stubbs. All were suitably dressed in traditional canal wear; something which demanded some quick costume changes on the part of Janet and John as they took the roles of various characters in canal history!
The beginnings of the canal era were covered, from the building of the first canal by the Duke of Bridgewater, through its heyday in the 18th and early 19th centuries, to its decline due to competition from the railways and the demands of The Great War. Simon, who provided the narration, introduced the various events and characters from the canal era which were then recounted in poems and stories from John Stubbs or songs from Janet, Suzie and John Meleady who also played guitar. The stories were given further meaning by a succession of slides, projected onto a screen at the back of the stage or readings from a copy of “The Illustrated London News” of the time.
The songs had all been composed by Suzie Litton-Wood and John Meleady and excellent they were too, telling the stories in plain words, helped enormously by the singing which was so clear you could hear every word. The melodies too were catchy and memorable and I particularly liked the arrangements where Suzie and Janet sang together with some stunning harmonies.
The show was around two hours long with an interval and I have seldom known time pass so quickly and enjoyably! “A Cut Through Time” is an excellent production and, if you get the chance to see it, then I thoroughly recommend it to you.
David Zelder - New Writers UK
"On Saturday we went to The Pomegranate
Theatre at Chesterfield to see a musical "A Cut Through Time". It
was written by a fellow New Writer member Suzie Litton-Wood. The
show is a history of the canals from over 200 years ago right up to
the demise of the network in the 1960's. With a cast of 5 the
performance was fast moving with a great selection of original
songs, poems and instrumentals and the cast in costume, with a great
selection of original slides illustrating the spoken word. We
thoroughly enjoyed the performance and managed to speak with Suzie
afterwards. A boater herself, she knows her subject well.
Keepers Lock - A Cut through Time