Canary goes on tour

Published: 28 September 2018
Reporter: Peter Lathan

A North East-developed physical theatre piece, Canary by Fun in the Oven Theatre, will tour nationally during November.

Set in a munitions factory during the First World War, Canary tells the stories of the girls who worked there making shells, girls whose skin was turned bright yellow by contact with the toxic chemicals with which they worked.

“The show has been created from historical research,” explained company member Katie Tranter. “We were fascinated by the lives of these women and decided to explore their stories in detail with material discovered at the Tyne and Wear Archives, Gretna’s Devil’s Porridge Museum and the Imperial War Museums.

“We found some truly incredible testimonies. By 1916, millions of women had been recruited into the war effort; they formed factory football teams, wore shorts for the first time and they suddenly had their own money—hitting the pubs on a Friday night—a social revolution!”

Canary may be set 100 years ago but it is no museum piece; it’s a multi-disciplinary show combining physical theatre with innovative sound design; it’s darkly comical and was created in collaboration with the award-winning Spanish physical theatre company Teatro En Vilo.

It’s an international collaboration and the creative team includes sound composer Roma Yagnik, director Andrea Jimenez, film maker Lesley Anne Rose, movement director Noemi Fernandez and performers Alys North, Robyn Hambrook and Katie Tranter. The show was developed with the guidance of academic Dr Tracy Elisabeth Gillman.

The tour is supported by the Arts Council England and Sunday for Sammy. It is also a partner of the Royal British Legion's Thank You Campaign which is encouraging the nation to say thank you to the First World War generation who “served, sacrificed and changed our world”.

The tour is produced in association with CaroleW Productions.

Canary tours to:

  • Thursday 8 November : Norden Farm Centre for the Arts 7:30PM
  • Friday 9 November : The Beehive, Honiton
  • Sunday 11 November : Blue Elephant Theatre, London, 4:30PM & 7:30PM
  • Tuesday 13 November : Theatre Delicatessen, Sheffield, 7:30PM
  • Wednesday 21 November : Interplay Theatre, Leeds 7:30PM
  • Thursday 22 November : Visionari Festival, York Theatre Royal, 7:45PM
  • Friday 23 November : Circomedia, Bristol, 7:30PM
  • Monday 26 November : Hereford Courtyard, 7:45PM
  • Friday 30 November at Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle, 1:30PM & 7:30PM