Free performance event in the John Thaw Studio Theatre, Martin Harris Centre
Wednesday 7th December, 4.30pm to 6.00pm
Too Much of Water / Salt’s Waters by Steve Bottoms, with Eddie Lawler
This special presentation is a double bill of short theatre pieces devised as part of Steve Bottoms’s current research project, “Towards Hydro-Citizenship”. They consider our current and historical relationships with water from different angles and using different aesthetics. Both pieces focus “site-specifically” on the Shipley and Saltaire area of West Yorkshire, but the stories resonate much more broadly.
Too Much of Water is Steve’s solo storytelling performance, written in response to the major flood event that hit Shipley on Boxing Day last year. Based on personal interviews with a range of those people affected by the flooding, it explores what can happen to people’s homes and wellbeing when there is just “too much of water”. The title comes from Shakespeare, and the props from a doll’s house, and the story is told with a streak of black comedy, while also taking seriously the impact of the floods. This half-hour performance was devised for this September’s Saltaire Festival, and has since appeared during the autumn in Exeter, Cambridge, London and Leeds.
Salt’s Waters combines Steve’s narratives with original, live music from singer-songwriter Eddie Lawler. It looks at the same area – Yorkshire’s Aire valley – from a more historical point of view, by considering the development and decline of industry, in relation to the rivers and canals that facilitated the expansion and extension of commercial activity in this previously “green and pleasant land”. Sir Titus Salt, who built the model Victorian mill village of Saltaire, was an enlightened Victorian entrepreneur, but his is not the only story explored in this 50-minute presentation, which asks spectators to look again at the waterways around us, and how they shaped the world we still live in…
There will be a short interval between the two pieces, and free refreshments. The atmosphere, we hope, will be relaxed and intimate. All welcome!