Alice To Be Remembered On Stage
Date posted: 7 April 2011
One of Derby's historic but forgotten daughters is being remembered in the latest play to be produced by county theatre company Sustained Magic.
Alice is being performed in the Derby Studio community space at the University of Derby-owned Derby Theatre next week (April 12-16).
The plot centres on Derby-born Alice Wheeldon, who was accused of plotting to murder British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in 1917. She was a socialist, suffragette and a conscientious objector, and was held in Derby's Guildhall Prison cells awaiting trial.
She became known as 'that Wheeldon woman' and went on to be tried at the Old Bailey in London while the world's press watched.
Billed as 'One Derby woman versus The Government', Sustained Magic picks up the plot with a setting in the Old Bailey as the highest court in the land decides Alice Wheeldon's fate.
Sustained Magic Theatre Company's Angela Truby works as a Marketing Officer within the Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences at the University of Derby and wrote Alice.
Angela said: "With striking resonances to the contemporary political landscape, Alice's story of activism in a country at war, paranoid over a fearful sinister foe, sounds eerily familiar.
"Find out what happens when an ordinary person dares to stand her ground. The establishment can wreak a terrible retribution."
Local history group Derby People's History are delighted that Alice Wheeldon's story is to be depicted in this way by being brought to the stage, and is organising a public talk on Alice Wheeldon in the studio at 2pm on Saturday 16 April.
The theatre company was in the news at the turn of the year when Rhiannon Prytherch battled back from a brain haemorrhage to star in the company's last play, Release. Rhiannon studied a BA (Hons) in Theatre Arts degree from 2002 to 2005 at the University of Derby and is one of its graduates, and a member of Sustained Magic along with Artistic Director Matt Green, Ed Kennedy and James Glazebrook.
The latest play Alice will be shown from Tuesday 12 April to Saturday 16 April, with all showings at 8pm. For more details, contact Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800. Tickets cost £10, with concessions: £8, and NUS entry for £7.