Behind the Scenes with The Sarah Siddons Theatre Company
Study Days and Performances
The Sarah Siddons Fan Club Theatre always emphasis that all the productions are based on actual historic incidents, performed in site specific venues – but we are not sure everyone believes us! So we are taking you behind the scenes with two events with our friends at Pear Tree Church. Our research historians will be presenting lectures linked to two of our most popular productions.
The first will be the story of The Ship Titanic which will be coupled with mini performances from the show.
Titanic Study Day & Performances
Southampton & the Titanic
Geoff Watts, a longstanding member of the SSFC theatre, is also a tourist guide for Southampton and the Hamble Valley as well as being a member of the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery. Geoff will set the scene for the day explaining why Titanic was in Southampton for its maiden voyage. He will look at the impact on the town and its people, including looking at the Titanic ‘graves’ in the Old Cemetery and the various memorials and buildings associated with the story.
A Family Story and the Titanic Fund
Dr Mary South, a founder member of the SSFC theatre, is also a Blue Badge tourist guide, and has a PhD in history. She also has direct experience of the impact of the sinking of the Titanic, as her grandfather was lost in the tragedy and her father was brought up supported by the Titanic Fund. Using her research skills, she has investigated her family history and will share this compelling story today.
Pear Tree Families & the After Life of the Titanic
Dr Cheryl Butler, is also a founder member of the SSFC theatre, who writes and produces many of the shows. She is a Blue Badge tourist guide, has a PhD in history and has written a number of books about aspects of Southampton’s history. Cheryl will use family documents to illustrate the impact of the disaster on the parish of Pear Tree as well as looking at the ‘after life’ of the Titanic in films and plays including the productions of the Sarah Siddons Theatre
Interspersed by special performances from our Titanic production
Our second study day will see our research historians, who will be presenting lectures linked to our most popular productions about Southampton Spa, coupled with mini performances from the shows.
25th June Jane & Sarah (& The Marquis) Study Day
A study day looking at Southampton’s time as a successful Watering Place and Spa, when it attracted among its visitors and residents writers such as Jane Austen, actors like Sarah Siddons and aristocrats like the Marquis of Lansdowne. This study day will look at the history and research that inspired plays such as Taking The Flounce, Mr Darcy’s Dinner at the Botley Park, Jane Austen’s Picnic at Netley Abbey, and Scandal Sheets
Jane Austen & Southampton Spa
Dr Cheryl Butler, is a founder member of the SSFC theatre, who writes and produces many of the Sarah Siddons Theatre shows. She is a Blue Badge tourist guide, has a PhD in history and has written a number of books about aspects of Southampton’s history, including Jane Austen & Southampton Spa and St Mary-over-the-Water: the story of Pear Tree Church and has published articles in the Jane Austen Society Journal, and in Persuasions the journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She has spoken at the national conference of the Jane Austen Society and the international JASNA conference and at study days at Chawton House, and the Jane Austen Museum. Cheryl will explore the history of Southampton’s hundred years as a spa, and links with Jane Austen.
Jean Watts, tourist guide for Southampton has led walks retracing Jane Austen’s outing from her house in Castle Square to Pear Tree, and back, and is also active in the U3A Local History Group. She has a fascination with a former resident of Pear Tree, and Jane Austen’s landlord the notorious Marquis of Lansdowne, thought by some to be an inspiration for the Scarlet Pimpernel, and by others as a scandalous pursuer of other men’s wives
The Story of Sarah Siddons
Geoff Watts, a longstanding member of the SSFC theatre, is also a tourist guide for Southampton and the Hamble Valley as well as being a member of the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery. He will talk about the life of the great tragic actress Sarah Siddons, former resident of Southampton, the favourite of Jane Austen, and the inspiration for The Sarah Siddons Fan Club Theatre. This will include the Southampton connection.
Behind The Scenes with Sarah Siddons
Michael Farleigh a leading light of the SSFC Theatre, and director of many notorious Ghost Walk productions which look at the dark underbelly of Southampton’s long history, will lift the curtain on the challenges of performing street theatre.
To book either Study Day visit www.wegottickets.com/sarahsiddonsfanclub