We now have a story to tell. We are very excited that our writer, Suzi Hopkins has come up with a creative theme to explore – the role that Mayfield women have played in bringing about social and political change.
Voting in Mayfield 1918
The story will also explore how local people campaigned for the vote, as the date of our performances will commemorate the centenary of The Representation of the People Act, 1918 that granted all men over the age of 21 a vote in the 1918 general election, as well as women over 30 who met a property qualification. Although 8.5 million women met this criteria, it only represented 40 per cent of the total population of women in the UK.
Our play will explore how local people campaigned for the vote, so if you have any family stories of Suffragettes or Suffragists in Mayfield, then please contact us – any snippet of information is valuable.
St Dunstan and the Devil
Mayfield’s famous legend of St Dunstan’s temptation by the devil, disguised as a beautiful woman will also be central to our play.
The legend tells how, one day when St Dunstan was working in his smithy, the devil came to him disguised as a beautiful woman who began talking about spiritual matters but then fell to flirting. St. Dunstan seeing a cloven hoof under the girl’s skirt, picked up his red hot tongs and clamped them round the Devil’s nose, who shrieked. When St. Dunstan released him, the devil fled to Tunbridge Wells to cool his nose in the waters there.
And in looking at influential Mayfield women it would be impossible not to focus on Cornelia Connelly who did so much to support and champion girls’ education in the nineteenth century as well as founding the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and Mayfield Girls School.
We will be exploring ideas to help construct the story of our play over the next few months. Our writer, Suzi Hopkins and director, Stephen Israel will visit local groups and individuals to listen to memories and stories about Mayfield past and present. The ideas people come up with Suzi will turn into our very own village play.
If you enjoy telling tales or have ideas about life in the area, then look out for more information on our Facebook page about where and when you can meet up with Suzi Hopkins, our writer, and Stephen Israel, our director.