An award-winning Lancashire comedian who has entertained audiences all over the world plans to shine a spotlight on Great Harwood in her next show and is looking to speak to women with a connection to the town to inspire the production.
Ruth Cockburn, who says her home-town of Blackpool is ‘one of the best places in the world’, is writing the show which will premiere at Great Harwood Library this autumn before heading out on tour.
Called ‘Miss Nobodies’, the show is named after a book by the late Lancashire-born author Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, who became the first working class woman in Britain to have a novel published.
Ruth’s initial plans to engage with local businesses and head out to meet and interview Great Harwood women have been delayed, but she is making the most of modern technology to virtually connect with locals who are providing the inspiration for her writing. And she is hoping to speak to more.
Ruth said; “I’m so excited about this show, particularly as I’m not able to perform at the moment. I’m putting all my energy into writing ‘Miss Nobodies’ and I’m having an absolute ball hearing women’s stories about Great Harwood that otherwise may never have been shared. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried.
“When I talk to people who aren’t local, not many have heard of Great Harwood and that’s one thing I want to change through this show. It seems more relevant than ever that isolation is one of the themes I also wanted to explore. Isolation is something people from small, rural communities have a lot of experience of.
“I also want to amplify the voices of women in Lancashire who perhaps haven’t had a voice before. Women like Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, who is such an inspiration to me. Sadly, despite her creative success she died penniless and unknown but now her books are becoming popular with a new generation.
“I’m really keen to hear from people with a connection to Great Harwood. The words of people I’m interviewing will be part of the fabric of my new show. It’s going to be very special and I’m really looking forward to performing again.”
Miss Nobodies has been commissioned by Spot On Lancashire, a strategic, grassroots arts service run by people who love to support volunteers in isolated communities and in urban library settings. They are “passionate about audiences and believe they deserve a great night out on their doorstep”.
Sue Robinson, Director at Spot On Lancashire “ We are delighted to be working with Ruth on this project. She has such a good eye for a story and we can’t wait to see the finished show. Small shows in cosy spaces are a lovely way to bring people together and we look forward to the time when we can celebrate Great Harwood in style”
Ruth also does stand-up comedy and regularly performs across Europe. She has appeared at the National Theatre, The Comedy Store and Shakespeare’s Globe.
To contact Ruth and for more information about Miss Nobodies visit www.ruthecockburn.co.uk
To follow her blog about the process of creating the show and other ramblings visit www.ruthecockburn.co.uk/easy-blog