Jefny Ashcroft: Drama Specialist

Coming soon

Murchison and the Miners — a Wren’s Nest miner loves his beer and his fossils with equal passion. Dudley Archives, Tipton Rd, Dudley (next to Black Country Living Museum). Performances: Monday 8th November 1 — 1.30 pm, Thursday 10th November 6.30 — 7.00 pm, Saturday 12th November 1 — 1.30 pm.

Murchison picture Murchison picture via Wikimedia Commons

Because of limited space, the free tickets must be obtained before each performance. Details of ticketing shortly. The play is suitable for adults and sixteen plus.

Surnamed Africanus, the first part of my Arts-friendly Archives project, had three well-received performances. Additionally the production was filmed by Wolverhampton University’s Phil Nichols and his students and the video will be premièred as part of the WOLF (Wolverhampton Original Literature Festival) programme at Wolverhampton Archives, all day, on Saturday 28th January 2017. See the WOLF programme or this site nearer the time for further details.

The Arts-friendly Archives project is supported by the Arts Council and involves three plays in three venues: Wolverhampton, Dudley (November 2016) and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford upon Avon (May 2017).

Making history

I write and produce professionally-acted and directed plays. These are frequently based on actual historical events researched by myself.

My approach is three-pronged: adult drama involving communities in various venues including open-air ones; plays for children both in schools and historic and characterful buildings; and informal, sometimes promenade, site-specific pieces for adults in archives, museums and art galleries.

People’s memories of their area’s past and their own experiences are also important in my script-writing. I aim to create a rapport with audiences who may not see theatre as something they normally do.

How d'you know that?

What I offer

Using my own research, I create engaging, entertaining and informative plays. My audiences span primary pupils, young people and adults.

Whether you want to spotlight an important piece of local history or a building or a collection I can collaborate with you to produce a unique piece of theatre. And we could film it for future use.

Previous projects

June 2016, Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, Dudley. In the Land of Glass and Saucepans, was a free, half-hour, outdoor comedy staged in the park’s charming Tea Gardens (with gazebo shelter when it rained).

In the land of glass and saucepans, performance

The play celebrated Dudley Council’s Heritage Lottery-funded refurbishment of Mary Stevens Park. There were schools performances for audiences from years five and six, and free performances for the general public at the weekend.

Wolverhampton City Council commissioned two outdoor pieces for the re-opening (following an HLF grant) of their East Park: Daisy, Daisy a comedy for adults and We all love a paddle for children and grandparents.

Daisy, Daisy: first performance

The HLF-funded, How d’you know that? was performed live at Sandwell archives and then premièred as a film. The HLF also funded the professional filming of the performance and a short documentary about the project. These can be viewed here.

Other schools productions have ranged from A is for Archives (KS1) about a Georgian slave who once lived in the building which now houses the Wolverhampton Archives, to We started it!, about the Victorian origins of Wolverhampton Wanderers, performed in six primary schools, to a seven-minute film I produced with Madeley construction students, about their town’s buildings (Stories in Stone).

My adult pieces include the promenade performance Civic Pride at Bantock House Museum, A Matter of Interpretation which responds to an exhibit at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and Pupil Teacher, performed in the intimacy of Bantock’s Arts-and-Crafts parlour.

A matter of interpretation

Would you like me to work with you?

I can write comedy or more serious drama. I have good working relations with a number of Archives and particularly welcome writing site-specific pieces for such institutions.

Plays start at 15 minutes but can be considerably longer depending on your anticipated audience.

Please feel free to contact me to arrange an informal discussion.

Here is a complete listing of my previous plays which have been performed.