Platform Team - Ada at Lyceum

Have you heard of Ada Nield Chew?

If not, you soon will thanks to a new play written and produced by Platform Theatre.

In 1894, Ada wrote a series of anonymous letters to the Crewe Chronicle, signed from a “Crewe Factory Girl”.

The letters spoke about the working conditions in a local clothing factory and the lack of living wage for working class women.

The letters caused a public outrage, and ultimately changed Ada’s life forever.

Platform are a new professional company based in Crewe, created and led by Sean Johnson-Hargreaves, Treona Holden and Jacob Taylor.

Their aim is to create, share and develop new theatre for the local area.

When writer Sean John-Hargreaves found out about Ada and her connections to Crewe and Nantwich, he knew that this was a story he wanted to tell.

“We don’t know why people don’t know about her. She was remarkable.

“It’s such an important story, people need to know about her and the history around them.”

Jacob Taylor agrees: “It’s easy for these local stories to be missed. Working class women often get forgotten.

“It’s important that the stories are retold and remembered.”

Ada’s achievements are often overlooked, but so much of what she wrote is still relevant today.

By re-telling her story Platform hopes that people will remember Ada and be proud of their local heroine and her achievements.

The company is excited to see Ada’s story come alive, and it feels fitting that the premier will be at The Crewe Lyceum, in the very town in which Ada fought for equality.

“Everyone at The Lyceum has been very supportive of us bringing Ada to the stage.

“We’re excited to be showing it at Crewe.”

Jacob says: “I can’t wait to see it. We have a great mix of actors, I’m sure people will enjoy it.”

Sean says he was initially drawn to Ada’s strength and bravery.

What she did in 1894 was remarkable, her activism pre-dates the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded in 1903, and the later work of the Suffragettes.

But her story doesn’t stop there.

Ada spent years working for the rights of others, holding positions on The Nantwich Board of Guardians and the Crewe Independent Labour Party.

She was a pacifist and a member of the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom in the First World War.

Throughout her life she continued to work for many different causes, and wrote articles and stories for the Freewoman and the Clarion.

Ada is now remembered as a leading British suffragist and political activist who fought for the rights of women.

Ada premieres on 14-15 June, 2019 at the Studio Theatre, Crewe Lyceum.

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