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Our Kitty is coming home…
The play Kitty: Queen of the Washhouse is one that celebrates one of our own famed Liverpudlians, Kitty Wilkinson (1786–1860), whose community efforts for public hygiene helped stem the outbreak of cholera, leading to the opening of the first combined washhouse and public baths in the United Kingdom. A pioneer that many people know of but may not comprehend her dramatic life story. It will highlight the importance of working within a community in a time where more and more people are becoming socially isolated. Technologically, we can connect with people on the other side of the world, yet we sometimes don’t talk to our closest neighbours.
In 2019, the play was performed here in Liverpool in schools, including St. Vincent de Paul (the site of her original washhouse) and Broad Square. Kitty: Queen of the Washhouse was performed to over 1,500 primary school pupils, to two standing ovations in the Concert Room of St George’s Hall and via a rural tour. 3,032 theatregoers are all better informed about the great lady and hopefully inspired.
Now, we are bringing the production back! And will go on to perform in London and New York City.
This play will appeal to those who want to see a strong female character, and is suitable for ages 7 and above – a great experience for children and adults alike.
The piece will be told by Kitty’s statue, come to life as a friendly spirit. It is a highly animated portrayal and physical performance, as Kitty relays her fascinating against-all-odds story, which has since seen her be commemorated with what is currently the only female statue in St George’s Hall. The audiences will leave with Kitty’s “I can” philosophy. They might also accept her challenge to help get more female statues in St George’s Hall and the neighbouring St John’s Gardens!
History lovers, local, national and international, feminists, those from Irish backgrounds and Liverpudlians will all have a natural connection with this theatre piece. We want people to feel like they understand how Liverpool was in the 1830s. We want them to feel like they have totally immersed in Kitty’s life story and have a deeper understanding of the political, social climate she lived in. We want them to feel inspired at how Kitty kept on going when faced with adversity. We want her resilience to serve as a catalyst to inspire people to be the best version of themselves and to take a little bit of Kitty’s attitude away with them from the evening.