This project involved Tyne & Wear Archives and Newcastle University Special Collections working with the Hotspur Primary School in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Directed by drama practitioner Neil Tonge, students from the Performing Arts Department of Northumbria University played roles in dramatic recreations of events relating to the death of Elizabeth Graham, a historical case of neglect in the Newcastle workhouse system in 1839.
Living history activities were staged in various locations including Newcastle’s historic Guildhall, the Discovery Museum and Tyne & Wear Archives.
The children investigated conditions in the workhouse, questioned the characters in the case and acted as the jury deciding the result of the inquest.
The children also produced a series of tableaux illustrating the Victorian poem ‘Christmas Day in the Workhouse’.