With just over a week to go before we perform Tigress, rehearsals this weekend will see our fantastic cast of dancers, drummers and choirs all coming together at Tamworth Castle. There have been some really magical moments so far, and we’re very excited to see what happens when all of our community groups come together to rehearse!

As part of the Tigress project members of a Tamworth craft therapy group have helped create a unique artwork that will form a key element of the performances on 9th and 10th May. The huge stained glass window design on fabric will drop down from the bandstand at the end of the show.

Designed by well-known Tamworth artist Maggie Carney, who spent months working on the project with the help of clients and volunteers at the Tamworth Wellbeing and Cancer Support Centre, it is made up of a number of panels depicting Celtic motifs, musical instruments, the Saxon flag, the Mercian flag, stonemasons at work, a quote from the Anglo Saxon chronicle, a Viking ship, a map of Mercia, and the letter ‘A’ for Aethelflaeda as it would have been written then.

The names of all the volunteers who contributed to the project have also been included on the work, written in Anglo Saxon Runes.

This week we’ve been talking Tigress with Sophy Smith who has composed the original music for the show with Tim Dickinson. We caught up with her when she was in Tamworth rehearsing with members of the local choir who will help bring Tigress to life on May 9th and 10th.

As dancers and choirs began rehearsing together on location at Tamworth Castle, we started to see just how amazing the show is going to be. Don’t miss it. Tamworth is a talented place.

As we get to know Aethelfleda better and better, we like her more and more. This week, an article on the BBC Get Creative website, reminds us that in a recent BBC Four programme King Alfred and the Anglo Saxons, historian presenter Michael Wood said “In the early middle ages it was hard for any woman to take a leading role in events…yet without Aethelfleda, England might never have happened.” Wow. We certainly are proud of our Lady of the Mercians.

Kevin Finnan Talks Tigress


Artistic Director Kevin Finnan has been talking about Tigress! Have a listen here:

You will have worked out by now that Aethelfleda was a pretty impressive lady. We thought it would be nice to start giving you some snippets of information on her incredible achievements, so we’re starting today. Did you know that in addition to leading her army to defeat the invading Vikings, Aethelfleda is also credited with building nine forts in the Mercian area including Tamworth (of course!), Bridgenorth, Stafford, Eddisbury, Warwick, Chirbury and Runcorn. Wow!

Motionhouse dancer Alasdair Stewart had a great time early in the week working with students from Landau Forte Academy Tamworth 6th Form! Well done to everyone for all the hard work!

The whole Motionhouse team is off to Tamworth this weekend as the rehearsal process gains momentum. Sophy Smith and Tim Dickinson, the composers of the original score, will also be there to work with the singers and the choir. Things are really coming together now!!