Hannah Kate

poet, short story writer and editor based in Manchester

June 24, 2019

North Manchester FM: A Helping of History, Tuesday 25 June, 12-2pm

Join me on Tuesday at 12 for another Helping of History on North Manchester FM. This week, I’ll be talking to Jacqui Carroll of REELmcr about their film Our Sam, the Middleton Man.

Our Sam, the Middleton Man is a new community film by REELmcr, which recognises Peterloo legend Sam Bamford. Radical reformer and writer, Samuel Bamford, is beyond doubt Middleton’s most famous ‘forgotten’ son, having inspired a call for an end to poverty and the beginning of democracy, and having led a group of marchers from Middleton to St Peter’s Fields in August 1819, for what was subsequently known as the Peterloo Massacre.

But what relevance has Mr Bamford got for the now, as we approach the 200th anniversary of Peterloo? Community media company, REELmcr, produced by Middleton’s Jacqui Carroll, has worked with hundreds of local people over the last two years to make a film that brings Samuel Bamford back to modern day Middleton, introducing him to a whole new generation. The film, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, saw young people develop a script, having gone on heritage trails to learn more about Sam Bamford. And the local hero’s real words were used in the subsequent drama, which follows the story of teenager Samantha, as she brings together the town’s young people to represent themselves in a positive way – with Sam’s encouragement that ‘there’s strength in unity lass’.

The film premiered at the Middleton Arena on Friday 26th April, and it is being screened at Manchester Central Library on Thursday 27th June, as part of the Manchester Histories Festival’s Peterloo programme. Further screenings will take place at Touchstones, Rochdale, Stockport Library, the Working Class Movement Library and the Miners Community Arts and Music Centre in Moston.

I’ll be talking to Jacqui about the film, and about Samuel Bamford’s relevance to modern-day Middleton, on this week’s show. And, of course, I’ll also be taking my usual look through Yesterday’s Papers in the second hour!

Catch A Helping of History on Tuesday at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

June 22, 2019

North Manchester FM: Hannah’s Bookshelf, Saturday 29 June, 2-4pm

Tune in to Hannah’s Bookshelf on North Manchester FM on Saturday 29th June at 2pm for a Greater Manchester Fringe Special!

The Greater Manchester Fringe first took place in 2012 with six different venues and a handful of shows in each. It is now in its eighth year, and there are hundreds of performances on this year’s programme (across 30 venues), which runs from 1st-31st July. The GM Fringe is a multi-venue open access arts festival providing support for all art forms to show their work, creating an arts community, and encouraging first time participation in arts production and performances across Greater Manchester. On this week’s show I’ll be talking to some of the writers, directors and performers who are taking part in the 2019 festival.

Here’s what’s coming up on the show…

Blue Lines

Winner of the Hive Award 2019, Blue Lines is Stefanie Moore’s debut play and has been developed under the mentorship of Tim Firth. Starting a new school is tough, especially if you’re a teacher faced with the unthinkable – sex education classes. Lots of them. It’s also tough if you’re the new girl and your drunken deflowering in the car park comes back to haunt you. So what happens when the new girl and the new teacher turn to each other for solace? Based on true (and horrifying) experiences of telling kids what happens when you ‘do it’, Blue Lines is a play about fertility, weird friendships and coping with the unexpected. I talked to writer Stefanie Moore (who you may remember from my That’s What She Said Special back in March) to find out more.

Drowning in Silence

Drowning in Silence began its life in a new writing evening as part of Shelagh Delaney Day 2018 and has now been developed into a one act play through workshop and collaboration. Michelle and Jane are sisters who were once very close… but then one day things changed. Their mother was always a free spirit, the life and soul of every family occasion. All appeared perfect until one day the family of four became three. Talking became a thing of the past, and each child and their father seemingly lived separate lives, dealing with the changes out of their control. I caught up with writer Roni Ellis to hear more about Drowning in Silence.

The Riot Act

On 12th August 1842, just 23 years after the Peterloo Massacre, Lancashire cotton-workers again marched in protest at appalling pay and conditions. Reaching Preston’s Lune Street the protesters were confronted by the authorities and read the Riot Act. By 13th August, seven men had been shot and four were dead. Written by Rob Johnston (long-listed for the 2017 Royal Exchange Bruntwood Prize and winner of Best Drama at the 2017 Greater Manchester Fringe Festival for Dark Satanic) and performed by Jake Talbot and Christopher Ward, The Riot Act is a gripping mix of tragedy and humour telling the story of those caught up in the momentous events of 1842. The Riot Act is being performed as part of Manchester Histories Peterloo 2019, a programme of events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. I spoke to writer Rob Johnston about the play.

Me, You and George Clooney

MaD Theatre Company has been creating original plays since 1996, illustrating themes and issues relevant to ordinary Northern working class folk. Their latest play Me, You and George Clooney is a heart-warming comedy about gossip, friendship and family… and Mr Clooney makes an appearance too! Nellie has not been out since she was mugged. She spends all day internet shopping and watching daytime telly, which is of great concern to her careworker Nigel, whose visits are a godsend. Nellie and Nigel watch her favourite programme, This Morning, together over a biscuit and a brew. To find out more about MaD Theatre’s new comedy play, I chatted to Rob Lees and Jill Hughes.

People are Happy on Trains

People are Happy on Trains follows a young woman as she deals with the grief of losing someone close to her. The play is set entirely on a train, and through her monologues and interactions with three other passengers on the train, her experience of loss becomes apparent. Grief is a universal experience, and this play showcases an experience that audiences will recognize, and never forget. I caught up with playwright Anna Doyle to find out more.

The Melting of a Single Snowflake

The Melting of a Single Snowflake is a new play by Salford Art Theatre’s writer-in-residence, Libby Hall. A group of outcasts, freaks and weirdos find friendship and common ground during the Summer holidays, after the disappearance of a local schoolboy unites them and forces them to examine the role they each played in his life. As they embark on a mission to find him, it becomes clear that the events of Summer ’19 will stay with them forever. This is a coming-of-age play that looks at the darker side of humanity, the ugly things that motivate and connect us. I talked to writer Libby Hall to find out more.

Underwater / When Liam Met Emmeline in Manchester / The Suitcase, the Beggar and the Wind

Gare du Nord Theatre are putting on three – very different – immersive productions at this year’s Fringe. The first is Underwater, a show in the dark, in which sea creatures and humans face the environmental apocalypse. In these three short plays, jellyfish fight turtles, killer whales discuss veganism, and prawns tickle people. Next, Liam Gallagher and Emmeline Pankhurst team up and take visitors on a two hour walkabout theatrical performance through Manchester, in an event that blends street-art theatre, historic facts, strolling around, surprises and a titbit of Mancunian twang. And then there’s The Suitcase, the Beggar and the Wind, a site-specific play in a disused warehouse on Stockport Train Station. Taking us back to the golden age of steam, it’s a piece that makes us think more about our journey ahead. I talked to Geoff Baker to find out more about Gare du Nord’s productions.

The Death of a Muse

Irish Poet W.B. Yeats was a romantic mystic with a temper that could not be held. But more than that, he was irrevocably in love with Maud Gonne. The suffragette was an activist first and mother second, with more than a few skeletons in her closet. Centuries after they have departed from the mortal realm, The Death of a Muse takes a look back at the lives and loves of the pair. All the world is watching as the two throw stones and try to condemn the other to an eternity of suffering. It is up to the audience to decide who will go to hell and who will go to heaven – iron-hearted Maud or self-centred William? I spoke to writer Róisín Doherty, plus cast members Patrick, Meg and Kerry, to find out more.

Sian Davies: About Time

Winner of the Hive Award 2019, About Time is a new solo show from comedian Sian Davies (Hilarity Bites Winner 2018). Growing up is hard, but most people manage it. Sian Davies waited until she was 27 to grow up. Everyone agreed, it was about time. About Time asks you to join Sian on her hilarious journey of self discovery. I chatted to comedy writer Sian Davies about the show.

 

The Yank is a Manc! My Ancestors and Me

A stand-up show based on a true story. In a fish-out-of-water comedy of errors, Hopwood DePree tells how he gave up Tinseltown to save his 600-year-old ancestral pile. Expect family history, culture clashes and plenty of calamities as Hopwood finds out if someone from Hollywood can make it in Rochdale. You may remember that I interviewed Hopwood DePree for A Helping of History back in November 2017. I caught up with him again to find out all about his new stand-up show.

The Greek

Manchester comedian and playwright, Lewis Charlesworth, brings his second feature play to the GM Fringe. A comic tale of a divided family, in troubling times… Northern England, 2015. The country builds to a referendum, and Mary is poor, old, alone and angry. With only a clingy neighbour to talk to, she awaits the arrival of a long-lost relative. But revealing him could cause quite a stir. The Greek is a tender comedy-drama about British identity, and the humanity on both sides of a divided country. Lewis Charlesworth has been a guest on Hannah’s Bookshelf twice before (on last year’s GM Fringe Special, and then on the regular show in November), so it was great to catch up with him again to talk about The Greek.

Mémoires d’un Amnésique

Mémoires d’un Amnésique: A Reflection of the Life and Work of Erik Satie is, in equal parts, a piano recital, a one-man play and a surrealist film, amalgamated into a unique theatrical experience. Alex Metcalfe performs Satie’s most important works, in character as the composer from the set of his Arceuil apartment. Sarah Miles’s script, edited from Satie’s own words, is narrated against the backdrop of Keith Lovegrove’s cinematic accompaniment. The show is narrated in French with English subtitles. I talked to performer Alex Metcalfe to find out more about the show (and totally mangle some French pronunciation).

You can hear all of these interviews on Saturday 29th June at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

June 16, 2019

North Manchester FM: A Helping of History, Tuesday 18 June, 12-2pm

Join me on Tuesday at 12 for another Helping of History on North Manchester FM. This week, I’ll be talking to Zara Hakobyan, who initiated and managed the recent exhibition at Central Library: Aratta: Armenian Heritage in the North West.

The first Armenians who settled in Manchester in 1835 were silk merchants. And by 1862, it is estimated there were 30 Armenian businesses in the city. The Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, on Manchester’s Upper Brook Street, was consecrated in 1870 and is the oldest Armenian church in the UK. Aratta, which was on at Manchester’s Central Library until 16th June, takes a look at the lives of some of the Armenian diaspora who have been making the region their home since the mid-nineteenth century. Fifteen people, aged from 22-66, have recorded oral histories, interviews where they talk unguardedly about their lives, experiences, family stories and memories. Portraits were taken at locations chosen by the interviewees, by photographers Robert Binder and Darren Bullock.

The project was initiated and managed by Zara Hakobyan – an Armenian researcher living in the north west – and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Now that the exhibition is over, the recordings will continue to be available on an Aratta website, and will be preserved in the archives of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre at Manchester’s Central Library.

I’ll be talking to Zara about the Aratta research and exhibition on this week’s show. And, of course, I’ll also be taking my usual look through Yesterday’s Papers.

Catch the show on Tuesday at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

June 11, 2019

North Manchester FM: A Helping of History, Tuesday 11 June, 12-2pm

Join me on Tuesday at 12 on North Manchester FM for another Helping of History. This week, I’ll be sharing Three Tales of Old Chadderton.

Following the format of my previous ‘Three Tales’ shows (Crumpsall, Cheetham Hill, Collyhurst… I’m going to run out of Cs soon!), I’ve got a selection of curious tales from Chadderton’s past. As always, these aren’t the stories that might make the history books, but a little slice of life drawn from a selection of local newspapers. I’ve got a falling-out between tradesmen brothers, hen-rustling, and a sweet little story about the Morecambe Illuminations in 1935. If there’s time, I also have a little bit of bonus Peterloo content (though, if I’m honest, that one’s Failsworth rather than Chadderton).

As well as these Chadderton curiosities, I’ll be taking my usual look through Yesterday’s Papers – and there might be a cheeky bonus theatre review for you as well!

Catch all this on Tuesday at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

June 5, 2019

North Manchester FM: Hannah’s Bookshelf, Saturday 8 June, 2-4pm

Join me on Saturday at 2pm on North Manchester FM for more from Hannah’s Bookshelf. This week, my guest will be the fab Kaite McKenna.

Kaite is a spoken word poet, writer, and interviewer based in Sydney, Australia. She has worked across multiple disciplines, including diplomacy and television, culminating a diverse set of interests that are reflected in her work. She lives with Chiari Malformation and syringomyelia, painful neurological conditions that affect the spinal cord. To date, she has undergone two brain surgeries to handle her conditions. From her professional and personal experience, she has become a vocal advocate for disability rights, LGBTQ rights, and women’s rights across the globe.

I’ll be talking to Kaite about her poetry, other writing and advocacy work on this week’s show. And, of course, she’ll be sharing her selections for this week’s Apocalypse Books.

But wait! There’s more! Two exciting bits of bonus content on Saturday’s show… I’ll be talking to Nicola and Christine from The Shaw Centre about Unicorns, Zombies and Other Stories, a book of children’s stories produced as part of a creative writing project at the centre. And you can also hear my review of dressed. at HOME Manchester.

Catch all this on Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

June 3, 2019

North Manchester FM: A Helping of History, Tuesday 4 June, 12-2pm

Join me on Tuesday at 12 for another Helping of History on North Manchester FM. This week, I’m talking Peterloo again… with another chance to parts of my interview with Polyp and Eva Schlunke, the creative team behind Peterloo: Witness to a Massacre, a new ‘verbatim’ graphic novel about the events of 16th August 1819.

A longer version of this interview was broadcast on Saturday’s Hannah’s Bookshelf, but as the topic is such a significant part of local history, I thought I’d share it with my Helping of History listeners as well. You can hear us discussing the book, and the historical sources, on Tuesday’s show.

In addition to this, I’ll also be taking my usual look through Yesterday’s Papers.

Catch the show on Tuesday at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

May 30, 2019

North Manchester FM: Hannah’s Bookshelf, Saturday 1 June, 2-4pm

Join me on Saturday at 2pm for another Hannah’s Bookshelf on North Manchester FM. This week, my guests will be the fantastic Polyp and Eva Schlunke, the creative minds behind Peterloo: Witnesses to a Massacre, a new graphic novel published by New Internationalist and Myriad Editions.

Peterloo: Witnesses to a Massacre is a unique, first-of-its-kind visual project, using only direct testimony of the time (letters, memoirs, journalist’s accounts, spies’ reports, courtroom evidence…) woven together using graphic-novel style illustrations created by professional cartoonist, illustrator and graphic novelist Polyp. The script was edited by Eva Schlunke, based on original research by Professor Robert Poole (University of Central Lancashire, consultant historian to the Peterloo 2019 anniversary programme).

Polyp (Paul Fitzgerald) is a full-time political cartoonist whose work has been published around the world by many different educational and campaign groups. He is author of Speechless, a word-free cartoon history of the world, and The Co-operative Revolution, a graphic novel about the history of the co-operative movement, and he is joint author (with Eva Schlunke) of the children’s book Little Worm’s Big Question. Polyp recently installed an 8ft Peterloo mural (based on the centre page image from the graphic novel) in the historic Abercromby pub near the sight of the massacre. He is the chair and founder of the Manchester-based Peterloo Memorial Campaign.

Eva Schlunke is a fine artist, illustrator, activist and campaign prop builder, and is joint editor of the book, helping compose the source documents into a dramatic narrative format. She created and was one of the key artists behind the ‘Peterloo Picnic’ and ‘Peterloo Tapestry’ mass participation public events of 2015/6. She also acted as script editor for the project.

I’m going to be talking to Eva and Paul about the new Peterloo graphic novel, and about the plans for the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre. And, of course, they’ll be sharing their selection for this week’s Apocalypse Books.

Catch the show on Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

May 23, 2019

North Manchester FM: Hannah’s Bookshelf, Saturday 25 May, 2-4pm

Join me on Saturday at 2pm on North Manchester FM for another episode of Hannah’s Bookshelf. This week, my guest will be the fab Frank Burton.

Frank is the author of the novel One Hundred (2019), and the short story collection A History of Sarcasm (Dog Horn, 2009), with more books on the way. His short story, ‘The World’, was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines programme in 2009. In 2010, he created the non-profit online publisher, Philistine Press, which has published over thirty eBooks by some amazing writers.

In 2017, Frank appeared on TV as part of BBC Ouch’s Storytelling Live at the Edinburgh Festival. He is also the presenter of music and comedy podcast, Ragbag.

I’ll be talking to Frank about One Hundred, and about his writing and work in general. And, of course, he’ll be sharing his selections for this week’s Apocalypse Books.

Catch the show on Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

May 17, 2019

North Manchester FM: A Helping of History, Tuesday 28 May, 12-2pm

Join me on Tuesday at 12 on North Manchester FM for A Helping of History. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to present the show I had planned about Babes in the Wood (or is it?) last week… but you can hear all about it this week instead!

I seem to be continually drawn to the Langley family at the moment. Not only did I devote an entire show to Langley in April, but two weeks ago the show was about Drinkwater Park, which once fell under the domain of the Langleys of Agecroft. But… this week’s show wasn’t inspired by either of those topics. In fact, it’s all about a little story I spotted while looking in to the history of Alkrington.

In his book Dark Irwell, Cyril Bracegirdle claims that the pantomime Babes in the Wood was inspired by a real-life event that took place in the fourteenth century. The story begins with an inheritance dispute between the Radcliffe, Prestwich, Langley and Holland families over lands at Alkrington and Prestwich. It’s a complicated story, involving illegitimate sons, a daughter retreating to a convent, suspicious marriages, and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. But by 1374 (so the story goes), the lands were being held in trust for the young Roger de Langley, who was still a minor. Step forward the dastardly Robert de Holland, intent on getting the lands for himself, who kidnapped Young Langley and his sister and whisked them away to the forest.

Did John of Gaunt really rescue Young Langley and his sister from the forest? Was this story really the inspiration for Babes in the Wood? What evidence is there for the villainous plotting of Robert de Holland? Find out on this week’s show!

As well as discussing this fourteenth-century legend, I’ll be taking my usual look through Yesterday’s Papers on the show.

Catch A Helping of History on Tuesday at 12 on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here:

May 13, 2019

North Manchester FM: Hannah’s Bookshelf, Saturday 18 May, 2-4pm

Join me on Saturday at 2pm for Hannah’s Bookshelf on North Manchester FM. This week, my guest will be the wonderful Tim Major.

Tim is a writer and editor from York. His love of speculative fiction is the product of a childhood diet of classic Doctor Who episodes and an early encounter with Triffids. Tim’s SF novel, Snakeskins, will be published by Titan Books in May 2019, followed by a short story collection, And the House Lights Dim. Tim’s earlier books include Machineries of Mercy, You Don’t Belong Here and a non-fiction book about the 1915 silent crime film, Les Vampires. His short stories have appeared in Interzone, Not One of Us, Shoreline of Infinity and numerous anthologies, including Best of British Science Fiction and The Best Horror of the Year. Tim is also co-editor of the British Fantasy Society’s fiction journal, BFS Horizons.

I’ll be talking to Tim about Snakeskins and And the House Lights Dim (as well as his other work) on Saturday’s show. And, of course, he’ll be sharing his selections for this week’s Apocalypse Books.

Catch the show on Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Missed the show? You can catch it again here: