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Explore the performances

You can view the available performances below. We will be releasing the films at regular intervals, so please do check back to see what's new. 

Girl from the Ministry on a Train

A young woman is in search of change.

Performed by Laura England.

Retired Colonial Civil Servant

As a Colonial Civil Servant laments his lost life of privilege and power, in 2021 Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya describes the devastating effects of the partition of India and Pakistan on his family. 

Performed by Nik Wood Jones, with additional commentary from Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya, University of York. 

The Spinster with a Secret

An older woman shares her unexpected secrets of a happy life.

Performed by Allison Saxton.

The Policeman

A policeman confides his frustrations and confesses his political allegiance.

Performed by Nik Wood Jones.

The Factory Worker's Night Out

For many women in the 1940s making ends meet was a constant struggle.

Performed by Allison Saxton.

A Young Poet

A young man explores his creative powers and his sexuality.  

In 1940s Britain, despite many people co-habiting, sex outside marriage was frowned on - unmarried women were under pressure to give their babies up for adoption and it wouldn't be until the 1960s that women had access to the contraceptive pill. Same-sex relationships between men were illegal. Growing opposition led to the Wolfenden Report in 1957, which concluded that “homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence”. The report's recommendations  laid the groundwork for the Sexual Offences Act in 1967, which partially legalised private same-sex acts in England and Wales between men over the age of 21. 

For more information on LGBTQ histories in the UK, visit the British Library LGBTQ Timeline:

Performed by Jack Evans-Rentsch.

A London Typist in Bayswater

The post-war period was a difficult time for women like the typist in a London bedsit who had experienced freedom and independence during the war.

Performed by Laura England.

The Bus Inspector

A bus inspector and devoted family man reflects on his life.

Performed by Nik Wood Jones.


A Reading Man

In 1948, just as the English Life and Leisure project was in full swing, the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. Seebohm Rowntree’s study didn’t identify any interviewees of colour but there was an important Black and Asian presence in England before and after WWII. A Reading Man is based on the true stories of some of those people from the Caribbean who made their lives in Yorkshire, imagining what they might have said.

Performed by Joe Williams.

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