Friday, 7 February 2014

A stage debut…

Last Saturday Ruth took part in a performance of ‘Voices from the Past’ at the Talbot Rice Gallery – a piece written by Alison Stirling from Artlink using the extensive research carried out in LHSA for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital bicentenary, and the ‘200 Years, 200 Objects’ exhibition in particular.

The script was for two, and the first of many parts was played by Pauline Goldsmith, an award-winning actress. She read numerous excerpts from texts in LHSA, along with extracts from oral histories from staff and patients, and some fictional pieces written by Alison to evoke the long history of the Hospital. Each one was delivered in a different accent, with a different tone, to capture all the different people that had a relationship with the Royal Edinburgh over the last 200 years. I had a much easier job, and simply had to read out an introduction and conclusion, and intersperse Pauline’s performance with the date the extract she was reading originated from. It's just as well it didn't require much dramatic flair from me as this was my first performance since treading the boards at school!

Pauline (left) and Ruth (right) at the Talbot Rice Gallery. A slide show of images from LHSA accompanied the performance (far right)
Saturday was the second performance of ‘Voices’. The first saw Pauline and our Archivist Laura delivering Alison’s work to an audience in the Royal Edinburgh itself. Both events were well attended and got excellent reviews! Many felt that ‘Voices’ provided a very accessible insight into the Hospital’s history, and helped them connect with the people in the Royal Edinburgh’s past. Holding the second performance in the Talbot Rice, alongside the ‘200 Years, 200 Objects’ exhibition, really added to ‘Voices’ as the audience could look at the display before and afterwards.
Both images are taken from the Talbot Rice Gallery’s Facebook page, please see for more. ‘200 Years, 200 Objects’ will be on display for another week, closing on 15 February. For more information please see the Talbot Rice Gallery website:

I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in ‘Voices’ – it is always exciting to see how LHSA material can be used in novel ways to such great effect.

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