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This Digital Diary is written by playwright Vanessa Oakes, Writer in Residence at the George Eliot Collection (Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery). It will provide regular updates on the residencies’ progress and include information about a series of events designed to encourage the public to engage with and participate in the residency e.g. Creative Writing Days, Ask the Writer, Artist Intervention and Public Performances. It will also include a series of competition give-aways so make sure you subscribe now.

Vanessa Oakes: ‘The stimulus for both this residency and the resulting play was a comment by a local person who said, “George Eliot, yeah; I should really read his books”. It is this ambiguity of authorship which I want to explore. During the residency I want to investigate what George Eliot means today to local people and how (or even if) they feel connected to both her life story and the power of her words’.

Principal amongst the collections that Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery cares for are items related to locally born writer George Eliot. Given the international importance of the collection, the museum wants to explore new ways to bring these items and the writer they celebrate to life. This exciting and innovative residency will help to achieve this.

This project is funded by Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council and Arts Council England and supported by Coventry University School of Art and Design.

August 2012 while the residency at the Museum & Art Gallery is now over, my own search for George continues with A Ploughed Heart – a new play funded by Arts Council England, The George Eliot Fellowship Council and Coventry City Council Small Arts Grants and supported by Coventry University School of Art and Design. The writing process will be documented on this blog which will include free events for the public to attend in 2013 and a series of competition give-aways, so subscribe now and make sure you don’t miss out.

UPDATE January 2014 thanks to funding from Live & Local for script development and continued support from The George Eliot Fellowship, there will be a second rehearsed reading in Nuneaton on Saturday 22nd February 2014. Telephone 024 7661 9126 to book your ticket now (only 60 seats available).

Vanessa Oakes trained as a theatre designer and worked extensively in scenography, community arts and arts administration before becoming a full – time playwright in 2007. Her most recent plays include; A New Way of Living (andsome), Runaway Boy (Teatro Youth Theatre), A Diary Without Dates (Open Door at Birmingham REP), Do What You Do (NM&AG Centenary Commission), The Oracle of the Taprooms (George Eliot Writer in Residence), The Game Anew (Pentabus at Latitude), The Watched Sea (CAPITAL), The Permitted Number (Paines Plough), I Am Active (Red Teapot), The Kindness of Strangers (Warwick Words), Lost in Paradise CV6 (Belgrade Theatre), A Body Moving Through (the estate), Live Like Us (Belgrade Theatre).

One Comment
  1. Hope you have a sense of humor…..I tried to obtain “Desperately Seeking George” for my soon-to-be blog…..but it was going to be about George Clooney!! Anyhow, kudos to you, Ms. “Early Bird” 🙂

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