Aston Telling Tales

Aston Telling Tales is an audio drama series of eight stories that tell the stories of servants who worked at Aston Hall in Birmingham, England during the seventeenth century.

Aston Telling Tales is a Women & Theatre participatory heritage project that ran from January to May 2013 to uncover the untold stories of working people past and present.

Working with the Aston community, Women & Theatre researched and uncovered stories of servants who worked at Aston Hall during the seventeenth century, and recorded contemporary oral histories by interviewing those that currently live or work in the vicinity of the Hall. By focusing on these two strands of history, it was hoped participants would draw links between historical and contemporary life and connect with heritage sites such as Aston Hall.

Over the course of the research sessions, the team discovered that many people have a strong connection to Aston and the surrounding community. There are many unsung heroes that go above and beyond the call of duty and their professional remits, in order to support the community’s needs and ensure that Aston is a more united and enjoyable place to live and visit. There are also many hardworking individuals that provide invaluable services and products, all contributing to making Aston the diverse and lively place it is today, whilst working to safeguard its future.

Drama scripts were created from the research by lead artist Ali Belbin. They were performed at Aston Hall in May 2013 and also recorded as an audio drama.

Every history book tells tales of Kings and Queens,
Grand families of independent means.
We all know about Sir Thomas Holte,
But what about the cook, the Dairymaid and their friends?
The workers who toiled back then as now,
Who ploughed the land and milked the cow
Who worked in factories, ran the shops,
Who tells their stories?
We do!
Right now!