Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

Return to Elm House

“Delightful introduction to the magic of archives”

In the mid-nineteenth century, the site occupied by Battersea Arts Centre was the home of Wandsworth and national heroine Jane ‘Jeanie’ Nassau Senior. Painted as a golden-haired sylph by George Frederic Watts, the resilient Jeanie was made of sturdier stuff: she co-founded the Red Cross with Florence Nightingale; she made strides for children’s welfare as the first female civil servant in the UK, and was the first person to sing at the Royal Albert Hall.

Every performance is relaxed in writer and director Sarah Golding’s family promenade show Return to Elm House. The audience has the honour of being inducted into the Lavender Hill Time Keepers Club, helping the wise Archivist (Chevin Dash) and her Time Keepers to solve the mystery behind the door to Elm House that has sprung up in the Council Chamber (given delicately whimsical treatment by Kirsty Harris).

It’s great fun to be divided into small groups taking in the nooks and crannies of the BAC, a building surely filled with benevolent ghosts, guided by intuitive elm branches. Time Keeper Elizabeth (Bartram) does a splendid job engaging with the group in order to seek out the objects that Jeanie has left behind and explore what we can learn from them.

Jeanie’s life was one of service and restoring her place in the archives is the least she deserves. A real role model for children and adults, her capacity for hope, kindness and courage is something we can all aspire towards during the festive period.

Related to this Review

Battersea Arts Centre unveils first season in Grand Hall after fireBattersea Arts Centre unveils first season in Grand Hall after fire

Production Details
Production nameReturn to Elm House
VenueBattersea Arts Centre
StartsDecember 1, 2018
EndsDecember 30, 2018
Running time1hr 45mins
AuthorSarah Golding
DirectorSarah Golding
Set designerKirsty Harris
Costume designerKirsty Harris
Lighting designerStuart Glover
CastAlex Stedman, Alexandra Donnachie, Anna Soden, Chevin Dash, Daniel Mollar, Elizabeth Bartram, Kate Donnachie, Lakeisha Lynch-Stevens, Lauren-Deanna ., Michael Armstrong
TechnicalDan Shelley
Production managerJack Champion
Stage managerNaomi Colette Harvey
ProducerBattersea Arts Centre, Sarah Golding
VerdictDelightful introduction to the magic of archives for future historians
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Julia Rank

Julia Rank

Julia Rank

Julia Rank

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In