Route to Gaddings is journey of discovery

Jo Gerard rehearsing at Gaddings Dam for John Clarke's To The Dam
Jo Gerard rehearsing at Gaddings Dam for John Clarke's To The Dam

Local writer John Clarke’s latest play To The Dam is appearing at this year’s 24:7 Theatre festival in Manchester from July 18 to 25.

Set in present-day Todmorden, it charts one women’s journey of self-discovery up to Gaddings Dam. The audience are transported back in time to different locations and times in her life but also to her present and to the questions she now needs to answer. While at times dark, there are some funnier and sillier moments too.

John, whose last play was longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, said: “I wanted to write a play about a woman, but not like other plays I had seen. This character is at face value maybe quite normal and ordinary, but also quite complex and I think lots of people feel like that.

“I was moved by someone who told me that as an older woman they felt invisible. I don’t think fringe theatre needs to be only about young people, there’s space for an older character too.”

The play stars local actress Jo Gerard who has recently had a role in Victoria Wood’s film ‘Tubby and Enid’. The team are rehearsing in Todmorden thanks to the Todmorden Community Resource Centre. You can follow their progress in rehearsals on Twitter @247ToTheDam and more information about the festival can be found at