A one-act play about the life and work of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth. Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, 1886 – 1962, poet, journalist, children’s writer and author, was the first working-class woman in Britain to publish a novel and is a rare example of a female working-class novelist. She published ten novels during her lifetime, her most productive time in Heptonstall. Ethel was a former mill girl who also became a political activist, producing possibly the world’s first anti-fascist newspaper, The Clear Light. The play dramatises the clash of her credo with the political climate of the war and post-First World War years, the constraints imposed by her marriage and her relationship with her publisher.
In October of 2023, we received Arts Council England funding to develop the play and host a script-in-hand performance at Heptonstall Museum.
The House That Ethel Built is programmed at Halifax Playhouse for March 2024 alongside Waiting for Wesley. The two plays together are presented under the title Warp and Weft.