The Unravelling Fantasia of Miss H
Machine Women’s Luan Taylor has commissioned composers Red Gray and Sarah Nicolls to create an original
score and soundtrack for this new site responsive multi arts research and development leading to a new
touring opera/theatre performance. The piece will tell the story of the pianist Mary Frances Heaton locked away
in Wakefield Asylum for 41 years. During this time with no means of defence or advocacy her creative resolve
led her to embroider messages in fellow patients’ clothes and on beautiful and ornate stitched samplers (eight
of which are now exhibited in the Mental Health Museum, Wakefield) as a means of intending accounts of
her injustice to be heard. Through unique arrangement of inside out piano, operatic voice and sound design Red
and Sarah's score of experimental, electronic and contemporary classical composition and filmic ambience
will track Mary’s unravelling trajectory. This piece intends to capture the rich potential for metaphor and
expression created by this tragic true story through music, theatre and visuals.
Creative Producer - Luan Taylor
Performance Director - Zoe Bouras
Visual Artist - Nicole Chui
Machine Women is supported by PRS for Music Foundation.