A Crack in Time

A Crack in Time - Nottinghamshire Heritage Award Winner 2014

A Crack in Time, 2013 onwards

A Crack in Time 2015, our day long immersive performance brought the amazing Papplewick Pumping Station to life, and played to packed audiences of young people and family audiences from around the East Midlands during the summer of 2015. It won the Nottinghamshire Heritage Award for a Special Project in 2014.

The company brought this beautiful Victorian heritage site to life through live performance, film, music and participatory activities to over 1500 young people.

Developed at Papplewick over a period of four years, A Crack in Time, explored local history and global water issues in Papplewick’s magnificent engine house, ornamental grounds and unique underground reservoir.

In the performance, the audience met a host of Victorian characters, including Wilf the boiler boy, Jenny Sparrow from Narrow Marsh, Seth the Gardner, Mrs Montagu the Superintendent’s wife, real life inspirational Nottingham-born engineer Thomas Hawksley, a mysterious contemporary Water Guardian, and others, who brought the history of the pumping station to life.

The project was written by Peter Rumney, designed by Nettie Scriven, and directed by Rosamunde Hutt. Music was composed music by Helen Chadwick and Duncan Chave; media by Creative Forum and lighting design by Richard Statham.

The professional cast of Nia Davies, Bhawna Bhawsar, Becky Matter, John O’Mahony and Peter Rumney were supported by Museum Director Ashley Smart, Papplewick volunteers Gerry Barnes, Sharon Barnes, Lisa Brown, Paul Clark, and Sue Wright, and the production team of Alistair Richardson Laurens (Bungo), Patricia Davenport and George Gough.

For more information on the project, the education programme that supports it, and full production credits, please see next column.

The upcoming performances We are excited to announce...

Our upcoming production - click image for full poster:

Click on our A Crack in Time Map and A Crack in Time Education Resources - Curriculum Map

Click on our video link:

“A memorable and informative and multi-sensory experience, using theatre, song , interactive performance and beautiful historic spaces to bring history to life” Audience member, Wheee! Festival

“An enormously impressive example of engaging young people in heritage and history… Professor David Stocker, Heritage Lottery Fund

“Working with a professional theatre company over the past two years to create an event like this is a wonderful way to bring young people into the museum, and introduce them to their local history and heritage in an imaginative and entertaining way.” Ashley Smart Director, Papplewick Pumping Station Museum

“It’s eerie…I’ve never been in the past before!” Child, aged 8

“It’s the best school trip I’ve ever been on.” Child, aged 9

“We are all still buzzing from the day. It was truly fabulous.” Teacher, Nottingham

“Thank you for a magical experience yesterday. … We really enjoyed the day and found the whole experience absorbing and enjoyable, and that’s from a personal view, not speaking as teachers or heritage educators!” National Trust Learning Officer

STOP PRESS 2018 onwards:

The next phase of our collaboration with Papplewick pumping Station is a Teacher led day-long experience for schools visiting the museum, based on the characters and content of the 2015 production and supported by the existing online Education Resources. Contact us for more details.


The 2015 A Crack Time project was funded by Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Garfield Weston Museum Development East Midlands, and supported by Nottingham Lakeside Arts Centre Wheee! Festival, The Spark Arts for Children, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University School of Art & Design, and the Papplewick Pumping Station Trust.