New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Young actors to play the character roles of Joyce Green and Dr Allen

Posted July 8th, 2013 by Suzanne Carter with No Comments
Sunnah and Oliver

Sunnah and Oliver at Crescent Theatre Wardrobe Department

For anyone who has visited The Coffin Works, you’ll remember the names of Joyce Green and Dr Allen. Miss Green was of course the final managing director and owner of Newman Brothers, after starting work in the office in the late 1940s at the young age of 18. Dr Allen used to visit the factory when he was a child. His father was Arthur Allen, the Travelling Salesman in the 1920s and 30s.

The filmed interviews we have of them both are brilliant. Their memories provide us with so much information about the factory, the business, the processes and the people who worked there. Sadly, neither are with us still today.




This month we are bringing the characters of Miss Green and Anthony Allen back to the factory as we film our iBook alternative factory tours for young people and family audiences, thanks to an award from AIM Biffa.

Two young actors Sunnah and Oliver have volunteered to be our narrator tour guides. They will be filmed by Nicky and Kate from Tiger Features over the next couple of weeks on location at the factory.

Here is an audio interview with Sunnah from last week’s costume fitting at The Crescent Theatre.¬†


Some thank yous…

First, a massive thank you to our education volunteer Rachel Hoeshen for writing such a fantastic script based on the character of Miss Green for Sunnah. It was great fun adapting this to write a version for Anthony Allen, who will be played by Oliver.

Thank you to the pupils of Holyhead Secondary School and their teacher Megan for reading through and tweaking the script to make it more engaging for a teenage audience.

Huge thanks also to the wonderful Rachael Veazey for finding Sunnah and Oliver, with whom we are very much looking forward to working.  Rachael is also going to be doing British Sign Language interpretation for our BSL iBook Tour later this year.


Michael ReddyKate and Nicky have already spent an afternoon filming another of our narrators; BCT volunteer Michael Reddy who will bring the factory to life in an alternative adult factory tour for iPad. These iPads will be available at specific times of the day when we open; there will also be a programme of costumed volunteer-led guided tours.


Just wait until you see the costumes that we have commissioned for our volunteers!


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