We are a touring theatre company telling the stories of ordinary women doing extraordinary things.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2017 project ‘The Idle Women: Recreating the Journey’ in which we followed the route worked by the Grand Union trainees has been shortlisted and is a finalist in the Canal and River Trust Living Waterways Awards (Art, Culture and Events). The winners will be announced on Sep 20th.

Our current show Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways is all about the women who did their bit for the war effort by working on the canal boats. At the time they were called ‘trainees’ but after the war the group on the Grand Union acquired the nickname Idle Women – not very flattering but a great name for a show! Our double bill of theatre, poetry and songs (based on very thorough research) shares their stories – including how they got that nickname. This year we’re following some of the lesser known women who were also at work on the waterways during the war.

You can read more about the women we are celebrating this year and the route here or head straight for the tour dates and venues and book your ticket (or reserve a seat for the free entry/pay what you can shows) by clicking on the poster image.

We’re approaching the final week of our summer tour on the Leeds and Liverpool following the route worked by Nancy Ridgway and the other very small group of women known as the ‘Judies’ (and appreciating how hard that work must have been). Your final chances to see the show in Yorkshire are:

Monday July 16th: Fanny’s Alehouse, 63 Saltaire Rd, Shipley BD18 3JN

Tuesday July 17th: The Rodley Barge, 184 Town St, Leeds LS13 1HP

Although technically in the City of Leeds, Rodley is a delightful village on the canal and the pub is waterside. And this is a very special show as we will have Nancy Campbell, the current Canal Laureate, joining us and bringing some of her poems of the waterways.

Thursday July 19th (1pm) and Friday July 20th (7.30pm) riversMEET café, 102 Leeds Rd, Methley LS26 9EP

Tickets available from the café 01977 279729


In the autumn we will be starting work on a new show, but Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways will still be available to book by local promoters – so, if you’d like to see the show come to a village hall, community centre, boat club or space near you do have a look at our  ‘Book a show‘ page. We’ll add dates and venues as they are confirmed.

Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways
Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways


A powerful reminder of the crucial role women played in keeping the country running during the war.

Theatre Things, 26/4/17

 Both women are exceptional storytellers, their performances brimming over with personality and linguistic virtuosity.

London City Nights, 24/4/17

Idle Women of the Waterway Waterways makes a delightful evening and if you find this show is coming to a canal near you then make an effort to catch it!

London Grip, 27/4/17


Thank you to ABNB boat brokerage who have supported us since Autumn 2016 with advertising, flyers and posters.


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