Sunday, 19 February 2012

Posters and Routes now online

The routes and posters have now been put onto a page on this site. A 20 minute talk explaining the points of connection, as delivered to Leeds Psychogeography Group (31st January 2011, as advertised in the Newstateman) is also available, as is a 5 minute presentation explaining the underpinnings of the approach as delivered as part of a Public Engagement Competition.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Crunching the numbers

After a delay while I did other things - like talk to teachers in Ireland about wine vessels, drinking games and floorshows at greek symposia and geared up for a Greek tragedy masked acting workshop in Rochdale - I've finally managed to start trying to track down mentions of In the Footsteps of Hercules. I'm delighted that it made Leeds City Council's press release, but am hoping for more...

OK - so I'm WAY too late for Twitter, but I didn't notice any on the night itself when checking during tha after party.

But Flickr is improving matters - Rachel Meadows does it again here and here and here and here... Lots of the rest of us had our pictures taken - Minerva even earned (to her embarrasment) £2.40 in tips for posing for photos - but I've not found them yet. Hmm...

Monday, 10 October 2011

It's not over yet...

We had a fantastic time on Friday, but getting everything together in time - not to mention taking it all down afterwards - was absolutely exhausting, so I've slept for most of the weekend (when I wasn't teaching that is!). Tomorrow I'm going to start uploading the route maps, posters from locations and photos.

If you took any photos on the night I'd love to see them/post them, please get in touch.

People also asked if we'd put up information about the costumes from the exhibition in the City Museum and we're thinking about it - of course details of what our costumes were aiming to reflect can go here, but further information about clothing (and our original research) might be better on its website. So, on that front, watch this space...

If you want to take this factasy walk - or another factasy walk - as a guided tour with a costumed guide it can be arranged. Guided tours take 1-2 hours (please request a "short" or "long" version), include story-telling, and cost £25-£40 per group depending upon duration. Contact me (e.r.okell) at my university ( email address.

Thank yous and numbers

Very many thanks to everyone who came along deliberately, or bumped into us and followed in the footsteps of Hercules. I was in the Leeds City Museum where the Young Hercules and I saw at least 900 people between 6 and 9 pm. If I add the 100 or so who came through after 9pm (while we were waiting for more maps!), plus the 50 who attended story-telling in the university, that's over 1,000. And that's without counting those people who only saw posters and/or characters out in the city centre. Talking to the characters only one in four groups of people had a map - so that takes us up to 4,000. Not to mention all the people who went in to the Town Hall past the Amazon Queen... Well done to all the cast and also to the crew (and other individuals) who helped no end make it all run smoothly.

I understand that there was a crowd around the Light Entrance as why cleaning up Leeds in the early C20th was like cleansing the Augean Stables seems to capture quite a few people's attention - I *knew* quoting from historical documents about the state of Leeds' sanitary arrangements back then was a good idea, honest!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Albums in the Leeds City Museum

I've just been told by a friend who went to the Museum today that the albums are so popular that you can't get at them to read them! I'm really glad about that but thought I'd better let people know they are there. There's one on the 12 Labours and one on Hercules' life. On Friday Alcmene will be using them to tell stories about her son, Hercules, who will also be present - in his twelve-year-old incarnation - and willing to talk about growing up to be a hero. The Museum opens for Light Night at 6pm, but characters will be out and about in Leeds from 5pm and "Tales of Hercules" in the Classics Library (first floor, Parkinson Building) starts at 5.30pm. We hope to see you there...

Costumes Complete

We have the most amazing costumes - everyone looks brilliant. And thanks to Graham Dann lending his photographic services we have the most amazing pictures too.

I'm still finishing various things (and starting a new job on Monday) so they may not all get up here just yet, but here is our advertising poster for the beginning of university lectures!

From clockwise from bottom left: Alcmene (Eleanor OKell), Minerva (Sarah Little), Hercules (Charlie MacMahon), Athena (Sue Hamstead), Iolaus (Connor Whelan), Iolaus (tbc), Hippolyta (Rachel Meadows), Hesperia (Sian Hassell), Iphicles (Bob Buxton), the Keryneian Hind (Gabriel Leach).

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Well, long time no see. Have been very busy securing the funding and making the costumes for this, as well as running several jobs....

The highlights of this month (August) have been:

1) presenting the project at Secret Bettakultcha as part of a larger talk on Classics in Leeds (on the buildings in the city centre that is, not about the Classics Department in Leeds - though that's well worth shouting about too!) It was a great night and the mention of Light Night raised a cheer!. Watch the video.

2) completing the casting (except for Iolaus with the Nemean Lion Labour from 7.00pm onwards - if you're interested, get in touch!)

3) finally sorting out the funding for both components of the Light Night event, which now have dedicated pages here.

In the Footsteps of Hercules
Character Locations: Leeds City Museum, Mandela Gardens, Town Hall, Bond Court, City Square.
Time: 6pm-10pm
Description: Become a hero by stepping into Hercules' size 14½ shoes - complete his 12 Labours and discover why he belongs in Leeds. Meet monsters and costumed characters from ancient mythology, including Hercules' mother in Leeds City Museum and Hercules' nephew, the Amazon Queen, Nemean Lion and Horses of Diomedes elsewhere.

Tales of Hercules
 Location: In the Classics Departmental Library, first floor, Parkinson Building.
Time: 6pm-9.30pm
Description: Hercules’ twin brother tells his famous brother’s 12 Labours and about growing up with a hero, while Hercules’ official biographer (Dr. Emma Stafford) is on hand to answer questions. An accompanying poster exhibition shows tales of Hercules, in several different media, from the ancient and modern worlds.

4) Completing the risk assessments....

5) Finishing the embroidery on Alcmene's bra - based on research into the ancient bra by Dr. Emma Stafford. I'll be wearing it (under an embroidered peplos) in the Leeds City Museum, which means I'm delighted to have finished Alcmene's knickers too! I had to research these and make a paatern based on the illustrations on ancient Greek vases of athletic females like this one (although mine are more like shorts than a tight mini-skirt and are modelled specifically on those worn by Atalanta), so my modesty is secured - a HUGE relief!