HerStory

A Discoverie of Sumorsaete Herstory

Female led creative collective The Lady Garden have been commissioned by Seed Sedgemoor to bring artistic experiences to women in rural Sedgemoor. Using women accused of Witchcraft in 17th Century Sedgemoor as inspiration to inform the creation of A Discoverie of Sumorsaete Herstory.

They will bring creative opportunities in writing, harmony singing and craft activities to work with local organisations, womens groups and individuals of all ages to explore stories from Cossington and the surrounding area. To rediscover remarkable women and retell stories that might have been missed.

Get Involved.

Find out more about the project and how to get involved.
Workshops are being planned so if you are interested in being involved please contact the team.

Meet the Artists

Selina Keedwell

Theatre Maker, Performer, Facilitator

Selina Keedwell is a freelance Theatre Maker, Performer and Facilitator, with a specific focus on contemporary, inclusive theatre for young people and young adults. She makes collaborative work that reflects the lives and voices of communities in Somerset & South West. Selina is Artistic Director of Somerset Youth Theatre CIC, driving the organisation forward with passion and determination to create a safe space for ALL young people in Somerset to find their voice through Theatre and the Arts. Selina’s work focuses on using the Arts as a vehicle for social change and community connection, making Theatre for unusual spaces around the county. She is an Associate Artist for Wassail Theatre and female-led Artist collective ‘The Lady Garden’ and has worked extensively with Take Art, Seed Sedgemoor and Tyca, amongst other organisations. Selina is a fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, a qualified Drama & English teacher and Edexcel examiner. She is passionate about and actively supports Mothers and carers as returning or emerging Artists.

Selina Keedwell

Theatre Maker, Performer, Facilitator

Jessica Cunningham

Writer, Singer and Performer

Jessica has 20+ years experience working as a writer, song writer and performer. She first started
performing and writing music to a semi-professional level at the age of 16, working alongside local
bands/ musicians and theatre makers across Somerset. After deciding she would follow her dream of
making a career in the arts Jessica completed a B-TECH in performing arts an HND in musical theatre and
a degree in music at BIMM where she achieved a First Class Degree with Honours. Jessica has since
written and performed with several Musicians and artistic groups across the UK including Heidi Berry, and
Carlene Anderson, as well as Session work, organising music events and educational / community
workshops across the south of England. After a hiatus from writing and performing to care for her young
family Jessica returned to writing with Lady Garden and regularly performs with Daft Folk and as a solo
artist. She is now focused on collaborating with talented local artists to create innovative projects and
share her skills through workshops with the local community. Jessica also runs a garden design and
landscape business in Somerset, where she lives with her husband, three young children and two dogs.

Jessica Cunningham

Writer, Singer and Performer

Tomasin Cuthbert Menes

Theatre Maker

Tomasin is Artistic Director and Producer of Soap Soup Theatre, a Visual Theatre
Company making Theatre and Puppetry for children and their families. With them she has
made 10 family shows, and has been awarded 12 ACE grants to create and tour her work
to venues including The Little Angel (London), The Bristol Old Vic, The Tobacco Factory
(Bristol), and The Lyric (Hammersmith). She is also recipient of the coveted DYCP grant to
develop her writing and illustration practice.
As a Theatre designer she has created and realised designs for companies including
Wassail Theatre, The Bristol Old Vic Young Company, Ramshacklicious, Fine Chisel,
Myrtle, Sixth Sense, Creation Theatre, and Stuff and Nonsense.
Tomasin lived and worked in Bristol for 20 years until 2021 when she moved with her
young son and husband to North Somerset to continue her creative endeavours.

Tomasin Cuthbert Menes

Theatre Maker

Jacqui Strong

Artist and Local Historian

For the past two years I have been studying a foundation degree in history,
heritage and archaeology at Strode College, during which time we have been
working on independent heritage projects and studying a vast range of historical
periods including Witchcraft in the local region. The course has developed not
only my research skills but opened the door to several contacts both within
Somerset through the South West Heritage Trust and local history societies
including North Sedgemoor History Group, Axbridge and District Archaeological and
History Society and Westbury-sub-Mendip Archaeology. Through my role as a clerk,
I have developed a good working knowledge of local parishes within the area
particularly towards Middlezoy and the corridor of the A39.

I have worked with Selina previously on a project in Burnham on Sea, around
writing and theatre performances in shops, in addition to many other community
projects in and around Highbridge and Burnham on Sea, including events
organisation and arts & craft projects. I am an active member of the West
Huntspill Players amateur dramatic group and the Highbridge Festival of the Arts.
This collaboration and timing is reminiscent of the period when belief in witchcraft
peaked in the 17th Century that occurred during times of hardship, following the
plague, poor harvests linked to climate, high levels of poverty or mortality – when
fear caused people to look for someone to blame. The current period we are living
through is history of tomorrow and the perfect time to work within the community
in a creative capacity to document this.

Jacqui Strong

Artist and Local Historian