Lady Catherine Film Soundtrack   November 26, 2020


Jessica has recently scored and performed the music for a film exploring the life of Lady Catherine Milnes Gaskell, champion of social justice in early 20th century.

Produced by the "Forgotten Woman of Wakefield" project spearheaded by Dream Time Creative and written by Sarah Leah Cobham, it was initially conceived as a three-act farce; owing to the restrictions of the COVID pandemic it was instead filmed over a single weekend during lockdown following all social distancing regulations.

Lady Catherine was awarded The Order of St John (a royal order of chivalry) and played a huge role in medical care in Wakefield. According to the Forgotten Women research, it was she who founded the Wakefield-based division of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade in 1911, which during the First World War delivered care at the city’s former Clayton Hospital.

With a silent-movie style the soundtrack is performed solely on the piano by Jessica Rowbottom and harks back to the themes of her previous work on Clara.

"I was quite at home with this - my great-grandfather was a cinema pianist in Pogmoor in Barnsley! I felt like I was channelling him at times." said Jessica. "Having different character themes to draw upon in my improvisation was fun too, even if it was a bit of a challenge." 

Commissioned by Wakefield Library with funding from The Arts Council, this film supports the Unfinished Business - a fight for women's rights as part of the Forgotten Women of Wakefield campaign led by Dream Time Creative, to achieve #blueplaqueparity​ for the city by 2028, 100 years after ALL women got the vote.

You can watch Lady Catherine in full (with soundtrack by Jessica Rowbottom) on YouTube.


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