Up and down the country

Rowan Godel on stage for "Rouse ye women"

For the last couple of months, it’s been a privilege to be part of the brand new folk opera from Townsend Productions, “Rouse Ye Women” (music by John Kirkpatrick, script by Neil Gore). We’ve been traveling up and down the country and we’re halfway through the tour now. It’s been getting a great response!


London Theatre1

Morning Star Online:

Old photographs of the women chain makers of Cradley Heath in the 1900

I love these old photographs of the women chain makers of Cradley Heath in the 1900’s… they really give a sense of what life was like for them… 

My character is called, “Bird” and she is one such chain maker. For her, life is hard, pay is poor and working conditions, squalid and unsafe. She is at the mercy of the exploitative “fogger”Albert, who sub contracts her to make chain for a larger company, taking a percentage of the money paid for the chain. The women often earned less than half the wage of the men making chain in factories.Women like Bird, who would probably have learned to make chain from her Mother as a child, wouldn’t have had any notion of choice or rights. Only that they must do this work or starve. The chain makers strike of 1910 was a landmark victory in the fight for fair pay for women and a national minimum wage. It’s astonishing to me that this sort of thing is not part of our history curriculum in schools. Women like Mary MacArthur and the chain makers are all but forgotten, but this story still has so much relevance today… society still has many of the same issues concerning equality and fair pay, just in a different guise. Come and be roused! See us on tour until April 19th, see here for dates:


What people say

Theatre reviews – Folk Opera “Rouse Ye Women”
“Rowan Godel’s “Bird,” was beautifully observed. She played the character impeccably including accent, dialect and innocence the women had back then. One warms to this heroine early on and Ms. Godel’s playing is a delight. Her singing is also so effortless yet thoughtful. Enchanting.”
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ loveshrewsbury.com
Read the full review here: https://www.loveshrewsbury.com/owen-lewis/chain-makers-forge-links-industrial-action

“Rowan is simply one of the best singers I have ever worked with.“
John Jones – Singer / writer / musician (Oysterband)

“I’ve worked with Rowan on various projects and it’s always been a joy. Yes, she has a gorgeous voice – but importantly she also has a great attitude to getting stuck in, to learning, and to making sure she does what needs doing. A proper work ethic, a valuable ear for experimentation and improvisation, and an easygoing temperament. Singing with a smile on her face! “
Boff Whalley – Musician (Chumbawumba), play wright, activist

“Rowan Godel is one of those singers who manages to nail a song straight away with no apparent effort. She is not only possessed of an angelic voice, but also fine musicianship and an easy going personality… It has been my privilege to work with her on six CD albums and many live festival and tour appearances, always a reliable and easy going friend and colleague.”
Ray Cooper – Musician (aka Chopper – Oysterband)

About work with Billy Cowie:
Edge of Nowhere/Under Flat Sky is a ravishing double bill choreographed by Billy Cowie. The sheer beauty of Under Flat Sky is breathtaking: a visual projection designed by German artist Silke Mansholt and vocals by Rowan Godel are all part of an entrancing whole.”
Stephanie Green – The Skinny Sep 2015

About work with Billy Cowie:
Under Flat Sky, conceived and choreographed by Billy Cowie merges music, pictures, poetry, story and dance into an organic whole, measured and meditative. The singing of Rowan Godel creates an atmosphere of magical dreamlike suspension.
Susanna Battisti – Fogli e Parole d’Arte 27 July 2016

“ We found Rowan’s Hummingbirds Workshop friendly and fun… Our experience of singing in a choir is limited but Rowan’s excellent teaching methods and warm personality gave us confidence…  The day was well organised but very relaxed, and whatever your level of skill and experience, you felt that Rowan was taking care of you personally.  Highly recommended ! ”

Pauline and Robin from Gloucestershire

“I love coming to Rowan’s singing workshops… her passion about the sound she is creating with us is infectious… we are free to be bold and brave in our singing; she makes makes us feel completely safe. She’s that good”. 

Nic from Evesham

“ Brilliant … It was great fun. I loved the variety of the songs and the way, as a group, you helped us explore the boundaries of what our voices could each do… Now, I really see how singing is good for our health and wellbeing… Your workshops should be prescribed on the NHS. I’m still buzzing ! ”

Alex via email. 

“These are not your average singing workshops. I’ve tried a few, from scary formal ‘you must read music’ groups to raucous rock choirs. Rowan’s are refreshingly different. If you want to improve your singing skills and have lots of fun while learning all kinds of harmony songs ‘by ear’ from all over the world (and some penned by Rowan) then these are the ones to come to. 

Rowan makes her workshops a welcoming, encouraging space to spend a few hours. There’s plenty of tea and cakes too. All you need is enthusiasm. Give it a go, you’ll be uplifted. “

Rachel from Somerset