Brunswick coburg anti-conscription centenary

Commemorating Brunswick and Coburg's "No" vote in the 1916 & 1917 referendums

Serenading Adela

On 7 January 1918, a hot summer night during World War 1, Adela Pankhurst’s supporters gathered outside the bluestone walls of the women’s prison at Pentridge to “serenade” her with socialist songs, Cooees, and coloured lights. Please join us to commemorate the centenary of this colourful event!

Adela, from the famous UK suffragette family, had been imprisoned for her energetic anti-war campaigning.

Serenading Adela: A Street Opera will have its major public performance, re-enacting Adela’s ‘serenading’ on the centenary night, Sunday 7 January 2018.

In December 2017 we will have introductory performances, at Trades Hall, Carlton (Monday 11 December) and outside Brunswick Town Hall (Wednesday 20 December).

The newspaper stories shown here, inspired our project. They tell us that ‘Solidarity Forever’ and ‘The Red Flag’ were sung, 300 people gathered, and there were arrests, and more singing.

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‘Ghosts don’t Lie’ – the new song we wrote last year – told stories of the impacts of war on local families. This will now become part of a Street Opera, with choir, actors, a brass band and a street band.

Our street band and choir are rehearsing now. Rehearsals for the Unruly Mob (playing the crowd, and singing a few songs) start on Sunday 3 December. All welcome. See the full schedule on our performers page.


Artistic Director: Jeannie Marsh
Choir outreach: Emily Hayes
As Adela: Lisa-Marie Parker
Accordionist: Dave Evans
Street Band Leader: Miranda Hill

Project Manager: Holly Norman
Steering Committee: Jeannie Marsh, Nancy Atkin and Joanna Stanley
Serenaders, street band and choristers: you!

We remember that the inspiration and original idea for this project came from Lynn Beaton, who sadly left us before she could become an enthusiastic part of it.

Thanks to Creative Victoria for generously funding this project;  to the City of Moreland Council who have continued to support us; to the Victorian Trades Hall Council and the CPSU (Victoria Branch); and to our 36 very generous individual donors.newspaper-clipping-pankhurst-serenade


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