Ghosts on a Wire
“Ghosts on a Wire” is the second play in a series commissioned by Southwark Council ‘s Blackfriars’ Stories and supported by the Totally Thames Festival 2022. Like its predecessor “Albion in Flames” (2019), the new play is written by Linda Wilkinson and performed at Bankside’s Union Theatre.
Set across the C19th century, “Ghosts on a Wire” tracks the emerging story of electricity and its industrial development on shores of London’s Bankside. The play begins with a reading of Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” in the once famous Leverian Museum on Blackfriars Road close by the abandoned Albion Flour Mill. Her book appears at the time when electricity was becoming a tantalising but dangerous reality – championed by the rich and powerful and denigrated by others whose lives might be blighted by its unregulated development. In the face of this one woman, Octavia Hill, fought for the right for ordinary people of Southwark to have clean air and decent housing.
As the source of Mary Shelly’s supernatural themes, electricity became a true force for power in the world by the turn of the C19th. “Ghosts on a Wire” recounts a tale of unworldly events, corruption, greed and resilience in the face of the leviathan that was able to consume everything it encountered.