We have been exploring the true story of William Joblings tragic life.
He was a miner from Jarrow in Newcastle, who in 1832, whilst on a
miners strike, was falsely accused of the murder of a local magistrate
called Nicolas Fairles. The real murderer was Ralph Armstrong, one of
Joblings best friends and fellow miner.
The stimulus came from a plaque that accompanied a statue of William
Jobling in Jarrow. All improvisations came from that initial stimulus.
As the stimulus was about a time long ago, and of a topic I was
unfamiliar with, mining, I thought it would prove to be difficult.
This story provides lots of interesting and exciting stimulus for
drama through its various themes such as friendship, despair and
My group chose to follow the themes of comradeship, poverty, deceit,
despair and friendship.
These themes are especially evident in parts of the plot where the
following characters and relationships are presented:
Comradeship must have played a vital part in Joblings life when
everyone agreed to go on strike. People like Armstrong and Hepburn,
the leader of the strike, must have displayed comradeship to agree or
to devise such a venture. So we decided our first scene would be
around the fabricating of the strike.
Times must have been hard when the miners were on strike and no money
was coming in to the households. Jobling's and other miners' wives and
families must have suffered from poverty at these times. Our second
scene was to be an informative improvisation about these hardships.
To leave your best friend to blame for a murder you committed is
extremely deceiving. Deceit is certainly an issue in the play when
Armstrong does this to Jobling when he kills Fairles. The third scene
we were to improvise would be around the murder.
Despair is when Jobling's wife must have visited him in jail before
his imminent death. The amount of emotional trauma and despair they
both went through at this time is, without a doubt, an issue. To delve
into those feelings would be interesting, so scene four would be an
improvisation of this last meeting.
Throughout Joblings life, it became apparent that he had lots of
relationships that revolved around friendship. It would be interesting
to develop some of these key figures and see how superficial the actor
thought their friendship would be whilst in character. To do this as a
scene, another piece of information we were given was that there was a
statue erected in Jarrow recently of William Jobling. We came up with
the idea that ghost of people from Joblings life coming to visit the
statue and giving their true feelings would be a sufficient way to do
To sequence our improvisations, and to explore style and structure
before deciding upon characterisation, we provided a set of