THE story of a little-known member of the suffrage movement will be performed on stage in Cumbria.

The brand-new Lost Art Theatre Company will tell the story of Maud Mary Brindley, who was regarded as a terrorist for her part in the campaign a century ago, when they visit the Old Fire Station, in Carlisle, on Friday July 13.

They will also perform the play, entitled Number 8, the following week in a sold-out show at Ullswater Community College.

Company founder Jane Reardon says: "When I first started my research, everyone told me I wouldn't find a militant suffragette from Carlisle, but I was determined to prove them wrong.

"The plot is based on the life of Maud Mary Brindley, who was born in Carlisle in 1860.

"She's quite an interesting character; she became an artist and moved to Hampstead. As an active member of the Women's Social and Political Union, she was arrested for breaking windows on London's Oxford Street and I've found documents suggesting she was imprisoned in Holloway with the Pankhursts."

In the centenary year of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, an all female cast take the audience on a journey through the struggle for women's suffrage.

Maud takes part in the militant campaign, and becomes the subject of special branch surveillance.

Rebecca Osborne plays Maud, with Carrie McWilliams, Sophia Mossop and Lydia Phillips also appearing in the play.

With the focus of this new theatre company very much on heritage and celebrating the region's history, Number 8 tells an extremely important story that has more or less been forgotten in Carlisle.

Jane continues: "The concept behind the name (Lost Art) is to celebrate the heritage of our area by taking lost ideas and using forgotten spaces.

"We want to shine a light on moments from the past and look at them in a new way.

"One of the reasons I became interested in Maud is because she was one of a number of suffragettes who were considered the first 'terrorists' in the UK.

"A number of suffragettes had their photos taken in secret by Scotland Yard so they can keep tabs on them - Maud was Number 8.

"The photos are displayed in current exhibitions at the Museum of London and the National Portrait Gallery."

Number 8 is the first attempt at playwriting for Jane, who was previously head of drama at Ullswater Community College.

Built up using first hand accounts from suffragettes and official documents online, the story is very much based in fact.

"I have used my artistic licence to flesh the story out where I reached dead ends with my research into Maud," says Jane.

"Although the plot follows Maud, we also cover the local and national story of women's fight for suffrage."

Number 8 shows at the Old Fire Station on Friday July 13, from 7.30pm, and tickets are available from the venue, Carlisle Old Town Hall, and via