‘Of what is a house made, really made?’ asks the voice of the House.
‘Enquire Within’ explores this question, bringing to life hints and whispers of lives once lived there. The play’s title and theme of learning and discovery were inspired by two very different but linked events:
1. At the end of the nineteenth century, a series of domestic encyclopaedias: ‘Enquire Within Upon Everything’, were published as a ‘Comprehensive Guide to the Necessities of Domestic Life in Victorian Britain’.
2. In the 1980s, former Wimborne resident and patron of East Dorset Heritage Trust (now based in Allendale House), Tim Berners-Lee began designing ‘Enquire’, a ‘hypermedia initiative for global information sharing’’ which could be used on the Internet. Although it was never published ‘Enquire’ formed the basis of the later development of the World Wide Web.
In its current role, the building draws together the themes of learning, technology and heritage, as an invaluable resource for local people.
About the production
Enquire Within (1) was first performed to celebrate WCT’s 10th anniversary in 2001.
It was performed again in June, 2002, to commemorate the opening of Allendale House as a Community Learning Centre.
The audience were led on a journey through the rooms of the house as they went back through time, and met William Castleman and his sons, and other characters who lived in or visited Allendale House, and contributed to the changing nature of Wimborne Minster over the past two centuries.
From 1899 to 1932, Allendale House was a girls’ school. Seventy years later, it returned to educational use, as it became a learning centre and went ‘on-line’.
The play was researched and devised by the theatre group members.
Alan Wilson, EDHT Director, said, ‘Since the original production a great deal more has been learned about the Castleman family and about Allendale House. The new production will provide a fantastic insight into this very influential family and its very special place in the history of East Dorset.’
The following items from ‘Enquire Within’ (2) have been stored in our materials archive. Click here to view.