A #SaveGentlemanJack flash mob which takes place at Shibden Hall, Yorkshire on Saturday (August 6) has seen fans across the globe unite to learn the dance choreography created by a Leeds-based Gentleman Jack superfan.
The flashmob and trending campaign #SaveGentlemanJack is a reaction to the cancellation of the costume drama as HBO, who are the BBC’s funding partners, announced they were withdrawing financial support.
Flashmob founder Helen Hawkins who is a 32-year-old dance teacher has been busy teaching fellow fans her choreography in a series of free online videos and live tutorials via her facebook group - Save Gentleman Jack Flashmob which now has over 500 members.
She said: “People have been busy learning the dance, coming together to support it and we now have people from Europe, America and all over UK as well as Yorkshire all coming to Halifax on August 6th at 1pm.”
Those who aren’t able to make it to Shibden Hall, the ancestral home of Anne Lister on whom the show is based on, have been sending their own dancing videos of support as they join in virtually.
Writer Sally Wainwright, Suranne Jones who plays Yorkshire’s Anne Lister aka Gentleman Jack classed as the “first modern lesbian” and her partner Ann Walker, played by Sophie Rundle have also sent messages of support to Helen.
The dance teacher said: “The response we’ve had has been so positive and heartfelt. It’s honestly amazing.”
Over 11,600 people have also signed an online petition asking the BBC to find a way to “Save Gentleman Jack.” Creators of the petition on change.org wrote: “Gentleman Jack has actually changed lives; the BBC even commissioned and aired a documentary to this effect. It is a part of lesbian history, LGBTQ history, pride history.
For anyone wanting to join the flashmob or show support, you can find the group on facebook Save Gentleman Jack - Flashmob or watch the video and turn up on Saturday August at 1pm, Shibden Hall in Halifax.
Helen has also arranged to guide anyone around Halifax after the flashmob to show some of Anne Lister’s popular spots.
Lead actress of GentlemanJack Suranne Jones has said diarist Anne Lister ranks “top” in the list of characters she has played during her career.