Tuesday, 19 June 2018
Sir Walter’s Women: Original drama to be staged in The Great Hall, Winchester
Photo credit: Mike Hall
Performance dates and times:
19.00 – Friday 14 September
18.00 and 20.00 – Saturday 15 September
The Great Hall, Winchester, SO23 8UJ
‘He hath been as a star at which the world has gazed, and like a star must fall’
Just over 400 years ago, the dashing Elizabethan hero, explorer and poet, Sir Walter Ralegh was convicted of treason in the Great Hall in Winchester. He was beheaded 29th October 1618.
Winchester-based 2TimeTheatre’s new production, Sir Walter's Women, re-imagines scenes from the life of this charismatic adventurer. Staged in the 400th anniversary year of his execution, the drama looks at the influence of two extraordinary women in his life; one domestic, his wife Bess, and one political, Elizabeth I.
With a professional cast of three, and accompanied by Renaissance music group Courtlye Musick, this original one-act drama will have its premiere in Winchester's unique and atmospheric medieval hall as part of Heritage Open Days, the UK's largest festival of history and culture.
Writer Rachel O’Neill said: “Originally I wanted to stage his trial for treason in the very place where it happened, but as I researched his life, I realized that looking at his relationship with the two women in his life was inherently more dramatic, and perhaps illuminating as to why he ended up as he did; tried and executed for treason.”
Winchester Great HallImage credit: Image credit: Johann Bakker
Nicky Gottlieb, Festival Director Winchester Heritage Open Days said: “We have a wealth of historically fascinating and important buildings in Winchester. The challenge is to bring them to life so they become more than architecture. Sir Walter’s Women offers the opportunity to have the Great Hall animated by a drama about the people who actually appeared there.”
This production has been made possible with the kind and generous support of Winchester-based solicitors and mediators, Shenton’s, Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council’s Cultural Innovation Grant.
2TimeTheatre's performance arm was launched in October 2013 with a theatre production of Young Jane, short plays based on the early writings of a young Jane Austen and adapted by Cecily O'Neill. Young Jane is the first publication from 2TimeTheatre (September 2016), followed by Drinking with Dorothy (January 2017). Meeting Miss Austen, the second collection of plays based on the Juvenilia, was published May 2017 and performed as part of the Winchester Festival in July 2017. Jane Austen and The Waterman, was written by Cecily O'Neill and Philip Glassborow for the SO: To Speak Festival, October 2017. 2TimeTheatre is co-producing new musical Lucky Petra and producing The Honest Soldier, written by Philip Glassborow for performance in July 2018. www.2timetheatre.com
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