October 18th 2018
The Wilsons Tales Project is proud to present…
‘Tales of Torment’
More stories from Berwick’s own 19th centurary literary sensation – Wilson’s Tales of the Borders – re-presented for the 21st century.
The Domestic Griefs of Gustavus McIvor
Think Taming of the Shrew, but whatever the poor fellow tries, his life just gets worse, in a new play by Alice Dobie
Health and Home are powerful magnets
Mike Fraser reveals new research on three years in which Wilson took charge of the Berwick Advertiser, launched his Tales – and died, tragically young
Beans and Bacon
A riotous epic poem of desperation, deception, gluttony and glory
Volume 5 – Preview
Help launch the latest volume of stories, illustrations and backstories
Venue: Baptist Church, Golden Square, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Tickets are available to book at
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Thursday October 19th 2017
Tales with a Twist at The Watchtower Gallery
- Featuring ‘The Disasters of Johnny Armstrong’ performed by NTC Touring Theatre Company.
- ‘The Ballad of Fair Helen of Kirkconnel’ sung by Poppy Holden.
- Artwork Exhibition and much more! Details to follow.
Wilson’s Tales at the Scottish story telling centre 7th-26th November.
Charles Nasmyth provided the front cover illustration for Volume 3 and is providing more for next year as an illustrated interpretation of an entire Tale. He will be working on this at the Scottish Story telling Centre, on The Royal Mile , Edinburgh as part of his exhibition running there from 7th till 26th November. He will be there in person working on his tale on 17th November between 10.30 and 2.30.
Our next Revival Events at The Berwick Literary
Festival Oct 20th to 23rd 2016
Oct 21st – 23rd 10am to 7pm
“The Wilson’s Tales Project Pop up Museum”
10a Bridge St Car Park, Berwick, Free Entry
The Tale of the Tales and of Wilson and Border Ballads.
Will include regular screening of tales captured on Film,
original and new artwork etc.
October 20th @ 7.30pm, The Guildhall, Berwick
“The Poor Scholar”, Robert Wilkinson’s
dramatization of Wilson’s autobiographical Tale.
“The Tweed near Berwick”
October 22nd @ 8pm, The Watchtower Gallery, Tweedmouth
“Willie Wastle’s account of his wife”
Rowan Tree Theatre’s revival of their 1987
play produced and published by Judy Steel
(Tickets £8 for each show from The Maltings):
6th revival event Sunday 27th March
A new venue for us at the Watchtower Gallery in Tweedmouth.
Our theme this spring is “Wilson’s Women” , portraying some of the brave , bright and Belligerent women featured in The Tales. Wilson was very much a writer who recognised the central role women played in so many aspects of society and family life and their role in history.
Mary Kenny who has worked with us on several occasions will tell the tale of Kate Kennedy. Alice Dobie and colleagues form Northumbria University drama department have been challenged to present The Guidewife of Coldingham and David Martin, a winner of our young film makers award, will present a shortened version of the Belford Players tale of Grizzell Cochrane: A Tale of Tweedmouth Muir on film. The latter two of them based on true local events and history , the latter tale of Grizzell Cochrane, like the Errington Tale , almost too far-fetched to be true, but largely true it is.
So I hope you can get the date in your diary and we look forward to seeing you.
Previous Revival Events:
3rd December at 7-30 to Coldstream History Society , at the Eildon Centre
11th January 2016 at 7-30 to Norham History society , at the Village hall.
18th February 2016 10-30 to Eyemouth Probus.
Launcelot Errington and his Nephew Mark: A Tale of Lindisferne
We were delighted that the Northumberland Theatre Company brought their stage version of ‘Lancelot Errington: A Tale of Lindisfarne’ to the Berwick area in October. It will be on at the Guild (Town) Hall on the 10th of October at 7.30pm. The programme will include:
Introduction to Wilson’s Tales and the Wilson’s Tales Project
Andrew Ayre, Project Director
Launcelot Errington and his Nephew Mark: A Tale of Lindisferne
A short play by Northumberland Theatre Company
The historic context of the Rising and the Tale
John Nicholls MBE, Chairman, The Fifteen (The Northumbrian Jacobite Society)
It was also be presented as part of a suite of 6 tales as part of ‘A Wife of the Gallows & Other Tales’ at Paxton House on the 11th October. (Description Below).
“An evening of tale-telling misadventures with comic, swashbuckling and light-hearted traditional stories, linked through character, music and song in a ‘Canterbury Tales’, story-telling format. Including popular Northern Tales such as ‘A Snowball in June and Mideside Maggie’s Bannock’, ‘The Adventures of Launcelot Errington and his Nephew Mark’ and other unremembered classics. An evening to delight, enchant and entertain with music, song and plenty of humour.” – Northumberland Theatre Company
15th March 2015, Tales of Honour, Humour & Horror, including; The Monomaniac, The Monks of Dryburgh and Judith the Egyptian at the Guildhall.
“Judith the Egyptian”: A tale of gypsies and romance gone wrong set in the Norham area, recited by professional storyteller Mary Kenny.
“The Monks of Dryburgh”: As a radio style play. A humorous tale adapted by Dr Michael Fenty and Presented by the Duns players.
“The Monomaniac”: A strong piece of drama covering the misadventures of a young bride on a passage to India and the consequences of this. Adapted as a play by Dr Michael Fenty. Produced by Joe Lang, stars Abigail Hood, Joe Lang, Jackie Kaines and Stuart Faed.
26th October 2014, A Selection of Wilson’s Nautical Tales, including; The Prisoner of War, The Monomaniac and Tibby Fowler at Paxton House.
“The Prisoner of War”: A short play set in the Napoleonic Wars dramatized and produced by Christine Fletcher.
“The Monomaniac”: A tale of drama on the way to India and its lasting effects. Adapted by Michael Fenty and produced by Joe Lang.
“Tibby Fowler”: The tale of a Paxton girl retold by Mary Kenny.
30th March 2014, A Celebration of John Mackay Wilson’s Tales in Song, Drama and Art, including; The Red Hall; Berwick 1296, Berwick 900, The Royal Raid and Lament of the Border Widow at the Guildhall.
7th September 2013 Border’s Ballads and Stories and the Hume Tales, including; The Tradition of Border Tales: Burns, Walter Scott and Wilson’s Legacy, Tales from Wilson’s Tales of the Borders, Hume, The Governor of Berwick, Sir Patrick Hume: A Tale of the House of Marchmount and The Ballad of the World’s Vanity as well as Wilson’s Tales of the Borders at Paxton House: A Renaissance of Local Heritage including; Wilson’s Tales: The Local Legacy; The Man, The Tales and their Context, The Vacant Chair, the Lawyer’s Tale: Lord Kaimes’ Puzzle and The Ballad of the World’s Vanity at Paxton House.