The Wilson’s Tales project has announced its first event for 2014 as part of its ongoing plans to support the retelling of The tales in contempory ways to modern audiences.
The first event is to be held at Berwick’s Historic Guildhall on the 30th March. There will be two principal presentations.
Firstly , local artist Morag Eaton’s interpretation through screen prints of “The Red Hall; Berwick 1296”, which tells one of the earliest Tales in the collection. It covers the siege and sacking of Berwick by King Edward 1. At the time it was held by Alexander 111 of Scotland who gave trading rights to the Flemish in return for defence of the town. The tale tells us that Berwick was a far more prosperous than London, which had none of Berwick’s natural advantages. The tale involves an interrupted wedding and the fierce battle to defend the town. The first of Morag’s prints showing the arrival of the English Fleet coming round Lindisfarne has already been completed and she will give a talk on her work , the tale and her interpretation . The 30th March has been deliberately chosen as it coincides with the anniversary of the fall of Berwick 718 years ago.
There will then be the chance to view the works on display in the Town Hall, before returning to see the second presentation.
This will be of the tale “The Royal Raid”, which deals with King James V attempts to bring the Border Reivers under control and order to the lawless “Debatable Lands”. This will be presented as an adaption as a short play by retired local Doctor Michael Fenty. Michael approached the project saying he had written three plays based on the tales some years ago but never produced them. The Wilsons tales project have been delighted to collaborate to provide an opportunity to premier this work. The Tale is based on an interpretation of the story behind the earlier Border Ballad “The Border Widow” , which will be sung at the end of the event.
The first tales published after Wilson’s death in 1835 were also written by a local Doctor from Coldingham, a Dr Carr so it somehow fitting this new presentation should also come from a doctor living in Coldingham.
The event is being jointly presented with the Berwick 900 project. Joe Lang is presently working or an update to Wilsons Tale “The Siege”, which deals with Edward 111′ s subsequent return and siege of the town, which will be presented in 2016 as part of the Berwick 900 project. Joe will give an update on his project and the 900 project generally.