July 20, 2015

Introducing Margery Kempe, The Wife of Lynn’s Tale - Lynn Festival Fringe Production, July 2015

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                                         Margery: caught between holy bellows
in the ear and a womb in hell

by Gareth Calway

The amazing tale of Lynn’s mediaeval mystic and visionary.

Read the script here
Hear the ballad here

Future date for your diary:

Aug 3 2016: at SHARP, Sedgeford's historic Boneyard Field  - The Wife's Tale/ The Visionary's Tale

Premiere - Lynn Minster, July 24 2015. Watch 20 minutes of highlights here

Act One
The Scribe’s Prologue (directed by Gareth Calway)
The Merchant’s Prologue (directed by Gareth Calway)
The Wife’s Tale (directed by Joanna Swan)
Act Two
The Visionary’s Tale (directed by Joanna Swan)

Joanna Swan is a Norfolk-born actress. She trained in physical theatre with Theatre Melange and Greek theatre on Hydra, Greece. Recent professional theatre credits include ‘The Hundred and One Dalmations’ with Baroque Theatre Co, ‘Romeo “or” Juliet’ with The Keeper’s Daughter Co and ‘The Poisoners Pact’ with Stuff of Dreams Theatre Co (returning for a reprise tour this October) http://joannayorke.wix.com/joanna-swan

Gareth Calway is a playwright, poet, novelist and journalist. His debut was playing Minister to Simon Pegg’s Tom Sawyer in 1982. He has taken three one man shows to the Edinburgh fringe and founded Room at the Hanse theatre company in 2012. Doin’ Different (From Boudicca to Nelson) - his book of new East Anglian ballads about the region’s heroes - will be published by Poppyland this Christmas. www.garethcalway.co.uk

David Norfolk retired from the Fire Service in 2008 for a new career in film, television and stage. He has acted in over 120 productions (including James Bond and Midsomer Murders) as a supporting artiste and also in featured and leading roles. www.davidnorfolk.co.uk

(Dr) Paul Richards is a local historian of international repute and a trustee of Marriott’s Warehouse Trust and True’s Yard. He has been elected Mayor of Lynn twice and is a deputy Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk.
Music by Tom Conway

Thanks to Melanie Calway, Alison Gifford, Canon Ivory, Al Pulford, Marriot’s Warehouse Trust, The Custom House and the Lynn News, without whom…

5 minute trailer here   Review here

BBC Eastern Counties radio interview (75 minutes into programme)  -here

Sound promo for July 2015 Festival fringe shows here

Margery Kempe's Lynn - a guided walk meeting at 2pm on 17/07/2015 outside Lynn Minster's west doors. £5 per person - no booking necessary!

Margery ( 'This creature') and modern American scholarship here

Performed and directed by Joanna Swan

(with prologues by Gareth Calway and David Frost)

All pictures by Al Pulford

Margery Kempe was a fifteenth century Lynn housewife, international traveller and visionary. Though illiterate, she ‘wrote’ the first autobiography in English, dictating it to a scribe. Her father was John Brunham, royal agent, merchant-mayor and MP of Bishop's Lynn, a Hanseatic port at the height of its prosperity and influence. Introduced by her Scribe and her Merchant father, she speaks here isolated on stage and direct to a modern audience: the aspergic cri de couer in all our wildernesses.

Part One
1. The Scribe’s Prologue   read it here   - hear it here

The Scribe in situ at the Minster,
pulpit picture by Al Pulford

2. The Merchant’s Prologue  read it here   - watch it here
3. The Wife’s Tale (begun)  read it here   - watch a 20 minute highlights package here


Part Two
4. The Wife’s Tale (concluded)  read it here   - hear the author read it here

Music composed by Tom Conway.   Hear an extract here

Estimated length
Part One: 45 minutes
Interval 20 minutes
Part Two: 25 minutes
Total 70 minutes + 20 minute interval

A King’s Lynn Fringe Festival Premiere at Lynn Minster (Margery’s own church)
7.30 pm Friday July 24 2015

Accused of the Lollard heresy, Margery’s social status perhaps protected her from the fate that befell her parish priest (William Sawtrey) the first heretic to be burned in England.

See also feature in July edition of Suffolk Norfolk Life p.106-107 and in Lynn News July 3

Hear Sawtrey's Lollard heresy here 
Read a Morality Play of his demise here
Hear the author read the play here.

Lynn News feature on Room at the Hanse's four show summer.

Margery and Julian of Norwich

Tickets for Margery Kempe The Wife of Lynn’s Tale at Lynn Minster (7.30 pm 24 July) from Lynn Custom House, 01553 763044.


Thomas Barrett said...

(Joanna's performance was )POWERFUL!

Baz Allan said...

Yes, indeed, it was a powerful performance. To this I'd also add sympathetic, involving, and nuanced. Well Done!

Alison Gifford said...

It went off very well. The weather was a pity. Margery was exceptional I thought and everyone else very good

John and Kathy Davies said...

We had a really enjoyable evening. A terrific script, three outstanding performances and the wonderful setting of Lynn Minster. Well done to all involved.