Yesterday we brought Mary’s Hand to the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester. Our performance was in a late night slot at the recently refurbished St. Mary-de-Crypt in the centre of the City, just 5 mins walk from the cathedral. This wonderful space posed some interesting issues for our production – but any obstacles to an original staging are also opportunities for inventive variations on the way we tell Mary’s story. Director Di Sherlock introduced a podium in the centre of space and a splendid recess in the choir offered interesting variations in which to imagine fresh stage pictures of the drama and Mary’s dress (above).
We were happy to be able to perform to a full house at St. Mary-de-Crypt. The following morning we attended a talk from Dr Linda Porter about the life of Queen Mary I. This informed and sympathetic dissection of the first Queen Regnant’s life provided absorbing context to the mid-16th century Tudor court. We had time to visit the nearby memorial to John Hooper, the Bishop of Gloucester, a Protestant burned at the stake under Mary’s regime.
It was a super experience to bring our work to Gloucester with its history and audience and we’re grateful to the Three Choirs staff for helping us feel so welcome!