Con­tro­ver­sial play set to hit stage

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS - Clare Damodaran

The Blair­gowrie Play­ers are to per­form a new pro­duc­tion twice in the com­ing weeks as part of two lo­cal fes­ti­vals.

The Ar­row, writ­ten by Lord Robert Mercer Nairne, is to be per­formed next Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 8, as part of the BOOKMARK Fes­ti­val, and then again a few days later on Oc­to­ber 12 as part of the It’s BRAW fes­ti­val.

A spokesper­son for the Play­ers said that the play is in “two halves sep­a­rated in time, but linked by a com­mon sym­bol”.

Ex­plain­ing the back­ground to the con­tro­ver­sial story, the spokesper­son said: “In 1999 Lord Robert in­her­ited a valu­able sil­ver ar­row, which he de­cided to sell at auc­tion.

“A lo­cal his­to­rian, Mau­rice Flem­ing, spot­ted the sale de­tails and know­ing some­thing of its his­tory and worth, claimed it did not be­long to the Nairne fam­ily, but was gifted to the peo­ple of Rat­tray.

“The ar­row was made by a Perth sil­ver­smith in the early 1600s and ap­par­ently put up as an archery prize by the Rev­erend Rat­tray, who was the min­is­ter of both the Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray parishes.

“Lit­tle is known about it un­til in 1727 - the last per­son to win it was John Nairne and it has re­mained in the fam­ily cus­tody ever since.

“He signed a bond in 1727 un­der­tak­ing to re­turn the ar­row to the peo­ple of Rat­tray, which has been lost, but a copy dated 1796 ex­ists.

“The ar­row was with­drawn from auc­tion and re­turned to the Nairne fam­ily, caus­ing much con­tro­versy over its own­er­ship.

“Heated pub­lic meet­ings were held and lo­cal per­son­al­i­ties, MSPs and the gen­eral pub­lic were un­able to come to an agree­ment.

“The play is Lord Robert’s per­sonal view of the 2007 events and also his his­tor­i­cal view of what hap­pened to John Nairne af­ter 1727.”

The sec­ond part of the play deals with the fam­ily’s de­scent into poverty, re­ly­ing on the gen­er­ousity of the French crown for their sur­vival. In 1746, fol­low­ing the de­feat at Cul­lo­den, John Nairne and his wife Cather­ine fled to France, where he re­mained in ex­ile un­til his death in 1770 at Sancerre.

Some 250 years later, the play sheds an in­ter­est­ing per­spec­tive on the progress of po­lit­i­cal power.

Both per­for­mances of the play will be in Blair­gowrie Town Hall.

The per­for­mance on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 8, will be at 2pm. Tick­ets cost £10 which in­cludes afternoon tea.

The sec­ond per­for­mance will be at 7pm on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 12.

Tick­ets cost £8 and they are avail­able from the Card Gallery on Al­lan Street, 01250 876444, by email blair­play­ers@bt­in­ter­net. com or at the door.

Take on his­tory Some of the cast mem­bers of the Blair­gowrie Play­ers’pro­duc­tion of The Ar­row

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.