Blair Players fired up for play about Silver Arrow
The Taste of BOOKMARK launch event on Saturday included a sneak peek of the show that the Blairgowrie Players will be performing on the Sunday after the festival in October...writes Clare Damodaran.
Last year the Players presented Whisky Galore – The Radio Show to coincide with the festival, and this year will be staging a new production, The Arrow, written by Lord Robert MercerNairne from Meikleour.
Introducing the play, Gill Oakes from the Blairgowrie Players said: “We are delighted to once again be associated with the BOOKMARK festival and hope that this year’s event will be as successful as previous years.
“The play we are presenting this October is The Arrow, which follows the story of the silver arrow.
“Without giving too much away, in 1612 a silver arrow was made by a Perth silversmith called Thomas Ramsay.
“It was apparently donated to the people of Rattray and at some point it was put up as a trophy for an archery competition in the town and parish of Rattray.
“It was won in 1727 by John Nairne, an ancestor of Robert Mercer Nairne and, allegedly, this was the last time the competition for the arrow took place.
“The arrow was forgotten about, lost in the mists of time. Roll on some 280 years, and Robert Mercer Nairne has inherited the family home with hundreds of years of ‘stuff ’ in the attics and closets, most of which hasn’t seen the light of day for decades if not centuries.
“The Silver Arrow was sent to Sotheby’s for sale. However, it was spotted in the catalogue by a local historian, Maurice Fleming, and - cutting a long story short - was removed from sale amidst much controversy over ownership.
“The play will hopefully explain both the history of the Silver Arrow and the situation within the family during the earlier period of time and update us to the time it was ‘found’ and saved for the people of Rattray.
“People will have different views on the rights and wrongs of the story of the rescue of the Arrow, we don’t set out to press opinions on people, we are simply telling a historical story of the time.”
The Arrow will be performed in Blairgowrie Town Hall on Sunday, October 8. Doors open 1.30pm. Tickets £10 which includes afternoon tea.
Taster Gill Oakes, Ruth Reid and Pamela Howatt read through a scene from The Arrow at the BOOKMARK festival launch event on Saturday