Blair Play­ers fired up for play about Sil­ver Ar­row

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - THE WEEKEND TICKET -

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

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