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Give your verdict on Charles I at Quayside Players’ first production

By Eleanor Perkins

Tickets are now on sale for the Quayside Players’ inaugural production about the trial of Charles I which will allow the audience to give their own verdict.

Man of Blood or Martyr of the People? The Trial of Charles I is a play in one act taken from the authentic trial transcript. It contains additional scenes written by Sandwich novelist Stella Riley.

The joint venture between Quayside Players and Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund will be performed in the medieval courtroom of Sandwich Guildhall as part of the Sandwich Festival on Sunday, August 28, and bank holiday Monday, August 29.

The cast of Man of Blood or Martyr of the People? The Trial of Charles 1st, inside the medieval courtroom of Sandwich Guildhall

It will be repeated as part of the programme for Sandwich Arts Festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18.

The play lasts about an hour and will end with the audience being offered the chance to give their own verdict, based on the proceedings they have just witnessed.

Mrs Riley, whose speciality is the English Civil War and who is also helping to direct the play, said: “I was asked to write something to be performed in Sandwich’s wonderful 16th century courtroom and immediately realised that a dramatic reconstruction of the trial of Charles I was the perfect subject.

“It is a fascinating and iconic event in our history which, as everyone knows, ended with the execution of the king.

“But what actually happened during those four days in January 1649? Who, aside from Charles himself, were the main players in that great drama?

“And what became of them afterwards? Our play provides the answers.

“Moreover, every member of the cast is portraying a real person – someone who was in Westminster Hall on those fateful days.”

Quayside Players and Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund are inviting people to go along and enjoy witnessing history in action.

Tickets are now available from Sandwich tourist information centre, priced £6.

Once the play has been premiered, it will be made available free of charge on Amazon for schools and colleges to perform as a way of promoting the piece of history.

The cast has been asked to perform it on September 15 to the sixth-formers at the Sir Roger Manwood’s who are studying the English Civil War as part of their syllabus.

For more information call Terry Palmer on 01304 619860 or email quaysideplayers@gmail.com

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