The Mary Rose presents ‘War Games.’ To mark the first drama production within its new venue, the Mary Rose Museum will be showcasing a specially commissioned promenade performance called ‘War Games’.
The play is in association with Cop the Needle Productions, a local Portsmouth-based theatre company. The performance will consist of four mini-plays that will take place at multiple points around the museum, with scenes imagining characters and events from the day of the sinking of the Mary Rose.
The event promises to bring the story of the Mary Rose to life against a spectacular and atmospheric backdrop.
Two performances will take place on the 5th & 6th March at 7pm and tickets are available to purchase online for only £12.00 (plus booking fee) maryrose.org/wargamestickets.
‘War Games’ pulls its inspiration from the famous ‘Cowdray engraving’, which depicts the sinking of the Mary Rose at the fateful Battle of the Solent on the 19th July 1545.
The engraving shows the English and French fleets in preparation for battle and the play will endeavour to capture a slice of Tudor life through focusing on characters in the foreground of the painting. It is hoped that the live interpretation of Portsmouth’s Tudor characters in situ will bring another dimension to local visitors and emphasise the importance of the Mary Rose and Portsmouth’s naval presence to British history.
Paul Griffiths, Head of Operations at the Mary Rose Museum said, “We’re really pleased to be working again with the wonderful local playwrights and theatre producers ‘Cop the Needle’, at our former museum we showcased their first Mary Rose themed play ‘Ill Wind’ which went on to be performed at theatres in the area. The premier of this new production promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment.”
Cop the Needle Productions:
Playwrights Stuart Olesker and John Stanton co-founded Cop the Needle Productions, which is a local professional dramatic group which focuses on local community stories. They wrote and directed the first Mary Rose themed play ‘Ill Wind’ in 2011, which was showcased at the old Mary Rose museum and was a great success.
Co-founder of Cop the Needle Productions, Stuart Olesker says ‘We have all the essential ingredients needed for a play: love, hate, superstition, domestic violence, fear, indulgence, lust, bravado, deception, and we have added an extra twist at the end of the show.’
The Mary Rose Museum:
The new Mary Rose Museum opened on 30th May 2013. The ship, originally Henry VIII’s favourite warship, was made in Portsmouth in 1510, not far from its current location of No.3 Dock in Portsmouth’s Naval Base. The ship tragically sunk in the Battle of the Solent against the French in 1545, where only 35 of a 500 strong crew were known to survive. In 1982 she was brought to the surface after 400 years on the sea bed. The ship has gradually been undergoing extensive conservation, which continues to this day. The custom-built museum is designed to show the hull of the ship with her precious cargo of over 19,000 artefacts to the public, offering a fascinating insight into life on board a Tudor warship. The ship is now in an ongoing state of conservation, and new discoveries in marine conservation and research are still being made. The Mary Rose has become integral to residents in Portsmouth, including the first divers who discovered the Mary Rose, to the scientists who are resident at the Museum today and the local volunteers who work at Museum.