A Pearl in the Sands

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Thanks to Geoff Tansey for this review and photos

Hebden’s Bridge’s Square Peg productions kicked off their latest
masterpiece today at Swarthmoor Hall near Ulverston in the South Lakes.

Alexandra Mathie brought to life the tale of the amazing life of Margaret Fell – 1614-1702. This mother of nine was the one of the leading lights in early days of the Quakers.

Wife of Judge Thomas Fell – played by Robert Garrett – Margaret and Thomas continued to ‘receive open minds under this roof’ through the most turbulent time in English history – through and after the civil war.

One of these itinerant rabble rousing preachers was George Fox (also beautifully played by Rob Garrett) who convinced Margaret and her household to become Quakers. These early Quaker most radically at the time rejected the need for ministers, saw all men and women as equals, refused to doff their hats to ‘superiors’, or pay tithes to the church – which he called steeple houses and regularly challenged ministers in them. This lead to thousands of these dissenting early Quakers being regularly thrown into jail house, as happened to both Fox and Margaret Feel, who married Fox 11 years after her husband’s death.

Anna Carlisle has knitted together very complex material into a moving and beautiful acted play that takes the audience through the orchard, ground and very room where the early Quakers met at Swarthmoor Hall. The opening day, Friday 15th August was blessed with the best weather seen for days, if not weeks. The play continues, rain or shine until Friday 22nd at 2pm, price £10 for adults, £7 for concessions. Tickets at the hall and tea and scone included after the production.

See also:

SECRETLY PLEASED - Hebweb review of the Square Peg Productions play based upon the life of local photographer Alice Longstaff

Square Peg Productions


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