Across the Dark Water
By Ben Musgrave
Tuesday 21st July to
Saturday 1st August 2015
The Year is 1415. The armies of England muster in Southampton, preparing to launch Henry V’s invasion of France…
Performances taking place in Hampshire between Southampton and Portsmouth
Across the Dark Water
By Ben Musgrave
Tuesday 21st July to Saturday 1st August
Maybe there’s treason in us all…
1415. The armies of England muster in Southampton, preparing to launch Henry V’s invasion of France.
But Scrope of Masham has discovered a dark plot that threatens to unseat Henry and change the course of history. Scrope, loyal to his king, intends to reveal all, but as he uncovers more, at Itchen Ferry, he is pulled across the dark water. Pulled so far he may not come back alive.
Across The Dark Water has been specially commissioned to tell the story of the Southampton Plot. To add context and atmosphere, the play is being performed at a number of different venues, each one specifically chosen for its significance during Henry’s journey to battle through our region:
Portchester Castle – where Henry first learned of the plot to overthrow him. He had the conpsirators brought to him here before sending them to Southampton for trial.
Peartree Church – although not built at the time of Agincourt this is one of the most historic and characterful buildings in Itchen Village. From this village the plotters went ‘across the dark water’ on Itchen Ferry to conspire.
Royal Victoria Country Park – the Abbey nearby would have supplied wood for ships and other supplies for the army, from the shore the hundreds of ships would be seen, the Abbey would also have hosted members of the army and the plotters are likely to have travelled through there to their various meetings.
Hamble Priory Church – during their conspiracy the plotters met at Hamble. Although there is no documented evidence stating where, Hamble Priory Church is of the period, and could have been the venue, a sanctuary away from prying eyes.
St Julian’s Church – the last resting place of Richard Earl of Cambridge after his execution.
Follow in the plotters’ footsteps, 600 years later to the very day.
Scroll down to book tickets.
*Performance at St Julian’s Chapel, Southampton by kind permission of The Queen’s College Oxford
Running Time (mins approx.)
Performance Locations, Dates and Times
Location: Portchester Castle, PO16 9QW
Note: Please note access at this venue is via stairs
Performances & Dates : Across the Dark Water (21st-23nd July Time: 7.30pm)
History: Portchester Castle, one of the venues, chosen because Henry was staying there when he found out about the plot and it was here that he arrested the plotters and had them sent to Southampton for trial.
St. Julian's Chapel
Location: St Julien’s Chapel, Southampton (next to God’s House, Winkle Street), SO14 2AR
Performances & Dates : Across the Dark Water
– 30th July 7.30pm
– 31st July 3pm & 7.30pm
– 1st August 2pm, 5pm & 7.30pm
History: St Julian’s chapel, one of the venues, chosen because it was the last resting place of Richard Earl of Cambridge after his execution. It was the chapel of the Maison Dieu a religious house which contained lodgings, alms houses and the chapel and masters house. Pilgrims would stay there enroute to Canterbury. There are still alms houses today – Victorian replacements. The whole complex was given by Queen Philippa to Queens College Oxford in the mid 14th century, so they were the owners in 1415 and are still today.
Pear Tree Church Hall
History: Pear Tree church is the venue for one of the performances, it is in what was Itchen Ferry village, it is one of the oldest buildings in the village but was not there in 1415, the village got bombed to oblivion in the second world war as it was the home of the spitfire factory. but is is a building of character and history and that is why it was chosen. The plotters went ‘across the dark water’ to Itchen Ferry to do some conspiring.
Royal Victoria Country Park
The Priory Church of St Andrew
History: The plotters also met at Hamble during their conspiracy, St Andrew’s church would have been there at the time, we don’t know where they met but it could have been the church, chosen as a venue as it is of the period.
21st-23nd July, 7.30pm Portchester Castle, PO16 9QW. Please note access at this venue is via stairs
30th July 7.30pm, 31st July 3pm & 7.30pm & 1st August 2pm, 5pm & 7.30pm St Julian’s Chapel, Southampton*, SO14 2AR
24th-25th July, 7.30pm Peartree Church, SO19 7GZ
26th July 3pm & 7.30pm Royal Victoria Country Park, SO31 5GA
28th-29th July, 7.30pm Hamble Priory Church, SO31 4JF