Last Wednesday evening (29th June) St Mary Magdalene Church hosted, for the first time ever here in Tortington, live theatre! Theatre company ‘This Is My Theatre’ performed Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the church, actors using the aisles, the chancel, the pulpit and the vestry to recreate the Capulet family crypt in 16th century Verona. And this the company did very effectively indeed. Strong performances allowed a good turnout of theatre-goers to become engrossed in the tragic family feud that has ever since defined the sweet sorrow of lovers’ separation. Hopefully Tortington Church can host more such events in the future.
On Saturday (18th June) the Friends of Tortington Church hosted yet another successful event in the Church of St Mary Magdalene with the annual event in the ‘Tortington History Talks’ series. Dr Caroline Adams gave the audience a fascinating insight into the workings of the Elizabethan court ‘on the road’ with a talk entitled ‘Elizabeth I in Sussex: the Royal Progress of 1591’.
Harbingers on the take, courtiers vying for favour, knighthoods for local gentry and spectacular celebrations at Cowdray marked this, the Virgin Queen’s sole visit to Sussex. The audience asked many questions at the end of the talk and everyone left intrigued by this little known episode on Sussex history.
Why didn’t she stop in Arundel? I’m afraid there was no one at home – Elizabeth had the Earl of Arundel locked up in the Tower of London!
An interesting programme of events in neighbouring Binsted last weekend. Literary talks, art and literature as you walk, folksong, painting, landscape poetry and more. All events were well attended and hopefully the event has reminded people of the great literary and artistic heritage on our doorstep, not to mention the beautiful environment – woodland, meadow and rife – that inspired the likes of Laurie Lee and Lorna Wishart. Congratulations to Camilla and the Binsted Arts Committee for the first of many such events.