Press : Arts pages
On Saturday June 25th at 7.30 pm, The Galloway Consort present ‘The Darkest Hour…’ at Traquair House, Innerleithen (EH44 6PW)
In 2015 Vivien Jones wrote the text of an imagined correspondence between a dancing master, Martin Greaves, and a lady at court, Harriet Melrose, which shadowed the life and difficult times of Mary, Queen of Scots after her return to Scotland. The programme was called ‘A Shadow Love’ and was illustrated with the song, music and instruments of the 16th century. The programme was so well received in The Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival and The Wigtown Book Festival that many in the audience requested a sequel, which is ‘The Darkest Hour’.
In ‘A Shadow Love’ the lovers were split asunder by catastrophic events at the Scottish court but their dearest desire is to be reunited. In ‘The Darkest Hour’ we take up the story on the shore at Dundrennan as the Queen prepares to flee to England into the uncertain care of Elizabeth Tudor. Harriet and Martin are torn between their duty to the Queen and their love for one another. Their duties take them far and wide but their love stays rooted in their fearful hearts but all the while their lives are tied to the turbulence of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots.
The Galloway Consort is one of Scotland’s specialist early music groups whose work centres on performance of 15th-17th century European music and song from the courts of Europe. The group features the playing of renaissance viols, made by the group’s director, Richard Jones. These viols were introduced into Scotland in the 1530s by Mary Stewart’s father, James V, who collected such instruments, players and music on his visits to France. Other instruments, many sizes of recorder, renaissance guitar, curtal and percussion explore the soft, sad chansons, the lively dance music and fantasias that the Stewart court surely knew. Our readers are experienced actors.
Tickets : Tel : 01896 830323 or www.traquair.co.uk £ 12.00 (£10.00 conc)