Prudencia Hart to go on year-long tour

Mar 30 2012 | By More

Border Ballad show to hit the global road

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart Border Ballads National Theatre of Scotland Madeleine Worrall ( Prudencia Hart), Andrew Clark, David McKay, Annie Grace, Aly Macrae..Created by Wils Wilson and David Greig. Directed by Wils Wilson..Picture © Drew Farrell

Madeleine Worrall as Prudencia Hart Picture © Drew Farrell

By Thom Dibdin

The National Theatre of Scotland has announced a year long tour of last year’s Fringe hit, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, which is selling out even before it has begun.

There are no public tickets left for either the Edinburgh dates in April at the Ghillie Dhu or the Brighton Festival dates in May.

The best chance for Edinburgh audiences to see the show – and it was one of last year’s truly five star experiences – is at the opening nights in Kirkcaldy on 10 and 11 April.

Created by writer David Greig and director Wils Wilson with designer Georgia McGuinness and composer Alasdair Macrae, the tour reunites them with the original cast. Madeleine Worrall plays the title role, with Andy Clark, Annie Grace, Alasdair Macrae, David McKay – and the occasional member of the audience – in a variety of supporting roles.

Inspired by the Border Ballads – and delivered in a riotous romp of rhyming couplets, devilish encounters and wild karaoke – Prudencia’s dreamlike journey of self-discovery unfolds among and around the audience. It takes them down into the Borders one wintry morning when uptight academic, Prudencia sets off to attend a conference and finds out a bit more about herself and her subject than she ever thought possible.

According to the NTS the play came about when Greig, Wilson and Macrae were themselves sent off to Kelso – to research a new piece of site-specific theatre: “It was the coldest winter for many years. Maybe it was the unique atmosphere in the pub that night, or maybe it was the knee deep snow outside, but no one wanted the evening to end, so at midnight the Landlord closed the doors and they found themselves locked in.

“Deep in the wee hours, one old man told a story about another group of people who’d come to look for songs a few years back and of how one of them, a woman, had never after been seen again. It was a story, which he said was ‘one hundred and ten percent true’ a story of love, of music and of the Devil.”

After opening in Kirkcaldy, the show tours to Blair Atholl, Nethy Bridge, Edinburgh, Torry, Kippen, Crianlarich, Kilcreggan, West Kilbride, Carlops and, finally, to where it all began: Kelso. Before setting off on a UK and international tour which takes in the Norwich and Norfolk Festival, Mayfest, Bristol and the Brighton Festival in May, New Haven, Connecticut in late June and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in September.

Audiences in Scotland will benefit from the largess of Benromach Single Malt Whisky. Having supported the production at the 2011 Edinburgh fringe, they will be back on board to sponsor the Scottish leg of the 2012 tour. The sponsorship is part of Benromach’s venture into the arts and will enable each audience member in Scotland – aged over 18 years – to share a dram of Benromach Whisky during the show.

Scottish Tour Listings


Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy on Tuesday 10 & Wednesday 11 April at 7.30pm
Tickets:  01592 583302  £12/£10

Blair Atholl Village Hall on Friday 13 April at 7.30pm
Tickets:   Blair Atholl Post Office 01796 481233 & Tilt Stores 01796 481206 £8/£6

Nethy Bridge Community Centre on Saturday 14 at April 7.30pm
Tickets:   Nethy Bridge Post Office 01479 821217 £8/£6

Ghillie Dhu, Rutland Place, Edinburgh on Tuesday 17 & Wednesday 18 April at 7.30pm
Tickets:  0131 228 1404 £12/£10

Old Torry Community Centre, 2 Abbey Place Friday 20 & Saturday 21 April at 7.30pm
Tickets:   Torry Library 01224 879037 & the venue £8/£6

Kippen Village Hall on Tuesday 24 April at 7.30pm
Tickets:   Berits & Brown, Kippen, & Claire Thomson 01786 870 406 £8/£6

Crianlarich Village Hall on Thursday 26 April at 7.30pm
Tickets:   Crianlarich Post Office 01838 300245 & on the door £8/£6

Cove Burgh Hall Kilcreggan on Friday 27 & Saturday 28 May at 8.00pm (Doors open 7.30pm)
Tickets:  01436 842177 £10

West Kilbride Village Hall 7.30pm on Tuesday 1 May at 7.30pm
Tickets:  available from the venue £8/£6

Carlops Village Centre on Wednesday 2 May at 7.30pm
Tickets:  01968 660388    £8/£6

Tait Hall, Kelso on Friday 4 & Saturday 5 May at 7.30pm
Tickets:  Browns Newsagents Kelso 01573 224269 £8/£6

Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival:
Aberdour Hotel, Dumfries on Thursday31 May at 7.30pm
The Buccleuch Centre, Langholm on 1 June at 7.30pm
Tickets: 01387 253383  £12/£10

UK Festivals
Norfolk and Norwich Festival from 11-13 May

Mayfest, Bristol  from 17-27 May

Brighton Festival from 22-27 May

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes including one interval


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