THE TREE CHARTER TAPESTRY
9th June 2.30pm and 10th June 2.30pm
The Tree Charter Tapestry is a play by ‘Terence Rattigan Award’ nominated playwright, Caroline Summerfield. Written to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Forest Tree Charter, this enchanting play conjures up an ancient woodland into which you step and meet the forester, Albert Wiggett and his wife Esther, as they seek to save their ancient woodland:
‘What’s needed is understanding of what we have…..Without it where would we be?
That would not be a land or country I’d want to be.’
What the audience said about ‘The Tree Charter Tapestry’:
“It’s a modern day Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
This is an outdoor performance (but will be moved indoors if it rains) with disabled access. A Café will be open, and audiences are welcome to bring a picnic.
Canwood Gallery, Checkley, Herefordshire, HR1 4NF
Tickets £15 available from The Courtyard, Hereford. BOOK NOW by clicking the below link….
Runs for: 140 minutes.
Trailer:- click the below link to view
The Tree Charter Tapestry : How the Play Came to be Written?
The idea for this play started to crystallise in my mind in March 2016. It had been a cold, wet and unforgiving day. I had just returned from my late mother’s funeral service at Gloucester Cathedral, where we had celebrated her life, a key part of which had been her writing; but after such a loss how does one return to writing and what does one write about? I would, I thought put this all off until the next day. The next day came and as is so typical of English weather, the rain of the previous day was replaced by brilliant sunshine and so I found myself walking amongst the many majestic trees in my garden. It was not long before I started to think about their beauty and longevity and how trees more than anything else are so much part of our lives. Looking closely at them, I began to consider what their individual characteristics were and how through their life cycles, trees so closely parallel our lives. Later that day, as I happened to be meeting my sister for lunch, I shared these thoughts with her. My sister has often included trees in her paintings and as a supporter of the Woodland Trust, she drew my attention to the forthcoming celebration of the Forest Charter of 1217 and the Woodland Trust’s campaign for a new Tree Charter in 2017.
“Why not write about this and fill the play with wonderment, to enchant your audience?” This was sound advice and we then discussed how other playwrights had used woods and woodlands in their plays. Shakespeare we noted had created a bewitching and comedic setting for the forest in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, whilst Chekhov offered us in The Cherry Orchard,the felling of the orchard to mark the end of an era. This led us to discuss how in Russian art and literature, trees are anthropomorphised, the silver birch symbolising femininity, whilst the oak tree symbolises masculinity. “So metaphorically we are all trees? ” I asked.
“Yes, and you must weave all of this into your play. You are still going to write the play?”
“Yes of course I am ” I replied, “But on one condition. That I also weave your painting, The Forest’s Music into the play?”
And for the answer to this? Well, you must see the play.