University of Portsmouth's History Blog

Local History on Stage

As part of his practice research PhD at Portsmouth, Vin Adams has written a play about the events here in 1642, just before Charles I raised his standard in Nottingham. The play will be performed in The Square Tower in Old Portsmouth, itself part of the action of the play, and brings to life many figures of the time including Queen Henrietta Maria, John Pym, Sir William Waller and, of course, George Goring. For anyone interested in local history, this should be an interesting exploration of Portsmouth’s part in one of the battles that prefaced the Civil War. Vin has been working on the project with Fiona McCall, senior lecturer in early modern history at Portsmouth, and final year BA (Hons) History student Tom Austin. 


Being a New Play

About the

Remarkable Role of Portsmouth

In Kindling

The English Civil War.

6th-9th March 2019 at 7.30pm Tickets £10 (£8 for Students) www.ticketsource.co.uk/ssa

Dashing and heroic on the field of battle and a complete disaster in his private life, Colonel George Goring has been given the Governorship of one of the most militarily important towns in the country: Portsmouth. Having played the King and Parliament off against each other to fund the refortification of the town, he finally reveals which side he’s on and gives his people little choice but to defend themselves against enormous odds. As the tower of St. Thomas’ Church is hit and Southsea Castle is taken, will Goring’s men be a match for the troops massing on Portsdown Hill? In her desperate attempts to raise armies to save her husband, will the Queen accept Goring’s offer of safe passage to the continent? And will Goring escape with his life or be forced to carry out his threat to blow up The Square Tower and everyone inside the town walls?

Based on contemporary accounts and using the vibrant dramatic style of the seventeenth century, Besieged brings to life the comedy and tragedy of a surprising moment in the history of Portsmouth.

Teo Dumitriu as Queen Henrietta Maria
Danny Carter as Colonel Goring
Pat Howe as Sir William Waller

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