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Lawless Reivers and US presidents

Steven Stobbs in Reiver
Steven Stobbs in Reiver

The lawless 16th century borderlands between England and Scotland will be brought back to life in theatres and schools thanks to Durham-based Elysium Theatre Company's Reiver – Tales from The Borders, on tour in October.

Set in the 1500s, when Reivers raiders terrorised the ungoverned Anglo-Scottish border, Newcastle-based, Northumberland-born playwright Steve Byron paints a portrait of a world in which ordinary people stand up against corruption and injustice.

Elysium founder and artistic director Jake Murray said: “The Reivers are a massive part of the history of this part of the country, and the wider history not only of the country as a whole but America, Canada and Australia, and yet few people know about them.

“Reiver families gave us two American Presidents, Richard Nixon and Lyndon B Johnson, and the first man to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong. They've been footballers (the Charltons and the Robsons), retailers (the Fenwicks) and hoteliers (the Marriots). Most people here in the North East are descended from the Reivers but don't know it."

As part of the tour, Elysium is bringing a new writing initiative to schools across Durham and Northumberland. Thanks to funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund, Northumberland County Council and Durham University, Elysium will work on writing and creative arts projects with hundreds of pupils.

The tour:

Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham (October 5); Assembly Rooms Theatre, Durham (October 6-7); Theatre@41, York (October 11); Ushaw House, Durham (October 12); Amerdale Hall, Arncliffe (October 13); Bishop Auckland Town Hall (October 19); Alnwick Playhouse (October 20-21); Newcastle Keep (October 24-26); The Maltings, Berwick (October 27) and Grey Village Hall, Sutton on the Forest (October 28).

More info and tickets here


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