FINAL rehearsals are under way as performers prepare to play their part in tributes to Emily Wilding Davison.
A range of activities has been organised through the Emily Inspires programme, including talks, exhibitions and a procession, to honour the Suffragette in the centenary of her death.
It also includes the staging of a play, To Freedom’s Cause, about Emily’s final protest in which she was struck by the King’s horse as she attempted to pin the Suffragette colours to its reins at the 1913 Epsom Derby. Emily died four days later and Ms Willoughby was inspired to write the play after reading a letter Emily’s mother wrote to her daughter in hospital.
“Emily was very much a bright Northumbrian sunbeam, spirited and generous in nature, although until recently this side of her character was completely overlooked in favour of the rather dour martyr image first promoted by the Women’s Social and Political Union for propaganda,” she said.
The play can be seen at Morpeth Riverside Leisure Centre tomorrow and Saturday.
Another group leading events is women’s choir Werca’s Folk.
The group will open the celebrations with A Song for Emily concert at Morpeth Town Hall tonight, including a new song by Director Sandra Kerr, Emily Inspires Us Yet, whose first song when she moved to the region 25 years ago was also about the Suffragette.
“Since I wrote my first song about Emily we have taken her to our hearts because she remains such an inspirational figure for women, not just in the North East, but around the country and indeed the whole of the world. Our choir members are very proud to be so actively involved in remembering Emily,” she said.
The choir will also sing in the Market Place and a church service.
Emily Inspires is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery through Arts Council England.