Play shows Emily’s bond with county

Launch of Emily Davison play at Morpeth's Chantry Middle School with (left to right) Kay Renner who plays Emily's mother and Kate Willoughby who plays Emily.
Launch of Emily Davison play at Morpeth's Chantry Middle School with (left to right) Kay Renner who plays Emily's mother and Kate Willoughby who plays Emily.

A MOTHER’S love has inspired a new play about Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

To Freedom’s Cause, by Kate Willoughby, will premiere in Morpeth next month.

While many people know something of Emily’s fatal accident at the Epsom Derby, when she was struck by the King’s horse after stepping onto the track, the play will show a different side to the campaigner.

Inspired by a letter Emily’s mother Margaret Caisley wrote to her daughter in Epsom Hospital, it explores not only the relationship between the two women and the tragedy of Emily’s death, but also the Suffragette’s bond with Northumberland.

She would often return to her mother’s home in Longhorsley to recuperate from her brutal treatment in prison, where she was force-fed 49 times.

The play, which is subtitled The Lawless Lassie after Emily’s local nickname, also aims to dispel the dour image of the campaigner by showing her enthusiasm and sense of humour.

Ms Willoughby, who plays the part of Emily, said: “Our aim is to tell Emily’s story, remind today’s generation and inspire the next.

“Throughout everything she endured Emily remained that bright Northumbrian sunbeam with a boundless love of life and a lively sense of humour.

“The play is fun, educational and thought-provoking, although because Emily was one of the more radical figures of the Suffragette movement, the script does not shy away from the brutality and desperation of her situation.”

A series of workshops around the play took place in local schools, including Chantry and Newminster, last week.

It will be staged in various venues in Northumberland and Newcastle, and in Richmond and Covent Garden. For dates and ticket details call 01434 652471 or visit www.emilyinspires.co.uk