Emily play goes down a storm across the region

A NEW play about Emily Wilding Davison has been hailed a big success after touring parts of Northumberland.

Eight performances of To Freedom’s Cause by playwright and actor Kate Willoughby have been carried out as part of the Emily Inspires! programme of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of the Suffragette.

It was premiered in Morpeth during the special centennial weekend in and around the town and has also been enjoyed by audiences in Alnwick, Ashington, Newbiggin, Riding Mill and Rothbury.

In addition, the production has been staged in Newcastle and the Downview women’s prison near Epsom.

The writer, who plays the lead role of Emily too, said: “The audience response we have had to the play has been quite overwhelming at times.

“Being part of the whole Emily Inspires! series of events has been a moving and memorable experience for all of us involved in the production of my play.”

It examines the final few weeks before Emily left her mother’s home in Longhorsley for the final time to travel to Epsom in June 1913, where she was fatally injured in a collision with King George V’s horse. It also deals with the brutal treatment she received in prison, including force-feeding.

The Greater Morpeth Development Trust part of the Emily team secured an Arts Council England grant to support the production, which after one performance at the Georgian Theatre in Richmond, Yorkshire, is now having a week-long run at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London’s Convent Garden.