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Durham students take historic play to Tower of London
A MEDIEVAL Bishop of Durham’s daring escape from the Tower of London is to be retold in its original setting by a group of North-East students and graduates.
The seven Durham University scholars past and present will perform Bishop’s Move, exploring the story of 11th Century Bishop of Durham Ranulf Flambard, in the Tower of London from Saturday.
Bishop Flambard was an influential minister under King William Rufus but Rufus’ successor, Henry I, threw him into the Tower of London as a political prisoner.
In February 1101, he escaped by getting his guards drunk and descending a rope from a tower window, allegedly while wearing his bishop’s mitre and carrying his pastoral staff.
Flambard fled to Normandy, became an adviser to Henry’s brother Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, and assisted Robert in his ultimately unsuccessful invasion of England.
Despite this, he was later reappointed Bishop of Durham and contributed much to the building of Durham Cathedral.
Bishop’s Move has been organised by Durham World Heritage Site and Historic Royal Palaces, the charity responsible for the Tower of London.
Written by the students involved in two weeks earlier this month, it is a 30-minute, interactive play which will take visitors to various locations around the Tower.
One of the students, Tom Wynter, said: “The Tower is an iconic site and to perform a play there is incredible. It’s almost a dream come true – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Weather permitting, there will be performances at the Tower of London from Saturday, September 29, to Sunday, October 7, at noon and 2pm. Tickets are free on admission to the Tower. For more information, visit hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon
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