Eleanor Tour 2017

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About the show

In November 1290, Queen Eleanor died. Edward, her King, erected 12 lavish memorials to honour her across the length of the country topped and tailed by two splendid tombs in Lincoln Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. No English queen before or since has ever been so extravagantly remembered. 8 of those 12 crosses are now lost to history and with them any public awareness of who she was.

This storytelling show, co-written and performed by Sue Macmillan and Hannah McDowall gives intimate glimpses of Eleanor and Edward’s life together spanning 36 years of marriage, 16 children, two wars, years spent on crusade together in the Holy Land, the blossoming of a property empire and the domination of Wales. It celebrates the chivalric culture they idealised and the affectionate, formidable team they became.

What's in store for 2017?

We are going to be touring the show in late November, doing shows at key locations along the route that her cortege took in 1290. 

Click HERE for more details...

The show is suitable for young people and adults. The running time is 2 hours which includes a 20 minute interval. 

How we came to write this show

Back in 2012, Sue, caught in an unexpected rain shower, ducked into the old church of St Mary’s in Woburn, a small town in Bedfordshire, where one of the Eleanor Memorial Crosses once stood. St Mary's holds a permanent exhibition detailing the route of the crosses from Lincoln, where she died, down to Westminster where she was finally buried, stopping on the way at the 12 locations where the memorials were subsequently placed. This gave us our first taste of excitement about this queen who had clearly made such an impression on her King, in a time when royal marriages were for political expediency and not for love.

So we began to read all we could. And discovered very quickly that there was very limited information about her directly. For two and a half years we researched copies of original royal account books held in the British Library, the few accounts which have been written about her since, and, we studied the Arthurian literature that she read, loved and commissioned. To help us understand the landscape and imagery, we visited Lincoln and the places she visited in her final days. On the same dates her body travelled, we walked the first part of the route her embalmed body took in December 1290, unconfined on an open byre with Edward following behind her. All of these sources influenced the writing of this performance, which brings to life, with historical accuracy, the fully rounded nature of a queen with strength, intellect and love.

 

Performances to Date (2016):

Stony Stratford

Leeds

London

Woburn

Eleanor
Longshanks

A THEATRICAL PERFORMANCE

Created and performed by
Sue Macmillan & Hannah McDowall

To contact Sue or Hannah to discuss them performing the show at your venue or festival please email:

Sue and Hannah on eleanorlongshanks@gmail.com.

"Cleverly directed and beautifully performed. Captivating from start to finish."

See a small trailer:​

"I love listening to history through story and want to hear more."

This is what people who came said about the show

"Combining theatrical flair with stunning hard core storytelling, Hannah McDowall and Sue Macmillan are a duo not to be missed!"

Touring the route of the crosses Lincoln to London in 2017

"Cleverly directed and beautifully performed. Captivating from start to finish."

"Great way to learn about important people
in our history and so much more memorable than wading through dry books."

"Storytelling is so powerful, it felt very personal and intimate."

"It was a fabulous mix of great storytelling, backed up by meticulous research and evocative writing."

"The performances were so beautiful, anyone hearing this would be hard pressed not to be whisked back in time..."​

"Sue and Hannah had a wonderful connected style, the flow was beautiful and atmospheric."