Monmouth Rebellion is new Lyme community play

PUBLISHED: 22:00 04 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:13 05 May 2017

Andy Rattenbury

Andy Rattenbury

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Acclaimed writer Andy Rattenbury is eagerly awaiting the staging of his latest historic production

Award-winning dramatist and scriptwriter Andy Rattenbury, a direct descendent of notorious East Devon smuggler Jack Rattenbury, is eagerly awaiting the staging of his latest historic production.

The community play highlighting the Protestant Duke of Monmouth’s unsuccessful Westcountry Rebellion of 1685, will open at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, in July.

Among the cast will be Andy’s brothers, Steve - making his stage debut - and Brian, the well-known local thespian.

Another prominent Lyme actor, Anne King, is taking the role of Alice, the chronicler of the story.

“I am very excited and can’t wait to see the play telling Monmouth’s story,” Andy told the Midweek Herald. “This was history in the making and it started in the heart of Lyme.

“We’re using multi-media, including film and music. Broadside ballads were very much the word-of-mouth news at the time, and I have sourced many that tell Monmouth’s story.”

Andy researched the Monmouth Rebellion for a few years before he wrote the play in six months.

Monmouth’s attempt to usurp the crown ended with his beheading at the Tower of London just five weeks after he landed to the west of the Cobb at Lyme.

Loved by women, admired by men, Monmouth was very much the pin-up boy of his time.

He was convinced he was the rightful heir to the English throne, claiming he had a certificate of the marriage of his mother and Charles II.

He landed on the Dorset/Devon border because it was at the heart of dissention in the 17th century – ‘the sink of sedition’, as it was known.

** Colyton was later branded Devon’s most rebellious town after 105 local men - more than from other towns in the county - joined the Duke of Monmouth’s army in his ill-fated bid to overthrow Catholic King James II.

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