24 Jan - 23 Dec 2022

Gone To The Wall 

The Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland, Northumberland, DH8 9SP

18 Jun 2022

  • Wheelchair accessibile

DELIVERED BY: On The Move Theatre

Gone To The Wall is a brand-new play by On The Move Theatre to celebrate the 1900th anniversary of the building of Hadrian’s Wall. It is a comical re-creation of how the Wall was conceived, the logistics of building it and the arrival of thousands of legionaries to the North of Britannia in the year 122.   

During a debate in the Senate of Rome about the state of their occupation in Northern Britain, a messenger, Envoyerus, arrives with the distressing news that the Celts continue to pillage the region. Emperor Hadrian immediately decrees that a wall of stone shall be erected as a frontier to control these barbarians!  

This decision is privately contested by his elder sister, Aelia Paulina, but Hadrian’s takes a stand and declares that an eighty-mile wall is to be built from coast to coast, stretching across the North of Britannia. But this wall must be kept secret!  

Hadrian sends his trusted friend and senator, Aulus Platorius Nepos as overseer of the build. Aulus arrives in Britain and is housed at Vindolanda with his amorous wife, Auxiliria, whom he has conned into taking a sabbatical to the far north to meet Venus, her favourite Goddess. 

The play also follows the story of one young legionary, Wallius Bilderus, a seventeen-year-old, fresh from Rome, as he makes his mark as a wall builder. He faces a battle against the harsh terrain, the weather and the workload. With help from his surveyor friend, Lupus Holius, and the scribe, Scribblius, he gets through his first year, learning to write home to his mother in Rome. But there is added tension from the marauding hapless Celts, who are at a loss as to what is going on! 

As Hadrian’s imminent arrival to view his creation looms, the Romans try mingling with the Celts in order to keep the peace. The Celts, however, seem too preoccupied with keeping the future Celtic generations going! 

Hadrian arrives amid great pomp, but will have no ceremony, as he wants to get down to business and see the beginnings of the Wall for himself. There is disagreement over where he wants the Wall to go, but eventually the route as we know it today is decided. 

Specially written for the HW1900 celebrations and geared to a family audience, the play is colourful, lively, fast paced and entertaining. It touches on actual fact with licence to conjecture what really went on. Alongside the acting, there is music, songs, chants and comedy throughout. On The Move Theatre are a Tyne Valley based theatre company who have been providing laughs for over two decades. Local farmer, David Nixon, is joined by an enthusiastic cast from around Northumberland who will bring this show up a hill and down a dale near you!  

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