It was April
2004. Hooray Henley!! had passed into
history. At least we proved we could do it. But
what next? Something original - with plenty of
parts for our very talented teenagers. Something
that would challenge, but not intimidate. Perhaps
something with females as the central characters
- Boadicea - that seemed promising. A week of
rummaging in the archives of the Indiana
University library - where else to find
information on a British heroine? - unearthed
name was certainly not Boadicea - that
name was the result of medieval
story is unrelentingly grim and
depressing - perhaps not such a good
idea. Difficult to work any humour into
such violence and oppression.
- here was the germ of the idea - what
little we really knew about Boudicca is
given to us by the Roman historian
Tacitus. He was told the story by his
how did Agricola know?
commanding XX Legion in early middle-age,
Agricola returned to Britain as Military
Governor, arguably the best that Rome ever gave
to Britain. He certainly seemed to show more
humanity to the natives than most. Most
interesting of all, he served a short time in
Britain as a very young man - at the time that
Boudicca was causing her mayhem.
few firm facts and a lot of legend, there was
plenty of room to weave a story around Boudicca
and Agricola. But would it allow for any light
relief? We had a loyal and enthusiastic audience
who would, if possible, like to be entertained.
A wild tribe
of ancient Britons ruled by a female?
Asterix-like Romans? A shambolic, ill-equipped
army not quite sure where it was going? There
ought to be humour here. But could we use it
without destroying the impact of the story? Even
now, the cast is split on this.
We will let
the audience decide.
now done, it was over to Ed for the music. A week
later came the news that Mel Gibson's next big
film project was going to be Boudicca. So much
for originality. Oh well, if it's good enough for
Mel, it's good enough for Drayton Players....