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Yardley Church with royal links is staging play

Solihull Union Theatre is staging Robert Bolt's classic play at St Edburgha's Church, Yardley, this week.

A Man for All Seasons performed by Solihull based group Union Theatre held at the Yardley Church.
A Man for All Seasons performed by Solihull based group Union Theatre held at the Yardley Church.

A historic Yardley church with links to Henry VIII is the exciting venue for a theatre group’s latest show, A Man For All Seasons.

Solihull Union Theatre is staging Robert Bolt’s classic play at St Edburgha’s Church, Yardley, this week.

This is a most appropriate setting as this tale, of the conflict of Sir Thomas More and King Henry VIII, has a strong connection with Yardley.

Set in the north wall is a Tudor doorway above which are carved a Tudor rose and a pomegranate.

This is thought to commemorate the marriage of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VII’s oldest son, Prince Arthur. Catherine and Arthur were married on November 14, 1501 in Old St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Catherine was escorted by the groom’s younger brother, Henry. Catherine was 16 years old and Arthur was 15.

After the wedding and celebrations, the young couple moved to Ludlow Castle on the Welsh border. Less than six months later, Arthur was dead.

Fourteen months after her husband’s death Catherine was betrothed to the future Henry VIII, who was too young to marry at the time. She married Henry VIII in 1509 and dramatically changed the course of English history.

Another interesting local connection is that when Henry divorced Catherine, she was granted the manor of Yardley and other properties in 1533 as part of the divorce settlement.

Director and churchwarden John Seeley said: “We are all delighted here in Yardley to be able to stage this wonderful play that brings to life the history of Yardley and its ancient church. It should be a memorable occasion.”

The profits will be given to the church restoration appeal that is seeking to raise £150,000 towards the retiling of the roof

The show, which started yesterday, runs until tomorrow.

Tickets are £9 for adults and £8 concessions.

Book by calling 0121 784 4067

 

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