folk songs · Musician · performance · Wilshire folk songs


Captain Swing front cover300

The new novel by Beatrice Parvin, praised for the “musicality and lyricism of its language” is rapturously showcased with British folk music and storytelling. A riotous tale of passion and tragedy, set on Salisbury Plain in the 1840s, will be brought to life by spellbinding voices, fiddle wizardry and accordion.


‘Captain Swing and the Blacksmith’ tells the story of Sue Trindall, a 17-year-old button seller, against the backdrop of the Swing Riots of 1830.  The show is a dramatisation of the novel using the folk songs that inspired the narrative, interwoven with storytelling and historical documents from the period. Original songs have been specially written for the show, including a piece by the late Dave Swarbrick, Betsey Bobbin.  The audience will be transported to a time of hardship and drama by singing and music performed by inventive and talented performers.

Captain Swing and The Blacksmith - MAIN PHOTO

Friday February 1st, Avebury Village Hall

7.30pm FULL SHOW Box office Tel: 01672 539253

Saturday March 23rd, Salisbury Museum

14.30 to 16.00, Box office Tel: 01722332151

Saturday May 18th, Great Somerford

7.30pm, FULL SHOW Box office Tel: 01672 539253



Creative Writing Workshops

Saturday 2nd February 2019

2 – 4pm  at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

Tuesday March 26th

10.30 – 12.30 at The George Hotel in partnership with Amesbury library

2.00 – 4.00 at Salisbury Methodist Church

Using historical documents and folk songs that inspired the story, these workshops will teach the forgotten art of love letters and threatening notes… with writer Beatrice Parvin and singer/songwriter Rebecca Hollweg, who will perform songs and stories from the full show.

Our Secret History in Song

British folk song is rich in passion, tragedy and poetry. There are few surviving documents, written by rural working people, that describe their own experiences. But the songs that they sang have been handed down for us to enjoy, and to help us imagine the harshness of their world.

The workshop will enable students to create their own story plots and dialogue by combining different verse, local to Wiltshire, from the archives. We will explore the value of folk song as social history and as a window to the emotional lives of the largely illiterate rural poor. The validity of popular broadsides as source material will be discussed, as well as problems with dialect and the language used in verse.

This workshop is part of a tour of performances and workshops sponsored by Creative Wiltshire, Celebrating Age, Rural Arts and Salisbury Museum







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