Ely-based Snail Tales mark England's upcoming 1,000th birthday with 'The First King of England... in a Dress'

PUBLISHED: 08:08 21 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:39 15 December 2016

Ely-based Snail Tales mark England’s upcoming 1,000th birthday with ‘The First King of England... in a Dress’

Ely-based Snail Tales mark England's upcoming 1,000th birthday with 'The First King of England... in a Dress'

Archant

Ely-based theatre group Snail Tales is marking England's upcoming 1,000th birthday with their child-friendly stage production 'The First King of England... in a Dress!'

Chip Colquhoun, Snail Tales’ creative director.Chip Colquhoun, Snail Tales’ creative director.

The show recalls how England was united and officially named by the Danish King Knut – Europe’s first peacemaker – in 1018.

The Lottery-funded production highlights how Knut’s reign ended hundreds of years of bloodshed between Anglo-Saxons and Vikings – the two immigrant groups who would eventually be known as ‘English’.

Chip Colquhoun, Snail Tales’ creative director, said: “While researching my book ‘Cambridgeshire Folk Tales for Children’, I found Knut had quite a good reputation in these parts – even among Saxons, who must have been prejudiced against a Viking ruler at first.

“When I also found that Knut was the first to be called ‘King of England’, almost exactly 1,000 years ago, I realised that his story is a timely reminder that we can live together in peace, even if we come from different parts of the world.”

Snail Tales won Arts Council funding for the project, as well as support from Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire Libraries, and The History Press.

It will premiere at The Guildhall in Cambridge on Sunday December 4.

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