Retired doctor Michael wins brand new playwriting award

Left: Michael Fenty; top right: The cast of Polwarth on the Green. From left: Nathan Landon, Amy Kenneally, Archie Beattie, Susanna McEwen and Matthew Duxbury ' all from Berwickshire High School and bottom: John Mackay Wilson
Left: Michael Fenty; top right: The cast of Polwarth on the Green. From left: Nathan Landon, Amy Kenneally, Archie Beattie, Susanna McEwen and Matthew Duxbury ' all from Berwickshire High School and bottom: John Mackay Wilson
Share this article
0
Have your say

The Wilsons Tales Project and DunsPlayFest have collaborated to provide an annual prize for aspiring and experienced playwrights to adapt and present one of Wilson’s Tales of the Borders for the stage.

The winner of the first inaugural Wilson’s Tales Revival Prize is retired doctor Michael Fenty.

A prolific and accomplished playwright from Coldingham, Michael will receive £250 and have his play performed on May 7 at the DunsPlayFest, which runs from May 2 to 9, 2020.

John McEwen, director of DunsPlayFest, said: “We look forward to seeing the first presentation of the winning commission at the 2020 festival and hope that this collaboration will become a strong partnership over the years and provide inspiration for and development of writing and theatrical skills locally.

“Applications are invited from all those who have had or will have work produced at DunsPlayFest to adapt one of Wilson’s Tales for the stage, so that it can be presented at DunsPlayFest 2021.

“Wilson’s father came from Duns and Wilson himself wrote several plays during his lifetime, so the collaboration with DunsPlayFest – a week-long festival celebrating new dramatic writing based at the Volunteer Hall in the town – seems appropriate on many levels.”

Email info@dunsplayfest.org for more details on how to apply for DunsPlayFest 2021.

The Wilson’s Tales Project was established in 2013 and has already commissioned and presented ten plays based on The Tales.

The project has worked with established troupes such as Northumberland Theatre Company and Duns Players, and well-known actors like John Nicholl, as well as established and emerging local amateur playwrights such as Robert Wilkinson and Alice Dobie.

Who was John Mackay Wilson?

In 1832, John Mackay Wilson, then Editor of the Berwick Advertiser, began publishing local stories and by 1834 had published the first collection of Wilson’s Tales of the Borders and of Scotland.

The six-volume work was so successful that it out-sold Sir Walter Scott’s work at the time, however the workload may have contributed to the author’s early death in 1835 at the age of 31.