our new museum

‘War Games’ at the Mary Rose Museum

To mark the first drama production within its new venue, the Mary Rose Museum will be showcasing a specially commissioned promenade performance called ‘War Games’.


The play is in association with Cop the Needle Productions, a local Portsmouth-based theatre company. The performance will consist of four mini-plays that will take place at multiple points around the museum, with scenes imagining characters and events from the day of the sinking of the Mary Rose.


The event promises to bring the story of the Mary Rose to life against a spectacular and atmospheric backdrop.


Two performances will take place on the 5th & 6th March at 7pm and tickets are available to purchase online for only £12.00 (plus booking fee).


‘War Games’ pulls its inspiration from the famous ‘Cowdray engraving’, which depicts the sinking of the Mary Rose at the fateful Battle of the Solent on the 19th July 1545.


The engraving shows the English and French fleets in preparation for battle and the play will endeavour to capture a slice of Tudor life through focusing on characters in the foreground of the painting. It is hoped that the live interpretation of Portsmouth’s Tudor characters in situ will bring another dimension to local visitors and emphasise the importance of the Mary Rose and Portsmouth’s naval presence to British history.


Paul Griffiths, Head of Operations at the Mary Rose Museum said, “We’re really pleased to be working again with the wonderful local playwrights and theatre producers ‘Cop the Needle’. At our former museum we showcased their first Mary Rose themed play ‘Ill Wind’ which went on to be performed at theatres in the area. The premier of this new production promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment.


Playwrights Stuart Olesker and John Stanton co-founded Cop the Needle Productions, which is a local professional dramatic group which focuses on local community stories. They wrote and directed the first Mary Rose themed play ‘Ill Wind’ in 2011, which was showcased at the old Mary Rose museum and was a great success.


Co-founder of Cop the Needle Productions, Stuart Olesker says ‘We have all the essential ingredients needed for a play: love, hate, superstition, domestic violence, fear, indulgence, lust, bravado, deception, and we have added an extra twist at the end of the show.


War Games will run from the 5 to the 6th of March at the Mary Rose Museum, from 7pm.  Tickets will be available for £12 per person (plus booking fee if booked online). Limited spaces mean that pre-booking is essential, either at the Mary Rose Museum or maryrose.org/wargamestickets

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