Would you like to join Simon de Montfort’s army?

East Chiltington-based actor Michael Webber stars in the play
East Chiltington-based actor Michael Webber stars in the play

It is dawn on May 14th 1264, and Simon de Montfort’s army is ready to set off over the South Downs to fight King Henry.

Do you have what it takes to join Montfort’s Army?

This site-specific play is suitable for anyone who can manage the four-mile march over the Downs and is willing to help the spread of democracy.

Montfort’s March is a new show written by Suzi Hopkins and produced by The Company, to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes.

The Company specialise in site-specific theatre, creating plays to be performed anywhere, but in a theatre.

Montfort’s March takes place on the South Downs, between East Chiltington and Lewes.

The audience meet at a bus stop in Lewes and will then be bussed to the edge of Warningore Wood, where Simon de Montfort camped the night before the Battle of Lewes in 1264.

On arrival, the audience become, along with the actors, Montfort’s army, and will be marched up and over the South Downs to Lewes to fight Henry III, while the play happens all around them.

The Battle of Lewes is an important historic event not just for Lewes, but nationally.

The battle in 1264, in which Simon de Montfort defeated Henry III, led to the de Montfort Parliaments of 1265 – the first parliaments at which affairs of the realm were discussed with elected commoners present in the house.

These are seen by many as one of the seeds of our democracy.

Montfort’s March is supported by the Houses of Parliament, the Arts Council, the South Downs National Park Authority, the East Sussex Arts Partnership, Lewes District and Town Councils, East Chiltington and Chailey Parish Councils, Adams and Remers Solicitors and Bill’s of Lewes, and is part of the Battle of Lewes 750 Group.

There are eight public performances on May 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 14, 17 and 18, with all performances starting at 2pm, except the special twilight performance on the anniversary of the Battle on May 14, which starts at 6pm.

Tickets are available from the Lewes Tourist Information Centre (01273 483 448) and the Brighton Festival Fringe.

Call 01273 917 272 or visit www.brightonfringe.org.

For all the performances the audience meet at the Public Bus Stop on A275/Nevill Road by Nevill Crescent, BN7 1NA.