Bringing Back the Bluestones

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Bringing Back the Bluestones is a stage play by Derek Webb about a group from Pembrokeshire, called Carreg Glas, campaigning to have the Stonehenge bluestones returned to Wales.

History[edit]

The play began as a short radio play by Derek Webb, but was then developed into a stage play in 2002. The original production caused a sensation in Wales when The Western Mail (the national newspaper of Wales) carried an article reporting the premise the play was based on as true[1] The group claimed that since Greece wanted the Elgin Marbles back, Wales should be able to lay claim to the Bluestones. Not only did the Western Mail run a front page article and a leader column comment, but devoted a full half page colour to the story. Eminent historians and politicians were consulted. And a spokesperson for English Heritage which looks after Stonehenge reportedly 'almost choked when asked about the possibility of dismantling Stonehenge.' The story was subsequently taken up by other newspapers and radio stations throughout Wales and Wiltshire. But it turned out that the creation of CarregLas was a spoof designed to engineer publicity for a play which followed the fortunes of Roy Brown as he sets up the pressure group and campaigns for the return of Stonehenge to the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire.

Other developments[edit]

In 2004, a few years after the first production, British Archaeology carried the following story:

Dr Robin Lewis, Archdruid of the Welsh Gorsedd of Bards, wrote to the Daily Telegraph: ‘Since the Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland a few years since, and it is clearly only a matter of time until the Elgin Marbles are returned to Greece, may I express a request that Stonehenge be returned to Wales?’ Dr Lewis’s appeal, made ‘on behalf of my fellow druids, bards and the rest of my Welsh compatriots’, is not without precedent. Welsh pressure group Carreg Glas made a similar claim on Stonehenge in 2002, which turned out to be a prank to publicise a play called Bringing Back the Bluestones by Derek Webb. Carreg Glas’ mad scheme won real-life supporters, so perhaps Archdruid Lewis’ voice won’t be a lone one." [2]

The story was also reported by the Milford Mercury[3] and the BBC.[4]

Recent adaptations[edit]

The play was rewritten in 2010 for a performance by Fluellen Theatre Company at the Swansea Grand Theatre, as part of their Lunchtime Theatre programme. This new 1-act version subsequently transferred to deValence in Tenby and on to Theatr Gwaun in Fishguard where it attracted record audiences. The main character in the play, Roy Brown, has subsequently been developed in a further comedy entitled 'Roy Brown: Untitled' in which Roy sees modern art as a way of making quick money and turns out a number of 'artworks' in quick succession. The play was premiered in 2010 at Swansea's Grand Theatre. Webb is the author of several other plays which have been premiered at the theatre. His most recent play was commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first flight from the UK to Ireland by Denys Corbett Wilson in April 1912.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales) Article date:September 23, 2002
  2. ^ British Archaeology Issue 78 September 2004, ISSN 1357-4442.
  3. ^ Milford Mercury newspaper dated Friday 25th June 2004
  4. ^ Archdruid wants Stonehenge back BBC, 22 June, 2004

External links[edit]