Hunt's Barn on the night of JUNE 9th 1817. Characters to take part in various confrontations are strategically hidden. To the sounds of “Freedom and Clarke” the 'Regenerators' arrive in groups centre stage, some carry lanterns, the only lighting, Most carry arms of some kind.)
WEIGHTMAN. (To each group as they arrive.) Come lads, I expect an engagement soon. (He may mention to some that it will be at the Butterley.)
(When all are assembled, Brandreth, Ludlam and Weightman take their places at the front.)
BRANDRETH. You all know your duty!
EVERYBODY. Aye, we do!
BRANDRETH. Call at every dwelling and take possession of men and arms.
WEIGHTMAN. Force must be used if they refuse you.
LUDLAM (Privately to Brandreth.) I hear that Mr Jessop has sworn in constables at the Ironworks. They will be waiting for us.
B. There are more than enough of us to deal with them, have no fear. Let's get on!. George, (To Weightman.) Call the men into line!
W. Form up lads, two abreast.
They clumsily form a line.)
B. Heads high men, we fight for freedom!
L. Three cheers for the Captain. (They give three cheers)
B. Thank you lads. May God go with you. (To Weightman) Set the men moving!
W. Right lads -Quick – March!
(They set off singing “Ev’ry Man…”)
SOLO (or chorus over)
The time has come, the schemes are laid.
The men of Pentrich seek out aid
Eager and anxious that their deeds succeed.
They need men and they need arms.
They search among the homes and farms.
None must be missed, and none be spared.
(During the music they march around whatever area is available. They return to centre stage to confront Farmer Tomlinson.)
TOMLINSON (Coming forward) What do you want here?
BRANDRETH We want you, and your gun.
T. You will have neither, and as to my gun, that has gone to Ashover to be mended.
L. Liar! Get the gun, or it will be the worse for you.
T. Very well, but I will not come with you.
VOICE. Knock his head off! (Tomlinson fetches the gun.)
W. Let him go Captain. He shouldn’t leave his wife alone in this lonely spot.
B. Softheartedness could be our undoing. We cannot waver now.
(To Tomlinson) You will come with us or be shot!
T. You give me no choice, but let me carry my own gun.
L. You will carry this (Taking his gun and handing him a pike.) We don’t trust pressed men with firearms.
B. (To Tomlinson) Get into line. (To Weightman) We will split up now. Take your group and head up to the Wire Mill. Round up what you can and keep an eye open for men coming from the North. I’ll take my group over the park, then we’ll meet up with you again at the Lane End as agreed.
(The group divide and each proceeds on its way in different directions. Weightman’s group disappears from sight. Brandreth’s group march to “Ev’ry Man..” and arrive stage front at the end of the song and confront Mary Hepworth.)
SOLO (Or chorus)
Eager fro battle some men give all.
Others hear the voice of their conscience call.
Yet Bandreth’s their leader and his will prevails.
MRS HEPWORTH I know you men, and your purpose. You will get nothing here!
B. Give us your guns and your men, or we will blow your sons brains out!
(A shot rings our. Emma Hepworth rushed out to her mother.)
EMMA Mother, they’ve shot and killed Mr Walters.
VOICE. No need to have done that.
B. (Angrily) I’ll shoot you for insolence.
W. Steady Captain, we must be careful.
MRS H. You’ll regret this night. You men tried hard to involve my sons in your madcap ventures. Thank God they had the sense to keep well out of your way. Now you’ve got innocent blood on your hands, try to wash that off if you can!
B. (Ignoring her remarks) Hand over your arms and men, or we’ll serve you the same treatment. (She does not obey, so he bundles her aside.)
LUDLAM. (To his men) Collect the arms and get the men into line. (This is done, and they march off to "Ev'ry Man..")
Innocent blood had to pay the bill.
The die is cast, they must kill.
And the rain kept falling,
(The two groups meet up again.)
B. (To Weightman.) I'm glad you're with us again George I see you have a useful band. How have you fared?
W. My uncle Joseph, James and Benjamin Taylor and several other good men have joined with us.
B. That is good news. We have a fine army in the making. You have done well George, but I require another service of you. Take a horse and make your way to Nottingham as fast as possible. You should be met on the road by a man who will address you with the password "love." You must reply "well". Is that understood?
W. He says "love" and I reply "well".
B. Yes. Bring back news from him as fast as you can.
W. I'll take a pony from Mr Booth.
B. Good! Be on your way, and God speed!
W. I'll not be long. (He departs.)
B. (Turning to the men.) Men! We have the makings of a real army, and from now on we behave like soldiers. Isaac!
LUDLAM. Yes Captain.
B. You will take charge of the rear and appoint your lieutenants. I will take the front, and we will march in columns of two.
L. Yes Captain. (He moves to the rear, Pushing men Into line as he passes them.) We are ready, Captain.
B. Good! Then we march on Butterley. (Cheers.) (They march on to Ev'ry Man.)
SOLO or CHORUS.
The people of the district share their strife.
Strong should be the call for a better life.
Yet stronger still is the call of the old ways. And the rain kept falling.
The rain kept falling.
(It has been raining steadily as they arrive at the Ironworks.)
BRANDRETH. Halt! To the right face front.
GOODWIN. (Facing Brandreth.) What do you want?
B. We want your men.
G. (Very resolutely.) You will not have any of them. There are too many of you already!
(Addressing the group.) Disperse you men. The laws are too strong for you.(Sounds of concern in the ranks, because they know and respect Mr Goodwin.)
GOODWIN. (Seeing Ludlam.) What are you doing there Isaac Ludlam? And you James Taylor? Good God! What are you doing on such business as this? You put a halter about your necks and will all hang. (Forcefully.) Go home!
LUDLAM (Agitated.) I know I am as bad as can be, but we've gone too far. I can't leave them now.
B. (Badly shaken by the reaction of his men to the authoritive attitude of Mr Goodwin, and aware that their subservience to the man is too deep seated to challenge, turns to the men.) There's nothing for us here lads. Left face. Quick march.
(They march off, much subdued, to Ev'ry Man.)
SOLO or CHORUS.
Their spirits low. They feel despair.
All have their doubts, most have fear. And the rain kept falling.
The rain kept falling.
(They are met by Weightman, returned from Nottingham.)
BRANDRETH. George! I'm truly glad to see you. (Drawing him confidentially to one side.) What news?
W. I met the man as you told me. He said "The Nottingham men are mustering together and the men must come up."
LUDLAM. (Interrupting.) Captain! The men are restless and some have run off.
B. Go to the back Isaac, and shoot down any man who tries to desert us.
L. Aye, Captain, but the men are wet through with the rain and their spirits are low.
B. Get to your task, Isaac. I'll take care of their spirits.
(Addressing the men.) Men! I have good news for you. Nottingham has been taken! (Half-hearted cheers.) Take heart lads. All will be well. An Inn or two will soon know our presence! Some good food in your bellies and a glass or two of ale will soon set you right.
VOICE. Who's paying?
B. Moneys useless now! The Innkeepers between here and Eastwood will be proud to serve us or I'll know the reason why! Come on lads, we're well on our way.
(They move forward in glum silence and are soon net by Mrs Godber from Eastwood.)
MRS GODBER. Are you the men from Pentrich?
B. We are.
Mrs G. Where's Isaac Ludlam?
L. I'm here Mrs Godber, what do you want?
Mrs G. I've known you too long Isaac, to let you walk into trouble. Turn back before its too late.
L. No. Many of these starving men are out because I am here. It is too late to return.
Mrs G. Then come and hide in my cellar until the danger is past.
B. (To Mrs G.) What danger?
Mrs G. I've heard rumours that a number of soldiers are coming from Nottingham in search of insurrectionists.
B. Then it will be the worse for then if they find us! Get back to your Inn ,woman! (Turning to the men.) Forward! (They march slowly forward.)
VOICE Captain! I can see soldiers coming down the Nottingham Road.
2ND VOICE. I see them!. Run, run for your lives.
(They dash about bumping Into each other as they leave the stage in panic. Chorus sings Run for Your Lives.)
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES.
Run, run, run for your lives. We don't stand a chance. The enemy's strong.
The fear of a drop at the end of a rope, And fighting with soldiers.
We don't stand a hope.
Run, run, run for your lives.
And hide where you can, Who cares if its wrong.
Think of your children and sweethearts and wives.
Just take to your heels, and run for you lives.
At the end of the chorus Brandreth Is left alone, centre stage. After a short silence, he sings The Lament for a Lost Cause.)
LAMENT FOR A LOST CAUSE.
Where are they now, where are they now?
Our cherished dreams, our noble cause.
Lost in the dust of a roadside grave, Lost for ever.
Where are they now, where are they now?
Our well-loved friends. Our gallant band.
Lost in the mists of a lonely dawn.
Gone for ever, gone for ever.
(Music for scene change.)
END OF SCENE
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