Alternative look at King’s 
last 
battle

editorial image

Selkirk-based theatre company IDEOMS returns to the Edinburgh Fringe this year with its much-acclaimed show, Soddin’ Flodden.

Running until August 17 at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile, John Nichol and co will then take the show on an extensive tour throughout the south of Scotland, the highlight being the performance in Selkirk on the 500th anniversary of Flodden – September 7.

The show recounts the life of James IV – five centuries on from his death in the Battle of Flodden.

It charts the events leading up to the calamitous 1513 defeat – a history lesson of sorts, but written and devised by Nichol.

Accomplished musicians and singers Hilary Bell and Lucy Cowan will also perform.

John said: “It’s the kind of show that can be seen more than once in order that all of the fast-moving storyline can be taken in.

“There are plenty of laughs and a good selection of sing-a-long songs, as well as a wide assortment of headgear and weaponry – never a dull moment from start to finish.”

John added: “The show includes the marriage of the Thistle and the Rose, with wedding cake for the audience and the appearance of a surprise celebrity guest.”

Soddin’ Flodden will also try to dispel the myth that James IV was naive or mad to take his troops into battle in Northumberland.

John said: “James IV was supported by a very broad spectrum of the Scottish community, all three estates – magnates, church and commoners. The war with England was a popular one.

“James had prepared well for it, both with his impressive navy and his up-to-date artillery.

“Flodden was a disaster, but up until the shrewd tactics of the English army out-manoeuvered the Scots and James’ men foundered in the swamp at the foot of Branxton Hill, there had been the confident expectation of a Scots victory.”

The south of Scotland tour dates are as follows: August 27 – Buccleuch Centre, Langholm (phone 013873 81196); September 6 – Maltings Theatre, Berwick (01289 330999); September 7 – Victoria Halls, Selkirk (52 High Street, formerly Shoe World); September 8 –Coldstream Community Centre (01890 882211); September 13 – Carlops Village Hall (07773 024024); September 14 – Hall Theatre, Coldingham (www.coldingham.info); September 15 – County Hotel, Selkirk (01750 721233); September 21 – Lady Waterford Hall, Ford (01890 820777); September 22 – Smailholm Village Hall (01573 460666); September 23 – Towermill Theatre, Hawick (01450 360688); September 27 – Kirkhope Hall, Ettrickbridge (01750 52257); September 28 – Wauchope Hall, Yetholm (01573 420366); October 4 – Eastgate Theatre, Peebles (01721 725777); October 5 – Norham Village Hall (01289 382015).