Tale of Hours, 1993

Tale Of Hours posterSynopsis

A Tale of Hours explores the mystery of time and memory.

Young Jack is saddened that his grandmother, a woman who instilled in him a love of history, is losing her memory. Jack asks his father, a stonemason, working on the Minster, why memory seems to break through time barriers. ‘Where does the past go?’  he asks.

As he sits on the War Memorial his wonderings bring to life the Quarterjack, the Minster’s sentinel of time, who has rung the hours of the church clock for more than 400 years. Together they lead the audience on a journey around the Minster and meet real characters who once lived in Wimborne, Thomas Hardy, Isaac Gulliver (a famous Dorset smuggler), Lioba (one of the first nuns at the Saxon monastery at Wimborne), as well as a scientist, not unlike leading cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, who helps the boy rethink the conundrum of history and our place in the universe.

See photos of the production here

About the production

The play explored themes of Alzheimer’s Disease, memory (and loss of memory), time and space and the importance of the imagination. The histories of the Church of St Cuthburga and Wimborne Minster were also researched for this play. Local schools worked with regional artists and Dorset Theatre in Education.

Chief Inspector, Dorset Education Authority said, ‘…a wonderful example of theatre in education at its best.’

Archive materials

The following items from Tale of Hours have been stored in our materials archive. Click here to view.

  1. Programme
  2. Poster
  3. Newspaper clippings from the press
  4. Letter from Revd Canon David R. Price
  5. Information on the sculpture of St. Lioba
  6. Lyrics of songs from the production
  7. Research:
    1.  Copying Architecture in an Old Minster – a poem by Thomas Hardy
    2.  Character notes on the notables in Wimborne Minster
  8. Photos of the artists
  9. Script
  10. Videos