Shakespeare Theatre Company Presents The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

Oct 9, 2012
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

On the heels of the successful Black Watch, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is pleased to bring a second production from the National Theatre of Scotland to D.C. audiences. Acclaimed Scottish playwright David Greig's The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart will play from November 14-December 9, 2012. For the first time in STC's history, the play will be staged outside of a traditional theatre and will be performed in DuPont Circle's Bier Baron Tavern (1523 22nd Street NW).

Inspired by the Border Ballads of Scotland, the play follows an academic on her supernatural and affirming Midwinter's Eve journey through a world of Scottish nostalgia. One wintry morning Prudencia Hart, an uptight scholar, sets off to attend a conference in Kelso, in the Scottish Borders, and as the snow begins to fall, little does she know who or what awaits her there. Previously performed for sold-out audiences, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart stormed venues throughout Scotland to become the hit of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The production, directed by Wils Wilson, is part of the STC Presents Series which presents world class international productions to theatregoers in D.C. STC's Artistic Director Michael Kahn declared, "We intend to bring in the most innovative and highest quality of work. Our goal is to make sure we're presenting the best of many kinds of performances, the best of their fields, and I feel our STC Presents Series is just that."

To create this new piece of theatre, the National Theatre of Scotland sent writer David Greig, director Wils Wilson and composer Alasdair Macrae to an old pub in Kelso in the Scottish Borders for a weekend to research the Border Ballads; this research weekend took place during the coldest winter in many years. Maybe it was the unique atmosphere in the pub that night, or even the knee deep snow outside, but no one wanted the evening to end, so at midnight the landlord closed the doors and the pub goers found themselves "locked in." Deep in the wee hours, an old man told a story about a group of people who'd come to look for songs a few years back and of how one of them, a woman, had never after been seen again. This story he declared was 'one hundred and ten percent true'; a tale of love, of music and of the Devil. His tale inspired The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart.

The production takes theatre into pubs and other unlikely venues, where stories are told, re-told, sung and passed on. Audiences are invited to indulge in an evening of supernatural storytelling, music and theatre with the company of actors and musicians from The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart. The Shakespeare Theatre Company is pleased to partner with Bier Baron Tavern to present this unique theatre experience. "I think this show will prove to be a lot of fun for the holidays with a mix of theater, traditional Scottish music and whisky - all set in a unique local pub," said STC's Managing Director Chris Jennings.

Support for The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart has been generously provided by Dr. Paul and Mrs. Rose Carter. To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the box office at 202.547.1122 or visit