The annual opening of the Tower will be held in Appley Park and Beach on the 2nd July. The day will involve the opening of the Tower with a guided tour by the Mayor of Ryde, Cllr Michael Lilley as Sir William Hutt, the founder of the Tower. The day will include the premiere of a play specifically created to celebrate and bring to life the history of the Tower.
THE NEW APPLEY TOWER PLAY: “WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY!”
A new theatre group has been formed, the Appley Tower Players, to tell the story of the Tower. Appley Tower Day on the 2nd July at 12 noon will be the premiere of the production. “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way” is the motto of Sir William Hutt MP who had the Tower folly built in 1872. The play is set on a summer’s day in 1878. Sir William takes Miss Brigstocke of Ryde to view the Tower. He knows of Miss Brigstocke’s love of William Shakespeare and has organized a Shakespearian surprise.
Ryde Resident and director of the play, Rebecca Tremain says:
“Appley Tower has a magical quality which plays on the imagination just as Shakespeare’s words play on our emotions. Working with Ryde and island-wide actors and volunteers is such a joy. I hope this becomes an annual event to celebrate the history and heritage of the Tower and Ryde.”
Maureen Sullivan playing Miss Brigstocke says:
“I love learning about the fascinating history of Ryde and our island, so I am delighted to be a part of bringing back to life Sir William Hutt and Miss Brigstocke, two people integral to Victorian Ryde and to have the opportunity to do so within a Shakespearean framework at such an iconic building”.
Cllr Michael Lilley, Mayor of Ryde says:
“As the local Councillor for Ryde Appley and Elmfield I have always arranged for the Tower to open in the summer, but the last time was 2019 due to the pandemic. I have always given a guided tour on the history of the Tower and the people who used it, so delighted to be asked to play Sir William Hutt, the founder of the symbol of Ryde, the Tower.”
Appley Tower Day and Play Production
The event has been a collaboration between Natural Enterprise, Ryde Town Council, Monkton Arts, and The Mustard Club. The aim of the day is to update Ryde/IW residents on the development and restoration of the Tower through the use of theatre. The idea was to develop a story and play about the Tower for schools and how it could fit with the school curriculum. The event has been funded by Southern Water and Ryde Town Council. The Mustard Club has developed the Appley Tower Players with local residents.