Judith Adams - Playwright & Dramatist

"Judith Adams doesn't just write well-made plays, but pieces in which form and subject are perfectly matched" Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

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Whitestone Arts Research Centre

Creative Workshop Space, West Yorkshire

Adapted 17th Century Pennine longhouse

[email protected]
+44 (0)1535 644644

concept / Judith Adams



Legend has it that buried beneath the Tower mound is the head of the giant Bran (meaning: Raven) from Celtic myth. He faces towards France and the continent, to scare off invasion. This plan seems to have spectacularly failed to discourage Jutes, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Danes, Romans and finally the Norman French in 1066 AD. William the Conqueror fortified the strategic site, and began the buildings we see today with the iconic White Tower.

The Tower began, therefore, not as defence of the realm, but as a symbol of foreign oppression, and “Englishness” embraces many cultures through its genesis of invasion and settlement

But legend also has it – or certainly, popular modern lore has it - that 6 ravens must always reside in the Tower – or something unspecified but horrible will happen to the monarchy, or London, or the British Isles.

We propose to unpack this core myth inside the Tower’s history and body forensically, by exploring the details of the geological fabric of the Tower itself, and the micro-biology of its star resident - the raven – composed as both are from all 4 elements of earth, air, fire and water. We will picture this through a process of digital alchemy. Our virtual sciences will include geology, astronomy, astrology, metallurgy, cartography, architecture, biology and Britain’s industrial technology.

Everything we make will be sourced from the bird’s DNA: jewels - stones - metal weapons - cloud formations - landscapes - buildings – oceans – spitfires – dragons – plagues – fires – industry - wild beasts – royal crowns - grass and trees – oceans – railways - boats - stars – animals and humans, in the same way metal is smelted, ore extracted, chemicals mixed, gems cut and wool is washed and dyed in plant compounds.

The cosmos around it and the movement of time, backwards and forwards, will be based on the metal sundial on Tower Hill and Hew Draper’s Astrological Clock / Zodiac, carved deep in his Salt Tower dungeon. (The Beasts of the Tower can by inspired by and fleshed out from this Zodiac).