The Zombie Knights of the Eildon Hills

By Mary Daykin

WE know the Peebles Players group is going from strength to strength, so we always eagerly await a new show.

And we were not disappointed because ‘The Zombie Knights of the Eildon Hills’ was colourful, imaginative and included the audience singing.

The show was based on the Legend of the Zombie Knights, which the narrator, Lyndal Bale, read in verse, slotting into the action and music.

Dick Canonbie (Jeremy Sceats) kept trying to sell his horses at Melrose market but three times he failed, and each time met a strangely dressed man on the way home.

Each time this man bought the horses with antique coins.

The third time Dick asked his name, which was Merlin (Scott Browne) and where he came from.

Merlin took him to a huge door in a cliff and with a lot of pushing the rusty door opened.

There was a passage lit by flickering lights and then a great hall where there were knights made of stone.

Dick had to choose between a sword or a horn laying on a table.

He blew the horn and the knights came to life encircling him.

Merlin restored order and then King Arthur (David Learmouth) and Queen Guinevere (Tessa Salveson) appear from their eternal sleep. They tell Dick to go on his way and that he would forget that the visit to the cave ever happened.

The Eildon Hills reappear projected onto the stage backdrop. All is restored there is no king, no queen and no cave door.

The performance was enriched by piano (Lorraine Mulholland), violin (Anne Giles) and bass guitar (James Gordon), plus a large number of percussionists.

One of the xylophone players, Jenny Skinner, must get a mention as she just wanted to play on.

So many other people could be mentioned who were behind the scenes – great costumes by Celia Buchan, choreography by Alex Saunders, sound and lights by Hamish the ‘Techi’ and volunteers doing anything asked of them.

One person has to pull all the show together and that is Claire Garnett, the musical director who has held this role for nearly 30 years.

This group meet very Monday in the Eastgate studio at 1.30pm For more information contact Fran Swift- 07806758085