Making its United States premiere at the 2020 Hollywood Fringe Festival, this theatrical monologue tells the thrilling story of the battles of Sir William Wallace, a Scottish knight who became a central early figure in the wars to secure Scottish freedom from the English, becoming one of his country’s greatest national heroes. Written and performed by Alex McSherry from an original story by Stuart Hepburn. The Tanner is taken from the point of view of a tanner who fought alongside Wallace, highlighting the facts that blood, guts, fear, and death, the nature of a tanner’s work, are the constants of war.
For the common soldier there is no glory, fame or medals. The tanner stood with Wallace and fought the English for ‘freedom’. What did it cost him? Everything. What did he get for it? Nothing. Well, not quite…
The Tanner deals with the brutality of war and the heavy costs paid by the ordinary men and their families who choose to follow the leaders, nobles and clan chiefs into battle, in these instances, to win their freedom back from the oppressive forces of a monarch foreign to them. The macabre twist within The Tanner speaks to the vengeance wrought by those who lose so much.
The Tanner has been performed at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Wolverhampton Literature Festival, and venues across the UK, receiving several five-star reviews, and has won varied accolades over the years, including a Scottish Tourism Oscar for the quality of writing, production and performance. The play has been performed at historic sites in Scotland and England including Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle, and the National Wallace monument.