the last battle

A 300 year-old battle, fought out on the streets of Preston in 2015.

Barricades in the street. A gig for their last night on earth. Streams of townspeople chasing their victims in an angry cacophony of pots and pans. The audience trapped in the middle.

A full regiment of soldiers fire their muskets into the crowd with a deafening boom. A samba band drum the procession forwards, riding on top of cars pushed bodily down the street.

The troops meet, battle climaxes, and there’s a sudden silence. A lone soldier sings in clear voice the traditional folk song, ‘I wish the wars were all over.’ The bells toll, for minutes, and he is still, and the audience wait and watch. The bells stop, there’s silence, and every one is still.


Commissioned by Preston Council and the Harris Museum


November 26, 2015