Relive the legend of the King of Mercia with staged play

A STAGED and costumed performance retelling the legend of the boy King of Mercia is set for the stage.

The Ballad of St Kenelm is based on a poem by famous Halesowen poet and writer Francis Brett Young, which has been set to music by Hagley composer Andrew Downes.

The performance at St James’s Church, Wollaston, on Saturday, June 16, will feature soprano Paula Downes and orchestra leader Anna Downes both daughters of the composer, together with narrator Haydyn Thomas.

Music will be performed by members of the Central England Camerata and members of Hagley Community Orchestra under the direction of Cynthia Downes, the wife of the composer.

A special feature of the evening will be a costumed pageant performed by members of the Francis Brett Young Society which re-enacts events from the life of the young Saint who became King in the year 819.

According to the legend, the boy King Kenelm was murdered on the Clent hills.

The performance of The Ballad of St Kenelm has been organised by Local & Live – a not for profit group of music enthusiasts based in Stourbridge.

Local & Live chairman Graham Smith said: “This promises to be a spectacular event, which would be of interest to anyone keen on music and local history.”

Tickets can be purchased on the door priced £10 and anyone under the age of 18 can get in free of charge.

The performance starts at 7.30pm. For more information visit

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