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Lord John Hervey returns to Ickworth for a tale of spite and lies!

A one-man play delving into the life and ambitions of the 17th century Lord John Hervey of Ickworth is set to be performed at his former home next month.

Simply called ‘Hervey’, the performance will tell the story of a waspish and witty aristocrat desperate to make his mark as a statesman at the court of King George II. 

Born in 1696, Lord Hervey, the son of the 1st Earl and his second wife, was a successful politician and pamphleteer and rose to high government office as Keeper of the Privy Council, becoming one of the most famous figures of his time. He is best remembered today for his outspoken memoirs of the court of George II and for his devotion to Queen Caroline, which the play, written and performed by A.P Waxkirsch, is based on. 


Lord Hervey's life was marked by scandal, achieving notoriety for his personal relationships, whilst also remaining married to his wife Molly Lepel. He died before his father so never inherited his father’s title, but his sons became 2nd, 3rd and 4th Earls of Bristol respectively.

Explaining why he chose to use the memoirs to create a theatrical performance, Mr Waxkirsh said: “There was more to the memoirs than just names in a dry history textbook. Throughout, I was conscious of Lord Hervey himself - that oddly personal, not to say idiosyncratic style and, above all, his utter humanity in all its frailty and fallibility. It was easy enough; reading between the lines, to see how Lord Hervey must have infuriated many of his contemporaries, but at the same time one could not miss the warmth of his heart and the truth of his affections.” 


“In my one-man show I have tried to present a coherent narrative of the Queen's last months from Lord Hervey's point of view, giving full weight to the colour and vitality of the characters involved, King, Queen, Prince and Prime Minister - and, not least, that long-forgotten vice-chamberlain whose memoirs are among the most absorbing curiosities of English literature.”

Presented as part of the Bury St Edmunds Festival, this one-night-only performance will take in the West Wing Gallery on 18 May at 7.30pm, to book tickets for the show visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth/whats-on