It looks like the party’s over; Mercia’s nothing special and there’s nothing much to see. But dig deeper and her home is as old as the hills. As her strange story trickles out, it seems she’s just been keeping her treasures close to her chest.

“I grew up in the small village of Upper Longdon in Staffordshire until I went to university. From that point, at any opportunity I’d work for a bit and then travel, going on to study (and then live) abroad for several years. Returning to the UK, I lasted as an artist living in London for about four years before starting to look elsewhere. London is great and it was useful and is still where some of my closest friends are …but it was a relief to leave in 2011, when I moved back to The Midlands – to Birmingham. This decision was often greeted with surprise and sometimes a sneer – and I remembered that feeling from growing up as I slowly realized that the centre of my universe, The Midlands, barely featured on the world stage – I mean it’s no New York or Paris. But I love it – its eccentricity, its undemonstrative beauty, its rituals and complicated history. So when Theresa Heskins (director of New Vic) approached me to make a piece inspired by The Hoard, it led me to explore my love affair with my Midlands home. The Hoard reminds us to dig a little deeper and find the stories and the value in things that a passing glance or a fleeting visit (certainly if it’s just a train change at Birmingham New Street) might miss.”

“For sheer entrancing oddity, however, it is hard to beat Caroline Horton’s solo performance …Horton’s homecoming tale draws genuine tears of emotion: what’s most remarkable is that, for all her surreal flights of fancy, the quality of Mercia is never strained.”
The Guardian

Original Creative Team

  • Writer and Performer | Caroline Horton
  • Director | Yngvild Aspeli
  • With thanks for this production to | Keith Jager, Michael Alexander, Manfred Jaspers, Ed Jaspers and David Nellist

Commissioned by the New Vic Theatre for The Hoard Festival 2015

With thanks to Theresa Heskins, Gemma Fairlie, Helen Slevin, Steve O’Brien, Lis Hesketh, Laura Clarkson, Sarah Thorne, Sooz Snook, Peter Morgan, Keith Jager, Michael Alexander, Manfred Jaspers, Ed Jaspers and David Nellist.