The Stoning of Thomas of Winesbury

A new ballet by William Carslake

Based on a Scottish folksong, Thomas of Winesbury, William Carslake’s new ballet explores themes of torture in the name of religion, and the father-daughter relationship.

Thomas of Winesbury is published by Shorter House.

The Gaoler and the King



Engraving solo

Synopsis: While the King of France is held prisoner in Spain, his daughter Janet is secretly with child by a servant, Thomas of Winesbury. On the king’s return he questions Janet. He makes her strip and stand on a stone in front of a crowd, exposing her pregnancy. He orders Thomas' death by public stoning but, as the stoning begins, he sees Thomas' face for the first time and falls in love with him. Stopping the execution, the King offers Thomas his daughter's hand and his throne. Thomas accepts Janet but proudly rejects France, revealing his own secret to the astonished crowd.

William Carslake Photo
William Carslake is a composer and conductor whose music captures the northernness and wildness of Great Britain and Ireland. He has been awarded a composing residency in Banff, Canada, in which to complete his work on The Stoning of Thomas of Winesbury. His conducting work includes assisting at the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, London.

Image by Ellan Parry Theatre Design