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Honour, The Musical World Premiere

Stanly Spaight Duel
Per Erichsen as Richard Dobbs Spaight and John Stilley as John Stanly

Compelling New Bern Story Opens January 23

New Bern, NC – The Stanly-Spaight Duel. One of New Bern’s most compelling stories. A younger man goads an older statesman. The older man insults the younger. All in public. In newsprint. Add the story of Sarah Rice, a favored slave of the Spaights, who had a son by John Stanly. Mix it all together with the knowledge and wit of Bill Hand and the music of Simon Spalding and you have Honour, The Musical. This historic tale will be brought to life through original dialogue and music, as the full-length play sweeps you from the signing of the Constitution to the dispute that would lead these bitter rivals to a fight to the death on the field of honor. Tickets for Honour, The Musical are available at HonourTheMusical.com or at the New Bern Historical Society at 5111 Broad Street or at 638-8558. Performances January 23, 24, 25, 31, Feb 1 at 7:30 p.m., and Jan 26 and Feb 2 at 2 p.m. All at Craven Community College’s Orringer Hall.

This exciting event comes together with a whole team of New Bern elements. Presented by New Bern Historical Society in partnership with CarolinaEast Health System, Craven Community College, and the New Bern Sun Journal, many additional sponsors have gathered including Public Radio East, Stubbs & Perdue, P.A. and the Law Offices of Oliver and Cheek, as well as, Paul Switzer and Margaret Bagg. Historical Society Executive Director Mickey Miller is thrilled by the response: “We are so proud of the community leaders who immediately stepped up to support this hometown story told and performed by hometown talent.”

Writer Bill Hand has deeply researched the Stanly-Spaight duel, the story behind it and the practice of dueling in general. He explains “Most duels resulted from political accusations, or occasionally because a woman’s honor was offended. By today’s standards those insults are usually overlooked completely, but in that day, it was a breach of honor, and honor was everything.”

Hand is responsible for both the book and the lyrics of Honour, The Musical. He is a local writer, historian and journalist who is also known for his weekly history column in the New Bern Sun Journal. He also writes the scripts and directs the Cedar Grove Cemetery ghosts for the Historical Society’s annual Ghostwalk. Audiences will also remember his dinner theatre presentations from Athens of the South company, as well as his portrayal of Mark Twain and appearances in local theatre productions.

The music of Honour is the work of musician, historian, author and performer Simon Spalding. Spalding has been a musician for 50+ years performing with groups throughout the US and Europe countries. His solo performances have taken him to a total of twelve European countries, and he has composed, arranged and performed music for dozens of commercial recordings and films. He also served for five years as Living History Programs Manager at Tryon Palace.

The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education. Offices are located in the historic Attmore-Oliver House at 511 Broad Street in New Bern. For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go NewBernHistorical.org or Facebook.com/NewBernHistoricalSociety.

Submitted by: Kathy Morrison on behalf of Mickey Miller, New Bern Historical Society