Modern William Wallace to be axeman for the day

The Edinburgh Dungeon is appealing to modern William Wallaces to prove that his spirit lives on.

To mark the anniversary of his gruesome execution on 23 August 1305, Dungeon staff are calling on William Wallaces to tell them why they are proud to be Braveheart’s namesakes.

The best 20 answers will each get two free tickets to the Dungeon and the overall favourite will have the chance to be dressed in full costume and chop off the head of a traitor.

Johnny Campbell, the Edinburgh Dungeon’s General Manager, said: “Time and again visitors tell us that the execution of Wallace by his English enemies was one of Scotland’s darkest moments. His enemies wanted to crush his rebellion and for him to become a forgotten man. But they achieved exactly the opposite – his uprising and his fame just spread further and further. Nowadays there is not just one William Wallace, but many and we want to hear why they are proud to bear the name.”

A quick check of the electoral register shows more than 400 William Wallaces across the UK.

This year the Edinburgh Dungeon has a special show called William Wallace: Allegiance which uses professional actors and special effects to take visitors back to 1305 when Wallace was sent to London, condemned for treason and sentenced to be hung drawn and quartered. It describes his gruesome execution and portrays Wallace as the ‘greatest freedom fighter in Scottish history’.

As part of the show a traitor to Scotland has their head chopped off – and the overall winner will have the chance to be the executioner during one performance.

Mr Campbell said: “Justice and mercy were often in short supply – Wallace’s own rebellion started with the brutal killing of the English Sheriff of Lanark and his men. Our show is in keeping with the era, and explains how he was betrayed and gruesomely executed – with his body parts put on public display on London Bridge, Newcastle, Berwick, Stirling and Perth as a warning to others. To mark the anniversary of this terrible event we will give a modern William Wallace the chance to turn the tables on his enemies.”

If you are called William Wallace and want to take part just email to say why you are proud to share the name to Info@Matthewshelley.net or write to the General Manager, The Edinburgh Dungeon, 31 Market St, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF. Entries need to be received by Thursday, 23 August 2012.

You can also find out more about the Dungeons at www.the-dungeons.co.uk/edinburgh