AN immersive audio drama is set to take audiences at Kingston Lacy into the mind of its creator.

The specially commissioned performance, titled Pride, takes visitors through an in-depth story inspired William John Bankes’ supposed clandestine visit to his beloved home in 1854.

Elena Greer, curator, said: “This audio drama makes you look again at Kingston Lacy and its many treasures, and appreciate the huge changes made by William John.

“His overarching vision combined with his eye for detail was extraordinary.”

The experience takes the visitor through the state floor of the house, eavesdropping on an imaginary night-time visit by Bankes as he sees his visions made reality.

Bankes had transformed the mansion before being forced into exile in 1841 after being indicted for homosexuality – which was punishable by death at the time.

He continued to remodel the house from abroad, sending detailed instructions and meticulous drawings for the creation of lavishly decorated interiors.

Bournemouth Echo: Pride writers Naomi Denny and Rohan GotobedPride writers Naomi Denny and Rohan Gotobed (Image: National Trust)

It is understood that he never saw the house again – but rumours have long persisted that he paid a fleeting visit in 1854, risking only one night in the country for fear of being arrested.

Dorsetborn, a newly formed theatre company, has brought the visit to life with a drama that imagines William John’s reactions as he goes around the house with his sister, Anne.

Rohan Gotobed, director, said “Growing up in Merley, I’ve always loved coming to visit Kingston Lacy.

“I’m hugely excited for us to explore William John’s remarkable life and see this house through his eyes. It’s been a privilege to collaborate with Elena, her team, and the volunteers; delving deep into the Bankes archives to ensure Pride speaks to William John and his legacy.”

The audio guide is free when you visit Kingston Lacy (normal admission applies).

It was recorded on location at Kingston Lacy and is performed by local actors – Neil James as William John Bankes, Melody Fisher as Anne Bankes, Jamie Lee-Hill as Seymour and George Bankes, and India Murray as Sarah.

Pride launches at Kingston Lacy on Friday, July 14.

Visit online for more information.