Russell Crowe supports 'living history' medieval village set up by Scots stunt man

Hollywood star Russell Crowe is backing a new education centre by paying for a group of Maori Haka dancers to visit Scotland next month.

The New Zealand-born actor is supporting the launch of Duncarron Medieval Village in Denny, Stirlingshire, after working with charity founder and movie stunt man Charlie Allan on films such as Gladiator and Robin Hood.

Charlie’s Clanranald Trust charity has spent 11 years building the fort and has invited indigenous tribes such as Aztecs, Aboriginal Australians and Cree from Canada to their opening gala weekend.

Russell, who visited the Scots site in 2011 and donated a battering ram from movie Robin Hood to the display, had been set to attend.

But when his filming schedule clashed, he volunteered to organise travel for London-based Maori performers to take part in his absence.

Charlie Allan launched Duncarron Medieval Village in Denny


Russell said: “It has been incredible to watch the growth of Duncarron over time. To see this vision come to life, and the extraordinary effort of all involved, it’s a monumental achievement.

“To honour the event and those whose efforts have brought Duncarron to life, I’ve requested some Maori warriors to attend, represent NZ and make those walls ring with a thundering Haka in respect of Scottish culture and heritage.

”In my family I have three direct Scottish connections, Wemyss, Fraser and Cunningham, painters, photographers, sheep farmers and scientists.”

“I have a great deal of respect for the relentless effort a dream like this takes to be realised.”

Charlie set up the Clanranald charity trust in 1996 to help promote teaching of Scottish culture and history and his stunt team, Combat International, who worked on blockbusters such as Outlaw King and Transformers 5, has helped support its construction.

Duncarron aims to be a living history attraction for schools, community groups and tourists to experience Scottish culture through the ages.

Charlie said: “Russell was going to attend but his schedule changed and he offered to fund the Haka group to visit. I was blown away. He’s an amazing guy and is always very generous and helpful. We’re completely honoured to have so many tribes visiting from all over the world.

“It’ll be a great weekend and visitors will get to see displays and performances from the visiting peoples. 

“There will be a Haka workshop, traditional dances from Aztecs, Aborigines and Cree, archery, axe throwing, we have the ram from Robin Hood, the trebuchet catapult from Outlaw King as well as food and drink and shuttle busses.”

Duncarron aims to be an authentic, hand built living history attraction for schools, community groups, tours and events to experience traditional Scottish culture through the ages and medieval life.

Charlie added: “We are an educational charity and we wanted to introduce different cultures to our culture, and after the launch we are hoping to make this a yearly event in the hope we can invite more cultural groups to Scotland in the future.

“We’ve been inundated with school visits, it’s all looking very promising and we have had several groups coming through already.”

●The Duncarron Fort opening weekend is on May 18 and 19. For information and tickets, visit Facebook.com/duncarron

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