TOURING PRODUCTION 1994/95

Smuggler's Moon

devised by the company

directed by Emma Spurgin Hussey and Rory Wilton

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric Berry

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric Berry

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric Berry

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Er5ic Berry

 

 

            This was Bedlam’s first production after the company changed from a co-operative to a partnership. Decisions had to be made quickly! We decided to use a non-Cornish folktale, ‘The Buried Moon’, as the outer framework of our story, and included two real-life characters from Cornish history – Joan and Fynn, a brother and sister who ran a receiving house for smuggled goods on Looe Island.

            We talked a lot about the relationship of these two characters, about whom rather little is known. We thought it unusual for the time that more was said about Joan than about her brother – we knew Joan was known as ‘Black Joan’, and that she smoked a pipe and could fight and drink harder than any man, but sources were very quiet about Fynn. And why did the pair live together? It struck us that Fynn might have needed looking after, that he perhaps suffered from some condition that made him an outcast in his times. We did some research into epilepsy, and learned that, before a fit, sufferers sometimes go into an altered state called the fugue, which can be a time of sensory intensity and great creativity. It seemed possible that, in such a state, Fynn may have been unusually sensitive and aware of things that others might have been blind to. This gave us the structure for the play – only Fynn knew that the moon had disappeared, but the more pragmatic characters around him refused to believe him.

            This piece really polarised audiences. Some missed the acrobatics of past shows, and some felt that epilepsy was ‘not a suitable subject for entertainment’. Others, however, still remember it as a favourite Bedlam show, and many felt that the epilepsy within the story was handled with great sensitivity: these included several people with epilepsy.

            ‘Although Smuggler’s Moon is only a small production, I whole-heartedly recommend seeing it. Everything about the show is perfect. The lighting, costumes, script and especially the acting are all superb.’

The Cornish Times

 

Cast

 

Joan / Mary Ann / The Moon - Emma Spurgin Hussey

Finn / Captain Black - Rory Wilton

 

Stage Manager - Sam Wilton

 

 

Phone: 01872 272695

E-mail: bedlamtc@bedlamtc.co.uk

 

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