TOURING PRODUCTION 1999

The Governor of

Sombrero Rock

 

written by Emma Spurgin Hussey and Rory Wilton

directed by Christopher William Hill

designed by Rory Wilton

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric Berry

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric Berry

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric Berry

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric Berry

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric Berry

Copyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric BerryCopyright Eric Berry

 

 

The Governor of Sombrero Rock was based on the early 19th century life of Robert Jeffery, an ambitious young man from the fishing village of Polperro on Cornwall's south eastern coast. Robert enlisted onto a privateering ship running contraband over the British channel. He was subsequently pressganged in Falmouth and found himself as crew on The Volunteer, captained by Captain Lake. The ship was bound for Barbados with the aim of observing the French fleet. Unfortunately the captain became lost three times during the journey and by the time the ship reached the Caribbean the crew were on minimum rations.

Captain Lake was a bit of a drinker and unfortunately stored his beer on deck. One night Robert allegedly stole some spruce beer. For his crime he was abandoned in only his shirt and britches on a 30 foot rock away from shipping lanes - Sombrero Rock. To cut a long story short, Robert was: lost, the talk of parliament and polite society, sought, discovered, returned, made rich and famous, an entertainer, married, a businessman, bankrupted and finally dead - all by the time he was thirty!

Our take on the story was to imagine that the Wigley family (who had employed Robert to tell his story at their Rooms in Spring Gardens) had, after firing Robert, continued to tell his story in the melodramatic performance style of the Victorian era. By the late nineteenth century, music hall was in its fledgling state, so we transposed Robert Jeffery's story to its bawdy Victorian stage.

In our story, the actor who has been playing Robert has run off with the pianist and last week's takings. A new actor, Charlie, is found at the last minute, and he has to learn the show as he goes along. As the production progresses it becomes apparent that the Wigley family have taken liberties with Robert's life story and transformed it into a farce. The spirit of Robert Jeffery takes control of the actor playing him, and forces the Wigley family to tell his story accurately for the first time in almost one hundred years. Helpless, Charlie has to tell Robert's story to its sad and bitter end.

 

 

Poster Design - Rory Wilton Cast

 

 Julietta - Rebecca Adlard

 Charlie/Robert - Miles Gallant

 Mrs Wigley - Emma Spurgin Hussey

 Mr Wigley - Rory Wilton

 

 Stage Manager - Sam Wilton

 

The Governor of Sombrero Rock by C Chrippes 1810Polperro Street by T Quiller CouchRobert Jeffery by E M Jones 1811Mr Wigleys Public Rooms

 

Phone: 01872 272695

E-mail: bedlamtc@bedlamtc.co.uk

 

BACK TO TOP OF PAGE