THE MERMAID’S VENGEANCE – A community play with local performers, dancers and musicians from Perranporth working with a professional director, designer and song writer as part of a millennium project called Kernow Bys Vykken.
In the year 2000 a call went out to the residents of the Perranporth area inviting them to take part in a community drama, organised as part of an arts project funded by the Millennium Commission, co-ordinated by the Hall for Cornwall, and one of 26 events happening throughout Cornwall.
The director, Jim Carey, who had worked with Kneehigh Theatre for many years, devised a drama using the performers to become the set or villagers or waves. Alice King designed and sculpted key props for the performance including a lifelike ‘baby’. Two specially commissioned songs were written by Ian Marshall, musical director of the Perraners, who performed the songs as part of the performance.
The Perranporth co-ordinator was Barbara Tremewan and the theme of the play was suggested by one of the cast, Chris Easton. It was taken from a local folk story in Robert Hunt’s book The Drolls, Traditions, and Superstititons of Old Cornwall and is a tale of love, lust, revenge and a mermaid. Much of the arrangements of the traditional Cornish music for the play was performed by a five-piece band called Zabuloe, led by Ken Freer, to accompany the story and dancing. Ian Marshall’s two songs were written using the words from the Robert Hunt story and were called The Mermaid’s Revenge and The Mermaid’s Song. As well as being performed at the Hall for Cornwall the play was also one of the highlights at Lowender Peran, the annual Celtic festival held at the Ponsmere Hotel in Perranporth.
Two songs were written and arranged for the production by Ian Marshall:
The Mermaid’s Song:
The Mermaids Revenge:
The West Briton, Thursday, October 12, 2000, Celtic Festival hosts community drama, text by Margaret Flannery, image by Seamus Flannery.
Hunt, Robert, collector and editor, The Drolls, Traditions, and Superstitions of Old Cornwall, First Series, Third Edition, 1993, Llanerch Publishers, ISBN 1 897853 17 3.
Easton, Karin, personal archives and memories.