Patience at the Minack

"Love is aesthetic transfiguration."

1950s America. A fairground. Rockabillies. Colour and light everywhere. Candy-floss and toffee apples. Ferris wheels and carousels. Pinks and blues. Hair, hair, hair. Vintage cars and polaroids.

And once again: hair.

The Minack Theatre: September, 2017

Cast

Tiffany Charnley: Patience

Michael Morrison: Bunthorne

David Lawrence: Grosvenor

Shimali de Silva: Lady Jane

Léa des Garets: Lady Angela

Capucine May: Lady Saphir

Florence Russell: Lady Ella

James Ward: Colonel Calverley

Natalie Reeve: Leiut. Duke of Dunstable

Robert Nicholas: Major Murgatroyd

Conor Dumbrell: Solicitor

Amaya Holman: Rapturous Maiden

Alice Bennett: Rapturous Maiden

Anna Smith: Rapturous Maiden

Hope Whitehead: Rapturous Maiden

Maia Béar: Rapturous Maiden

Mary Jane Harding Scott: Rapturous Maiden

Eleanor Burke: Rapturous Maiden

Harry Burke: Dragoon Guards' Band

Jonathan Whiting: Dragoon Guards' Band

Sam North: Dragoon Guards' Band

Crew

Director / Adapter / Choreographer: Anastasia Bruce-Jones

Producer: Eleanor Brug

Musical Director: Lucy Oswald

Set Designer: Ciaran Walsh

Sound Designer: Kevin Fletcher

Lighting Designer: Jay Carpenter / Karolina Hes

Costume Designer: Amanda Karlsson

Dance Captain: Daphne Chia

Publicity: Kieran Tam

Assistant Director: Molly Greer Yarn / Adam Woolf

Stage Manager: Lewis Scott

Deputy Stage Manager: Alex Barnett

Technical Director: Leah Ward

Production Manager: Theo Heymann

Company Manager: Isadora Dooley Hunter

Chief Electrician: Peter Lotts

The Backstory...

Setting the Scene: a 1950s a-Fayre

Just outside a small, rural town, somewhere in 1950s England, it is Midsummer and the annual Fayre has just arrived back in town. In the gathering darkness, twinkling lights lead the way through the trees to the edge of the Fayre. Faintly, the sound of an old carousel can be heard. The air carries the smell of burnt sugar, candyfloss and sweet toffee-apples. In the distance, a Ferris wheel can be seen through the branches, and a group of beautiful girls rushes past…

However, the Fayre is no ordinary place; it is a world just tipping to the point of surreality. The Fayre is eerily quiet, apart from the band, the 35th Dragoon Guards, set to play a one-night-only gig there, and devoid of officials, apart from Patience who runs the Fayre’s milk-stall. There is one other figure; an elusive Ringmaster who seems simultaneously to be orchestrating the events of the night, while going curiously unnoticed by the characters around him…

 

The Backstory: high-school heartbreak

Flashback to a year ago. The ‘lovesick maidens’, the most popular group of girls in school, were all dating a motley crew of boys from their class. The whole lot of them came to the Fayre when it was in town, and it was on this night that the boys decided to tell their adoring beaus that they were dropping out of school a year early to form a band, the 35th Dragoon Guards, and head off on a world tour. There were tearful goodbyes. There were broken hearts.

Now, a year later, the Fayre is back in town, and so are the boys. Fresh, from their sell-out, smash-hit tour, and now world-famous musicians, the 35th Dragoon Guards have returned for a one-night-only gig in their home-town, expecting to be welcomed with delight by their one-time lovers. However, the girls, who have just graduated from school, have other ideas. Their eyes and hearts have fixed themselves on their aesthetic classmate, Reginald Bunthorne, and his compliance with the current vogue for the American Rockabilly.

With all the girls and their ex-lovers converging on the Fayre tonight, chaos feels excitingly imminent…