Only wreck and roll!
LIVING as many of us do in the land-locked Midlands, it’s easy to forget the power and inherent danger of the sea.
This came home to me last year during a trip to Cornwall with some friends. We visited the north of the county, in other words, the Atlantic side… and there we encountered big, bold in-your-face waves that literally foam at the mouth as if to say “don’t mess with us.”
Compare this boisterous behaviour with the Channel coast a few score miles to the south, and these very different seas are as chalk and cheese.
Anyway, being a bit of a history buff – or bore, if you like - I regaled our companions with dark tales of the fabled Cornish wreckers. Who they, you might well ask.
So. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. Back in the mists of time, the wreckers used to lure ships on to the rocks by setting up false beacons aimed at misleading the captains of the ill-fated craft.
Following the lights and heading in the wrong direction, the ships would either become beached, or hit submerged rocks and founder. The stricken craft would then be relieved of their cargoes by the wreckers, hoping to make a tidy profit.
Mind you, it didn’t always work out well for them. If caught and found guilty, a wrecker would be chained to a post at low tide, and then be allowed to drown as the waters rose. Now that’s what I call zero tolerance - arguably worse than a modern fixed penalty, I'm sure you'll agree.
However, on a much lighter note – and I’m sure no one suffers even a broken eyelash in this merry take on dastardly doings down at the seaside – there’s a play heading your way soon that will definitely be your mug of rum with a rousing yo-ho-ho, avast and belay me hearties. Now read on…
The Wreckers of Red Rock has it all! There’s fighting, love, a villain (booing and hissing encouraged), daft accents, plenty of confusion, silliness, and beautiful music. What more could you want?
Worcester Gilbert and Sullivan Society has great pleasure in bringing this production to The Norbury Theatre, Droitwich, on May 17-18 and The Market Theatre, Ledbury, May 20-21.
Using a selection of the beautiful music from the well-known operettas, this over-the-top Victorian melodrama with elements of pantomime humour tells the story of the villain Maximillian Blackheart who sends a beautiful girl out on to the cliffs at night to draw ships into the rocks.
The ‘spoils’ are th
en collected by the village girls under the noses of the revenue men. Of course there are babies mixed up at birth and a hero to save the day plus a happily-ever-after ending. The Wreckers of Red Rock is by Fraser Charlton, director Berny Murray, musical director Tim Goodall.
For tickets and details contact norburytheatre.co.uk or call 01905 770154. For the Market Theatre, email themarkettheatre.com, phone 07967 517125.
PS: No one gets tied to a post at low tide and gets drowned, promise!
Pictured: A scene from The Wreckers of Red Rock.