(‘Skerryvore’ is featuring at the Barnstaple Fringe Theatrefest on the 28th, 29th and 30th June 2019)
The play based on a true story.
In 1876, three men disappeared from a lighthouse situated off the coast of northern Scotland. The play follows the story of Mary Campbell, the young niece of one of the three lighthouse keepers. She was kept on the rocky island by her uncle for her own protection, but – protection from what?
Mary is the only survivor of a catastrophe that overwhelmed the three men. She was discovered by a search party three days after the lighthouse was found to be malfunctioning. She was found in a cave, sobbing, alone and…naked.
Twenty three years later Mary, now a young woman, is in the care of Professor Barrett, fellow of the Royal Institute and professor of Natural Science at King’s College, Cambridge. The play takes the form of a demonstration of the controversial technique of ‘mesmerism’ and the Professor intends to regress Mary to the time of the catastrophe, so that the truth of the three missing men may be revealed, once and for all, before an audience of invited peers and interested members of the public.
The Professor, blinded by his faith in the scientific method, attempts to rationalise and, in modern terms, ‘mansplain’ what he believes is the truth concerning Mary and the disappearance of the three men. But he delves too deep and too eagerly and discovers that the truth is more shocking – and more dangerous – than he and the audience has been led to expect…
‘Mary Campbell’ played by Rachel McCarron
Based in St Leonards, East Sussex, Rachel has been a professional actor for many years, having had extensive experience in the West End and touring productions of ‘Cats’. Rachel grew up in Barnstaple and is pleased to be able to bring this production ‘home’. She has recently appeared in productions of John Godber’s ‘April in Paris’ as well as the London tour of ‘Skerryvore’.
‘Professor Barrett’ played by Bill Allender
In addition to ‘Skerryvore’ Bill has recently appeared in ‘The Ghostlight’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Talking Heads’. Also based in East Sussex, Bill has had many years experience in theatre and looks forward to spooking audiences during the Barnstaple festival.
Both actors took part in the short London tour of ‘Skerryvore’ in 2018, featuring performances at the London Horror Festival at the Old Red Lion, Islington and at the Old Operating Theatre at London Bridge. The play was also presented in St Leonards, The Stables Theatre in Hastings and at the Ellen Terry Barn Theatre, Smallhythe.
See what reviewers said about ‘Skerryvore’ in 2018:
‘”A RIVETING PRODUCTION IMMACULATELY ACTED” (London Pub Theatres)
“AN INTRIGUINGLY CONSTRUCTED AND SMART HORROR DRAMA” (The Reviews Hub)
“AN UTTERLY COMPELLING TALE OF VICTORIAN TERROR” (Horror Hothouse)
“A MESMERIZING PLAY WITH OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES” (Lamp Magazine)
Michael Punter is a playwright and teacher. More information concerning his work may be found at http://www.michaelpunter.co.uk