To attend a performance of Oyster Boy, families caught the ferry from the Essex island of West Mersea to the even smaller Shell Island and scrambled their way up to the magical Packing Shed to hear tales of the sea told with‘cello and voice.
Inspired by Mararet Mahy, Ruth Paton and Beccy Truscot used a puppet boy, miniature boats, magical props and the atmosphere of the old oyster packing shed itself to retell three of her ethereal stories. All involved child characters more at home on the sea than on solid ground. They were accompanied by both original and ancient music played by Beccy on her gut stringed cello. All the children then made a sugar pearl to take home in an oyster shell.
The following weekend a different story was told in Peakes House. The drawing room in this 14c Dutch Weavers House in central Colchester became the backdrop to a curious and mesmerising story by Joan Aitkin about a Weaver and his secret aid- a magical bird. The audience of families sat in the darkened panelled room as the wild story took them from the woods of Northern Europe to Rome, Moscow and Venice and even Piccadilly Circus!
Produced by Roman River Festival
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