Early this year the Town Council asked Water Lane Theatre Company to participate in the Carnival which had the theme of community. After some research we found a story about a Knight called Piers Shonks who lived in Brent Pelham, originally called Burnt Pelham because of a marauding dragon. Piers eventually killed the dragon and saved his community. He upset the Devil because the dragon was a favourite pet . He cursed Piers and said that he would neither be buried inside or outside a church when he died. At the end of his life Piers fired an arrow and said he would be buried where it landed. It landed in the North wall of the Church and there he was buried neither inside or outside but in the wall itself and if you visit the church in Brent Pelham today you can see his tomb in the wall.
We thought this would make a good basis for a short play aimed at families and children. Carys Sullivan kindly offered to help me with the script for this and also borrowed our dragon and some props from friends who had used them in mummers plays. Becky Deal found a song about Piers and Les Sullivan created a tune which we used in our introduction to the play. We were very pleased to have a family involvement from our Water Lane members . Sally and her daughters Sophie and Evie, Jacqui and her daughter Sam and her daughter Izzy were all keen to take part along with Will and Becky, John and Pam and Amanda and David Middlemiss. We started rehearsals for this at the end of May at the URC Church Hall and then moved outside to the Southern Country Park. Passers looked a bit stunned and a very excited beagle was keen to take part. On the day everything went smoothly . Four of us walked in the procession and our performance of “The Brent Pelham Dragon” at 3.45 pm in the Bandstand arena was very well received by a vocal family audience . We also made contact with Hester and Lee from Furneaux Pelham who are putting on a Festival at the end of July called Theatre in the Fields. They would like us to do two performances at their Festival on July 28th. We now need a couple more volunteers from the members to replace those who are going to be away in July so please contact John ( Jandpjc@dsl.pipex.com) if you are keen to take part. It is a compliment that the Town Council ask us to take part in these public events and I feel it is important to continue these performances. There will be another opportunity to perform at the Christmas Fayre in December so if you have any good ideas and would be prepared to direct please contact John.
Report from John Johnson-Cook, director