The Dead Moon
"A sad, wondrous tale..." - The Commission
The Dead Moon was a brand new folk musical, based on three previously unperformed, and unapologetically strange, folk stories. From a time when sheep could be seen swimming between islands to graze, children drank opium tea and the giddy tearing scream of the wizened boggles could be heard in the night, our aim was to breathe new life into these ancient English tales through inventive imagery and original folk music.
The titular story, The Dead Moon tells of the day the moon came down to earth and was buried by malevolent fen creatures. In The Green Mist a young woman lets her loose tongue wreak havoc on her family and in The Flyin’ Childer the careless oaths of a randy young man cause his illegitimate children to grow wings and drag him into the wormy depths of the earth.
Originating from the Ancholme valley in North Lincolnshire, these stories were collected between 1887 -1889 by Victorian Ethnographer Marie Clothilde Balfour and published in the Folklore Journal in 1891. However, they are actually considered to be much older than that and thought to date back to a time before the fen lands (or carr lands) were drained. Great swathes of Lincolnshire used to be tidal carr land so would be underwater for large parts of the year. This resulted in areas of the county being very isolated and also riven with malaria. One of the ways the communities there dealt with their isolation was to create their own stories, songs and medicine. White opium poppies grew well in carrs and were widely used as medicine for everyone: adults, children and livestock alike. Some people speculate that these Lincolnshire stories are so unique because they come from a watery, feverish land of malaria and opium.
Performance Dates: Autumn 2013 - London; Summer 2015 - Lincolnshire, Hereford, Kent and London.
A New Folk Musical
A New Folk Musical
Director and Designer
Music and Lyrics
Hatty Carman and Sophie Crawford
Created by the company
Mikey Please and Ben Gerlis