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Developing ‘The Last Pearly’

January 2nd, 2013

After meeting with many pearlies, attending harvest festivals and community fundraisers, meeting in pubs, homes, markets and cafes, Joseph and I felt that we had a convincing story. With the support of the Unicorn Theatre, London Bridge and Rich Mix, Bethnal Green we were able to explore and play further. We worked with a group of performers to explore the strands of story emerging and worked with musical Director Olly Jackson to develop the place of music hall tradition in our piece. A strong story has developed about loss and loss of tradition and the burning question what happens when there are no more Pearlies?

Our story follows a young boy, born into a pearly family but embarrassed by his heritage. When his beloved grandfather dies, John is forced to reconsider the history of his family and its relevance. Drawing together moments of John’s grandfather’s life and his own experience in modern day London,

In 2012 we presented a work in progress of our piece to an audience at Rich Mix, as part of the Snapshots festival. The piece was warmly met over two performances, with audience members singing along and expressing their eagerness to see the finished production. Feedback was gathered and a new stage of writing began. The full production will premier at Rich Mix in April 2014 before a small scale tour in London and the South East.