THE BLACKWATER BRIDE
A Dramatic Storytelling Performance at Chilwell Arts Theatre
Friday Feb. 7th. 2014 19.30 Tickets £8 / £6 concession
Telephone: 0115 925 2698 Queens Road West, Chilwell, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 5AL
A Victorian Gothic mystery tale in the tradition of Conan Doyle & Robert Louis Stevenson – brought to the stage as an epic one-man drama by master storyteller & playwright Marty Ross!
Over the last few years, Scottish (but Nottingham-based) storyteller Marty Ross has established himself with a series of shows combining his mastery of the traditional art of live storytelling with a playwright's sense of theatre, in dramatisations of Thomas Hardy & classic ghost stories for Chilwell Arts Theatre, in performances of his own stories rooted in Scots folklore, as well as with 21st. Century Poe, his 5 star sell-out at this year's Edinburgh Fringe and London Horror Festivals, updating three classic Poe tales to our times and his own home town of Glasgow. But now comes his most ambitious show yet.
Ross has a parallel career as a playwright, particularly with radio drama for the BBC, including his series of Scottish Gothic tales The Darker Side Of The Border, the popular serials Catch My Breath & Ghost Zone and single dramas including 2012's Rough Magick, 2013's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk & 2014's forthcoming The Dead Of Fenwick Moor. He has also written Doctor Who audio dramas, an award-nominated Dark Shadows drama and last year had Redder Than Roses: A Glimpse Of Mary, Queen Of Scots commissioned by The Buxton Festival. This new show, The Blackwater Bride, reworks for solo-storyteller format the first play he ever had produced, a tale close to his heart, rooted in the Victorian-Gothic atmosphere and backstreet folklore of his native Glasgow.
The Blackwater Bride begins when a young woman comes to Glasgow to investigate the mysterious death of her father. A young policeman helps her negotiate the great city's shadowier back streets – even as his superior officer seems to have his own private reasons for obstructing the investigation. The clues point towards the mysterious figure of the Blackwater Bride, a ghostly figure of local folklore who simply can't be real... or can she? What begins as a murder mystery shades towards the eerier, more uncanny world of both Celtic folklore and the 'gaslit Gothic' of tales like Jekyll & Hyde and Dorian Gray, Sweeney Todd & The Woman In Black, Ross shifting with chameleon fluidity, and Dickensian vividness, through a whole cast of characters good and bad, male and female, mysterious and dangerous, evoking a dramatic vision of the smoky, shadowy, bustling, labyrinthine Victorian city. Where his previous Chilwell shows have presented 'double bills' of shorter stories, here he presents a single full-length story in two acts, in the grandest manner of Celtic storytelling, where a single story would indeed often occupy a whole evening (or several evenings, but he's not quite that ambitious – yet!)
Reviews of Ross' previous storytelling shows give a taste of the high octane theatre a storytelling evening with Marty Ross offers:
“Ross has a great aptitude for suspense and terror, and he hurls himself into his tale with energy and passion, in words which ring with the native Glasgow rhythm.” - The Scotsman
“Visceral. Marty Ross is a compelling narrator and onstage presence. … left you thinking as well as reeling… Never less than compelling this was theatre that kept you on edge... It is the utter conviction with which Ross performs that draws you into his world. Immensely entertaining – a fair ground ghost ride for the 21st Century.” - Fringe Review