THE BALLAD OF THE DRIFTWOOD MERMAID
A Storytelling Drama by Marty Ross
No. 28, Market Square, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 1FZ.
Saturday 5 December 7.30pm. Tickets £7 / £5 concession.
Storyteller MARTY ROSS (BBC Radio drama; Doctor Who & Dark Shadows audio drama) returns to Belper with his latest dramatic performance, a very modern version of a classic folk tale from his native Scotland, with all the mix of magic, poetry and eerie romance that implies.
Marty Ross has become a regular performer at Belper's No. 28 Arts Centre with shows such as The Blackwater Bride, 21st Century Poe & Blood And Stone. For his latest show, he returns to the folklore and fairy tale tradition of his native Scotland, drawing inspiration from a legend of the Solway coast between South West Scotland and North West England, the tale of 'the Haunted Ships', lying sunken out in the deep waters and haunted specifically both by ghosts and by fairies – not the twee, cute butterfly winged fairies of Victorian sentimentality, but the fierce and seductive and sometimes downright frightening fairies of Scots / Irish folklore.
The original story concerns a Laird and his wife, the fairies trying to tempt the wife off into their undersea kingdom. But Ross is a storytelling 'modernist', always keen to move the resurgent art of storytelling away from being too quaint and olde worlde... and so in his version of the story our central characters are a very modern couple, David and Jenny who've made some serious money with an internet business and have channelled that money into refurbishing a house on the Galloway cliffs. But the marriage has its problems and when a handsome young sculptor, named Finn, who may have a connection to the 'otherworld' of the Haunted Ships, charms Jenny, the scene is set for a climax of drama and terror and magic.
MARTY ROSS is well established as a playwright, particularly with radio drama for the BBC, including The Darker Side Of The Border, Ghost Zone, Catch My Breath, My Blue Piano, Rough Magick, Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk, Moyamensing and The Dead Of Fenwick Moor. He has also written two Doctor Who audio dramas and the award-nominated Dark Shadows: Dress Me In Dark Dreams. Redder Than Roses and The Woman On The Bridge were commissioned for and performed at the Buxton Festival. Crooker's Kingdom was performed this Halloween at Cromford Mill. Shortly to be produced is Romeo & Julian, commissioned by Amazon Audible.
As a storyteller he has performed successfully at the likes of the Edinburgh Fringe, London Horror Festival and Glasgow Southside Fringe. He regularly performs in the East Midlands, where he currently lives, with regular shows at No. 28 in Belper and Chilwell Arts Theatre in Nottingham. Shows have included 21st Century Poe, The Blackwater Bride, Ghosts Of Christmas Past, The Strange Tale Of The Glasgow Golem, Blood And Stone & The Gorbals Vampire.