performance | 60mins
written by Timothy X Atack | directed by Tanuja Amarasuriya
“Sometimes a piece of performance is so right that it makes you feel glad to be alive and in possession of senses. The Morpeth Carol is such a piece.“
– Venue Magazine
A housing estate on the edge of some un-named northern city in Britain, late on Christmas eve: 9 year old Harry leaves his rundown home to find a dilapidated sled crash-landed at the end of the road, with dead and dying reindeer lying around the wreckage, and a scary-looking guy in oily rags trying to clean up the mess, finishing off the fatally wounded animals with a shotgun. Is this Santa? He certainly seems to have many gifts to deliver. But he speaks in an unidentifiable accent and doesn’t appear jolly in the slightest – and the only concession to a big white beard is some uneven stubble on his gaunt, sad face. Harry resolves to help this knackered, disillusioned man: to do a job Harry doesn’t understand, and to get to a place Harry doesn’t know.
It’s a cracked fable in the mould of Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam. It’s a bedtime story, told by actors who’ll be reading to you in the dark, with an intricate and immensely detailed web of sound effects, played live like a musical instrument: footsteps on the snow, the wind on the moors, shotguns, petrol stations and sporadic violence.
“Brilliantly written and performed, The Morpeth Carol is a unique and twisted rendition of the traditional Christmas tale”
The Morpeth Carol was adapted and produced for BBC Radio 4 (directed by Mark Beeby) and won the award for BEST DRAMA at the 2014 Radio Academy Awards.
Originally presented at Bristol Old Vic in 2011.
For further information about booking and presenting The Morpeth Carol, please email Kate Yedigaroff
Performed by Adam Peck, Malcolm Hamilton, Jessica Macdonald, Joe Shire, Timothy X Atack
The Morpeth Carol was developed and produced through Bristol Old Vic’s Ferment programme.