Rock, folk and horror combine in original
The Bloody Ballad of Mary Maid is a dark and brutal love story told through Blues, Rock and Americana inspired songs and music which opens at Chapter in Cardiff at the beginning of March before commencing a three week tour.
Mary’s not like other girls, more of a loner watching from the shadows. But all that changes when Connor, a handsome stranger, walks into her life and unleashes dark desires that Mary never knew existed. Set around Memorial Day in 1950’s America, Mary and Connor’s union triggers a trail of devastation and bloodshed that only they can stop.
The Bloody Ballad of Mary Maid is the first production by new Welsh company Gagglebabble, led by performer Lucy Rivers. Lucy has worked in Wales and the UK as an actress, musician and composer for many years (including touring with My Name is Sue and The Village Social and playing and singing in a number of bands) but this is the first project that she has led creatively from the very beginning. Lucy comments:
“The piece was first conceived early 2010 when I read Daniel Morden’s collection of Abram Wood’s stories Tales From The Woods and found a wonderfully dark story called Mary Maid of the Mill. I wanted to see if I could develop a style of theatre that used contemporary music and song in the form of a band to tell the story, and to appeal to a teenage and adult audience. The process has been very collaborative, with songs and parts of the script being inspired by what happens in rehearsals - that’s one of the many benefits of working with the great team that we have that includes two professional musicians as well as three actor-musicians.”
The piece is directed by Adele Thomas (Project Associate on National Theatre Wales’s The Passion) and Dafydd James (creator of Llwyth, The Village Social and My Name is Sue) is Creative Associate. Tom Cottle, Hannah McPake, Dan Messore, Oliver Wood, and Lucy herself make up the cast. Lucy again:
“It’s a story of love, betrayal, revenge and murder – all the good stuff! The premise is that the audience are attending the Memorial Day celebrations and I really want people to buy into the world of Midwest America in the 1950’s. It’s worth turning up a little early as the band will be playing music before the show itself – we want it to feel more like a gig than a theatre show really. It should be a lot of fun!”
The Bloody Ballad of Mary Maid runs at Chapter in Cardiff 1-3 March at 8pm. Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions) and are available from Chapter’s Box Office on 029 2030 4400 or online at www.chapter.org.
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