Surfing Tommies (2011)
Iron Shoes and Bish Bash Bosh Productions present:
SWEETHEARTS, SURFBOARDS AND STICKING TOMMIES: A CORNISH TRAGEDY TELLS OF TIN MINERS ENLISTED TO FIGHT IN FIRST WORLD WAR
Written by Alan M. Kent
Director: John Hoggarth, Designer: Pam Verran
Toured nationally from 23 May – 23 July 2011
Following a sell-out tour of Cornwall in 2009, Iron Shoes and Bish Bash Bosh Productions are toured their award-winning production, SURFING TOMMIES nationally from 23 May – 23 July 2011. Set during, and in the aftermath of the First World War, SURFING TOMMIES tells the story of three Cornish tin miners whose lives are blown apart when they all leave behind the place they know and love for the fields of Flanders and the atrocities of trench warfare. Partly based on real events, SURFING TOMMIES is written by Cornish writer Alan M. Kent and won the ‘Hoyler
An Gof’ award for best piece of poetry or drama in 2010. The national tour began at The Minack Theatre, Penzance on Monday 23 May 2011.
It’s 1914 and fifteen year old John Henry Pascoe has just started work at North Wheal Leisure Mine, Perranporth. He’s paired up with experienced tributer, Jimmy ‘Dunkey’ Tamblyn, who bestows his wisdom about mining and maids upon his young pal. The conﬂict that is occurring across the seas seems to the villagers to be nothing more than a distant threat, and life is generally happy – young love blossoms and the tin industry booms. However, after Reverend Hocking makes a rousing speech in the village promising glory to those who join up, Jimmy and John Henry ﬁnd themselves leaving the mines for the Duke of Cornwall’s light infantry, and at the start of a journey in which their lives will change forever. SURFING TOMMIES is a moving tale of war and friendship, but ultimately one of redemption, forgiveness and hope. Along the way characters fall in and out of love, meet with mazed beauties, and befriend the very ﬁrst surfers in the unlikeliest of surroundings. Though set in the early twentieth century, this darkly mischievous play makes comment on current conﬂicts around the world, and what it is like to be away from where you d’belong t’be.
Alan M. Kent was born in St Austell, Cornwall. He is a prize-winning poet, novelist and dramatist. His poetry includes Stannary Parliament and Druid Offsetting and his novels include PROPER JOB, CHARLIE CURNOW, ELECTRIC PASTYLAND, THE CULT OF RELICS / DEVOVYON DHE GRERYOW and VOODOO PILCHARD. Other drama includes NATIVITAS CHRISTI (2006), OOGLY ES SIN (2007) and THE TIN VIOLIN (2008). He has also written extensively on Cornwall and Celtic Studies. He is a lecturer in Literature for the Open University in South West Britain, and a Visiting Lecturer in Celtic Literature at the University of La Coruña, Galicia.
John Hoggarth was born in Whitby, North Yorkshire. He is Joint Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre. John has also developed a reputation for developing comedy talent and has seen recent collaborations lead to a Perrier nomination, and the winning of both ‘So Think You're Funny?’ and the BBC New Talent Award in 2006 with his writing partner, Tom Allen. Recent productions as director include: WHOSE SHOES? (Lowry Theatre); MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Hackney Empire); CITIZENSHIP (National Theatre); MASTER AND MARGARITA (Lyric Hammersmith); KES (Lyric Hammersmith) and THE DUTCH ELM (Conservatoire Pleasance Edinburgh).
The cast of SURFING TOMMIES is Trevor Cuthbertson, Toby Nicholas, Dean Nolan, Molly Weaver and Ed Williams.
Bish Bash Bosh is a production company from Cornwall dedicated to commissioning, developing and producing Cornu-centric theatre, film and media – new work that offers a response to Cornish issues, trends and events. Since 2007 they have produced critically acclaimed productions in Cornwall, London and on tour, including OOGLY ES SIN (2007) and THE TIN VIOLIN (2008), SURFING TOMMIES (2009), and A MERE INTERLUDE (2010). The company was formed by the Cornish playwright Alan M. Kent and the Cornish actor Dean Nolan, and seeks to nail theatrical excellence every time.
SURFING TOMMIES is funded by Arts Council England ,the Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites and Skinners Brewery.