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Musicians' story of a feast day that never ends

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 05, 2011

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A red letter day is a special occasion, so when writer and playwright Annamaria Murphy joins forces with highly original and inventive Bagas Degol the result is an evening that is not only special, but unforgettable, writes Paula David.

Using the premise a Cornish feast day, with all its preparations, excitement and intrigue, the thee musicians accompany their scribe on a journey to discover the characters who inhabit this unnamed, though familiar, Cornish community.

David Twomlow, Rick Williams and Dave Trahair (pictured) create a spellbinding, eerie and earthy soundscape that perfectly complements the words of Annamaria Murphy. Images are conjured by the audience, bringing smiles and tears, foot-tapping and laughter, as they wash out too far and get brought back to shore.

The story begins in the wide-eyed, sleep-walking morning, when figures on ladders wobble and yawn as they hang bunting across a street. Stall-holders set up shop and the band strikes up.

The lives of the saints merge with the loves, dreams and jealousies of mortals. And along the way we meet Mrs Puckey (whose jam is ruined), Doreen Pascoe (who knows why it's ruined), the Reverend Pulcher (tired of preaching to an empty church), and Fred the Carpark (who dances alone beneath the moon).

The lives of these characters and more are interwoven by the strange cries of May-horns, the songs and dances, street sounds and ever-washing sea produced by Bagas Degol.

As wedding bells fade and pubs run dry, revellers turn up in ordinary life and the harbour walls close around the boats like a mother's loving arms, with the promise that Cornish feasting will never end.

Red Letter Day is unique and enchanting and at Millbrook on September 16, Port Isaac on October 28 and Wadebridge on November 19, with more dates to follow.

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