The Faerie Thorn has been adapted for the stage, with the production touring the UK and Ireland April-June 2017 [find details of tour dates here]. I’ve shared some of the highlights of my experiences of working with Big Telly Theatre Company on this page [scroll down to Blog Links]. You can find theatre reviews, audience feedback and selected images here.
Scratch Performance – August 13, Open House Festival Bangor
You can read a review of a scratch performance of The Faerie Thorn here.
Big Telly’s Press Release – 23 May 2016
Big Telly is thrilled to announce that the company has started work on an adaptation of The Faerie Thorn by Ballymoney-based writer Jane Talbot, a sensational new collection of dark tales set in the North Coast area of Northern Ireland.
“We are unbelievably excited about this project. What we’re drawn to as theatre makers isn’t just the brilliant and bewitching stories but the way Jane conjures up a whole world controlled by a complex fairy mafia including the memory-takers, the time winders, the bad talkers and the trolls – a world which is both scarily familiar and wickedly comedic. And then there’s the beautiful and evocative language – we see a fisherman’s wife “warm-hold her husband’s face”, we hear a baby’s cry that’s “full of all-on-my-ownness”, children who do not survive birth and called the “almost-but-not-quites”. She does not tell us that Bright Blue and Daughter McCormick fell in love, but that they felt “the deep-root comfort of The Beautiful Belong-Together.” Zoe Seaton, Artistic Director, Big Telly Theatre Company.
“From the moment that I read Jane Talbot’s stories I knew that she was a storyteller and writer of rare talent. Blackstaff was delighted to publish her first collection of stories, The Faerie Thorn and Other Stories, in 2015. Since then, it’s been great to see her work get the recognition it deserves and this adaptation of the book by Big Telly Theatre Company as part of their thirtieth birthday celebrations is the icing on the cake. We’re excited to see what Jane and Big Telly will do together – with all of the talent and energy and creativity that they bring, we’re looking forward to a piece of theatre that is original, raw and extraordinary.” Patsy Horton, Managing Editor, Blackstaff Press.
The Faerie Thorn will be devised with Jane Talbot, Zoe Seaton and a Northern Irish cast with music by Garth MacConaghie and mask work by John Wright.
As Big Telly celebrates its 30th year, this project feels like it is a timely match of content and context, with the company uniquely positioned as bold, risk taking theatre makers able to do justice to this extraordinarily universal and yet essentially local material.
Here are links to posts I have written about The Faerie Thorn‘s journey to the stage:
From Page to Stage [posted 10/10/16]
New Work for the Stage Production of The Faerie Thorn [posted 08/01/17]
And We’re Off [posted 28/04/17]
Here’s Zoe Seaton [Big Telly’s artistic director] talking about the stage production, a month into the tour.