Full casting and creative team have been announced for the new production of Michael Morpurgo’s The Sleeping Sword, adapted by Tatty Hennessy, and directed by Lucy Jane Atkinson, which will play at The Watermill from Thursday 27 October to Saturday 5 November.
‘I’m not a king or a Wizard… but I do have a story to tell’
Meet Ben Bundle. He likes fishing and snorkelling, jumping off rocks and exploring the magical island of Bryher with his friends.
But after an accident leaves Bun blind, he fears his days of adventure are over. Until one day he is swept into the realm of his favourite story, the ancient legend of King Arthur, and Bun’s world changes forever.
Get ready for a gripping adventure where a broken promise, a magic sword and a ghostly king reveal to Bun a life-changing quest of his own.
A tale about magic, mystery, hope, love, triumph and disaster, The Sleeping Sword weaves a contemporary tale of self-discovery with Arthurian legend in a way that is utterly spellbinding.
Kirsty Ferriggi (a 2021 graduate, most recently seen on stage as the lead in The Illusion of Time at the Playground Theatre) will play ‘Mrs Parsons / King Arthur’, Aarian Mehrabani (a 2020 graduate whose recent theatre credits include GUY A New Musical, Nothing and Brink at the Royal Exchange in Manchester), will play ‘Bun’ and Tika Mu’tamir (a UK-Malaysian performer and facilitator who has recently toured the UK by bicycle, as part of The Handlebards’ production of The Tempest), will play ‘Anna’.
Every performance of The Sleeping Sword will feature the use of creative captioning and integrated audio description.
The Sleeping Sword is adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s 2002 book by Tatty Hennessy, directed by Lucy Jane Atkinson, with lighting design by Alex Musgrave, sound design by Xavier Velastin, with Louise Worrall as Design Consultant, Amy Bethan Evans as Dramaturg and Visually Impaired Creative Consultant, Douglas Baker as Creative Captions Designer, and Sam Brewer as Audio Description Consultant. The Stage Management team consists of Emily Stedman (CSM), Caitlin Ravenscroft (DSM) and Amelia Costello (ASM Placement).
Amy Bethan Evans said, “Tatty put a call out for a visually impaired dramaturg for the project and I responded. When we met, I knew I wanted to work with her and that she was totally committed to turning this story into something visually impaired people could both access and relate to. We have worked on making Bun’s journey one towards acceptance of himself as a blind person and I don’t think you can do that without the input of a visually impaired artist.
My heart belongs to children’s books and working with Tatty and Lucy on such an important project has been truly magical.”
The Sleeping Sword marks the next collaboration between Lucy Jane Atkinson and Tatty Hennessey: Lucy directed Tatty’s A Hundred Words For Snow at the Vaults 2018 before its UK tour and transfer to the Trafalgar Studios in 2019, where it received 4 Offie nominations, including Best Director and Best New Play.
Lucy Jane Atkinson said, “I am thrilled to be reuniting with Tatty to work on this incredible new show for The Watermill. Throughout the development process we have made so many exciting discoveries about the potential for accessible work, and I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room with this talented group of actors and creatives to start playing with Michael Morpurgo’s beautiful story!”
The Sleeping Sword will run at The Watermill before heading out on tour to schools across Berkshire and Wiltshire. Tickets are priced from only £10 and can be purchased online at watermill.org.uk or by calling 01635 46044.