An exciting film project is about to begin production thanks to a grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The film focuses on the dramatic story of the voyage of the Mystery, a fishing lugger that sailed from Newlyn to Australia in 1854 with seven Cornish fishermen onboard. The adventure has recently been successfully re-created by Pete Goss and his crew onboard the Spirit of Mystery.
The film is being made by Collective Arts Ltd (formerly the Cornish Theatre Collective) in partnership with the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, and will dramatise events leading up to the original crossing. Schools and the general public will be able to learn about and celebrate an historic moment in Cornish local history.
Producer Jason Squibb explained his reasons for making the film. ‘I’ve been performing Voyage of the Mystery, as a one-man show, for the Education Department of the Maritime Museum for a couple of years and find the story fascinating. The school children that watch it are intrigued with the story, the characters and this epic journey to the other side of the world. When Pete Goss came to Falmouth, before embarking on his own voyage to Australia, there was such a great interest in everything Mystery related I thought it would be great to mark both of these voyages with a lasting legacy – and what better way to do that than film. This is such an important story we are absolutely delighted that Heritage Lottery Fund has supported this project.’
Support from all over the South-West has also been fantastic – from the Maritime Museum itself, Cornwall Playing for Success, Azook, Penlee House in Penzance, and from Pete Goss and his team. Schools throughout Cornwall have also been enthusiastic to have the film made as it will be an invaluable resource and will help raise aspirations – a story of ‘perseverance, ambition and teamwork’ as Cassie Williams, Deputy Head of St Ives Infant School described it. Closer to where the story originally began, Mr Morley, Assistant Head teacher of Newlyn School said ‘the importance of local history cannot be underestimated in enriching children’s enquiry skills and understanding their heritage.’
Working alongside the Collective Arts professional team of actors and technicians will be students from Truro College Media department and community performers from Penryn Community Theatre, the latter having a history of collaborative work with the company – Prince of the Burning Sun (2007) and Nelson, The Grand Theatre of Action (2005).
Local playwright Pauline Sheppard will write the film, and director James Ellwood will be on hand to guide all involved, providing them with a fantastic experience on set. The film is expected to be shot in Cornwall at the end of March and will be distributed shortly after.
Collective Arts acknowledges the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Feast Marketing.
Dominic Knutton, CTC's Artistic Director and Founder, passed away on Monday May 14 2007. He was a visionary, a leader, a wonderful friend and a deeply loved colleague.
Gabriel Hughes has set up a Flickr Page with some photos remembering Dominic. Please visit the page, and add some photos of your own if you have them.
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“If you see the name Cornish Theatre Collective, go and see them, you will not be disappointed” Western Morning News
“Once again CTC have proved their major contribution to Cornish theatre” Cornishman
“On a tiny stage, they create miracles” London Theatre Review
The Cornish Theatre Collective is project funded by Arts Council England South West, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Objective One, local borough and town councils but receives no ongoing core funding