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The debut of The Steampunk Opium Wars went brilliantly well on Thursday to an audience of nearly 300, something approaching a record for the National Maritime Museum Lates. I feel honoured and very lucky to have such a talented and enthusiastic team entirely in sympathy with what I was trying to achieve with this piece. Not just the truly excellent cast, but all the friends who dived in to help: notably Jan Jefferies (hugely supportive as usual), Hi Ching, Lucy Sheen and Oliver Shykles. The stage and light tech, Jon Crawley, turned out be a great asset as well.
It was lovely having a sizeable audience to bounce off — and seeing so many friends cheering us on. The museum had originally planned to put out 90 seats and were surprised (although we weren't) when so many people made the effort to go to Greenwich on a dark winter's evening to get some of what we were offering. Afterwards I got some heartening feedback, mostly along the lines that most people didn't know anything about this dark episode in British History because it's rarely taught in school. Only one person so far has told me that she learnt about it in history lessons.
I've now posted the pictures that Jan took with my camera. Jeff Willis brought our Steampunk Victoriana baby into the 21st century with a live stream that reached friends in Canada and America. I've yet to see the video footage but I will get something together soon.
So, once more, thanks to: Charles Shaar Murray, Marc Jefferies and DJ Zoe Baxter for providing music; actors Paul Anderson, John Crow, Neil Hornick, Hugo Trebels, John Paul O'Neill and Louise Whittle; Gary Lammin and the Hackney Tea Ceremony; Sukey Parnell (assisted by Will) for managing to set up her studio in the main building; Denborah Evans-Stickland who was magnificent and scary as Britannia; and a double-mention for John Paul for his excellent Farrago History Poetry Slam — and all the poets who came along and took part.
We want to take this show further so, if you missed it, you may very well have a chance to see us perform it one day.
The Steampunk Opium Wars pages:
The Steampunk Opium Wars Home Page
The Company: who we are and how to find us.
Gallery: debut performance at the National Maritime Museum.
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What they said ...