A haunting horror play inspired by H.P. Lovecraft& 39;s Cthulhu Mythos set on an isolated lighthouse in the dark Cornish sea. To be performed at Camden People& 39;s Theatre (http://www.cptheatre.co.uk/) from 16th October - 4th November 2012.
With an atmosphere somewhere between the Woman in Black and Jaws, Drowning Rock is aghostly tale of the terrors of the sea mixing Cornish legends and tales of shipwrecks with the Mythos of H. P. Lovecraft:
James Hawker lingers on in a nursing home, his mind all but gone. When an old journal is unearthed, his son David begins to delve into his father’s past, learning the disturbing secrets of his time spent at Drowning Rock lighthouse, off the Isles of Scilly, with its keeper George Roper and a oddly silent youth named Jim. It is known by the Cornish as the black spot of the seas, where the devil himself seems to control the waves. James Hawker goes to discover the fate of his own father, a wreck diver, who spent most of his life searching beneath those dark waters for the lost sunken land of Lyonesse, and who drowned when his vessel sank without trace. But through strange dreams and stranger happenings James begins to believe his father may have uncovered more than just the roots of a Cornish legend. For down the rocky Giant’s Steps, underneath the waves, there are secrets only hinted at by the local myths of mermaids and witchcraft. Tormented by visions of his father, swimming the ghostly wrecks beneath, and by glimpses of a woman who appears out on the stormy rocks at night, on the ledge known as Priests’ Drop, James searches for answers. Why are there chains set deep into the rock? Why are the fish left in neat rows? But the shadow over the lighthouse, and the wrecks it guards, is darker than James can imagine. And if he is to find out why his father died sailing a boat full of dynamite at Drowning Rock, it is a shadow he must confront, lest it swallow him whole.
Lovecraft Influence: The play draws inspiration from Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s Novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth. His story describes a young man& 39;s journey to Innsmouth- a coastal town that has seen better days. There he discovers a strange hybrid race, half-human and half an unknown creature that resembles a cross between a fish and a frog. The townspeople of Innsmouth worship the God Dagon, a Philistine deity incorporated into the Cthulhu Mythos.
If you are new toH. P. Lovecraft, you can find out more about his genre building style and sanity tearing Mythos here:
“That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.” – H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu, 1928
Drowning Rock incorporates a good deal of storytelling, following in the fine traditions of ghost stories the world over and Cornish tales of the sea. To give you more of a flavour of the piece, here is one of the tales the audience will hear from George Roper, keeper of Drowning Rock lighthouse:
“Roper : Don’t take everything so serious Mr Hawker. If you take life too serious then that’s all it’ll ever be, serious. I’s lost a mother, and a father too, an’ two brothers, an’ a wife. The sea gives and she takes away Mr Hawker. You learn that fishin’ these rocks. I wouldn’t worry about Jim. He’s all right. He was probably just up there wonderin’ if them monks held their noses when they jumped in. Weren’t you Jim? That’s where it got its name. There used to be a monastery here, so they say, before Lyonesse dipped under the waves. And way back then, when the seas rose up and swallowed the land, them Monks was left out here. No way back to the mainland. Runnin’ out of food. Without a prayer you might say. But pray they did. Night and day, they prayed for a miracle. And they thought one had come to them, for one night they heard a song an’ they looked an’ they saw mermaids a swimming in the sea all around them. They was singin’ jump in, jump in an& 39; we’ll carry you to shore. Jump in an& 39; we’ll save you. So they did. Those Monks stood out on that rock an’ one after another they jumped into the swell below. An’ in their heavy vestments an’ robes an’ such, they sank without a trace. Every one. Probably still down in that submarine canyon of yours. Unless of course the mermaids ate & 39;em up.
Hawker: I thought Lyonesse sank long before the church was invented?
Roper : Maybe my history’s a bit muddled. Maybe it wasn’t that kind of church.
Hawker: If they all drowned, the monks, then how do we know the story?
Roper : Well, my old Dad told it to me, and his old Dad told it to him and somewhere back in the mists of time somebody probably made it up.
Hawker laughs and Roper joins in.”
In order to show our commitment to the cause, and perhaps to commune with the monstrous aquatic forces we are looking to summon up, David Mccullough, our production designer and I will be swimming a mile across the dark waters of Loch Ness to raise support for the project. One of our rewards for our crowd funder supporters will be to receive updates on the progress of our Dagonothon in the form of a rolling Lovecraftian horror story written as we head North to battle the icy Scottish waters, and e-mailed to you directly in a number of instalments.
Our plans with the money raised:
We have set hopefully a reasonably modest target as frankly anything will help massively towards what we can do with the production. All of the usual costs like transport, set, costumes, props etc do mount up but we would really like to go (and indeed we are prepared to swim) the extra mile with this show. If we can reach £5000-£10,000 then the possibilities of crafting some really horrific creatures of nightmare to terrify our audiences will open up. So please give the gift of fear this year. Help a struggling Deep One to be born.
All our love and Tentacles,