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Here at the Fair A Folk Opera by Mick Ryan

Mick Ryan's new folk-musical ‘HERE AT THE FAIR’, explores the lives of travelling show people.  Featuring twenty-one new songs and highly regarded performers on the folk scene, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, George Sansome and Lewis Wood (together the phenomenal Granny's Attic) plus Pete Morton, Heather Bradford, Alice Jones, Geoff Lakeman and Mick himself, the show launched in 2019 to rapturous standing ovations from delighted audiences.

'Here At The Fair' is Mick Ryan's sixth 'folk opera'. It is set at a country fair, in 1850. Travelling showmen and women arrive to set out their stalls. We meet: Vincent Crummles (Mick Ryan), a character from Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby. He is an actor manager, who has now fallen on hard times; Crummles' daughter, Ninnetta (Alice Jones), who is known to her public as The Infant Phenomenon; Steven Starling (Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne), a reluctant clown, based on the character Sissy Jupe, from Dickens' Hard Times; Professor Sleary (Pete Morton), another character from Hard Times. Once the owner of a horse circus, he now runs a flea circus; Madam Lavengro (Heather Bradford), a fortune teller; Doctor Maldini (Geoff Lakeman), a snake oil salesman; John Smith (George Sansome), a ballad seller; and the Itinerant Fiddler (Lewis Wood.)

The show is a vailable throughout 2020 for festivals, and in September/October 2020 for theatres and arts centres.

'Players all, and showmen, here we are
No other place is ours. We come. We go

This is our stage, and this our repertoire
This is our home, for this is all we know
Our road is long, and each of us a tale
Of comedy and tragedy, a flow
Of stories. We succeed, and then we fail
We rise again. We fall. We reap. We sow
We turn to lights and laughter when we can
We gather round, divert ourselves with fun
We can’t forget the past, yet every man
And woman, seeks the future at a run
And if, to reach it, we must climb the rope
That hangs us all, yet still we climb in hope.'

The Finale at Chippenham Festival... All together now

About the show's writer, Mick Ryan
Mick has been singing and writing songs since he was sixteen. In the 1980s he wrote both comic and serious material for popular band Crows. His stage musical The Guest House co-written with fellow ‘Crow’ Steven Faux, was runner-up for the Vivien Ellis Prize. Since the 1990s he has written a series of highly successful folk musicals: A Tolpuddle Man (with Graham Moore), A Day's Work, The Voyage, Tanks for the Memory, and The Navvy's Wife, all have been enthusiastically received on the folk scene and beyond. 

Mick Ryan's words and music are superb.
Wonderful songs.
Positively oozes skill and professionalism.

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