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This new work, commissioned by The Deal Festival  has been written to bring performers of all ages together from the towns of Sandwich, Deal and Dover. The powerful drama set in Deal when the government of 1784, under Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger (who was staying at nearby Walmer Castle, and was later to be appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1792), ensured that the Deal boats were all set ablaze, suspecting some of the Deal luggers of being engaged in smuggling. Pitt had awaited an opportunity that January, when the boats were all 'hoved up' on the beach on account of bad weather, to send mounted troops and a regiment of soldiers to smash and burn them. A naval cutter was positioned offshore to prevent any of the boatmen escaping.

Award winning writer Martin Riley explores the dramatic “Burning of the Boats” through the lives of a Deal smuggling family, the Hagget’s. In the Prologue we meet the family  as 6 year old Betsy is warned to keep quiet about their smuggling livelihood. “ But if you do as you’ve been told, likely there’s a chance, you’ll be give a dainty doll, all the way from France, with a cap of fine French lace and a velvet hood –a present from the gentlemen. Along ’o being good!”  (from the “Smugglers Song” by Rudyard Kipling. The “Gentlemen” are the smugglers).

The compelling story  unfurls through drama, song and instrumental music. Smuggling, as this story reveals it is not without consequences.

David Burridge has composed the music so that adult, youth and primary school choirs all have their own special moments, as well as joining the full ensemble. The White Cliffs Symphonic Winds ( musicians from the three towns)  accompany the choirs and describe the battle between  soldiers and smugglers through music for soloists, adult choirs, youth choirs, primary school choirs and wind band.


1

Overture and Prologue

all Choirs

2

Stand Firm

Thomas and all Choirs

3

Teasing Song

Sam, Big Mickey, Betsy and Children’s choir

4

The  Battle

White Cliffs Symphonic Winds

5

Cross your heart and hope to die

Children’s Choir

6

The Sea

Tobius and Adult Choirs

7

Fly Away

Jack, Vicky and Youth Choir

8

The Burning of the Boats

White Cliffs Symphonic Winds

9

The Burning

Betsy and Children’s Choir

10

Where is my Young Man Now?

Lydia Adult and Youth Choirs

11

Drink Up!

Abe Fishpole and men of the Choirs

12

Finale

all Choirs

Story and Libretto by Martin Riley

BETH MCLAUGHLIN-ALDRED – Betsy Hagget

OLIVER HARKET – Sam Hagget

JOSHUA WRIGHT – Jack Hagget

JENNIFER BRISK – Lydia Hagget

MATTHEW SHARP – Thomas Hagget

TOBIAS HAGGET – Peter Tullo

GUY SCANTLEBURY – Sergeant Daniel Evans

PHOEBE WATTS – Vicky Fishpole

CHRIS BERRIMAN – Abe Fishpole

HARRY HAYMAN – Big Micky

OLIVER MARTIN – Dragoon

Primary School Choirs:– Wingham, Cartwright and Kelsey C of E , Deal Parochial C of E ,
The Downs C of E , Greenpark Community.

Youth Choirs :– Sandwich Technology College, Sir Roger Manwood’s, Dover Girl’s Grammar School , Dover Boys Grammar School.

Adult Choirs:– Manwood Singers, Deal and Walmer Handelian Choral Society, Landmark Show Choir, Really Promising Company.

The White Cliffs Symphonic Winds.

Costumes and Historical Adviser – Judith Doré

The Burning of the Boats

Commissioned by the Deal Festival 2013

Sunday 30 June and Tuesday  2 July 3013