An original stage show written and performed by the London Sea Shanty Collective. Set in west Hull’s Hessle Road fishing community in the early 1950s, The Earl de Grey: a Hull Folk Opera tells the story of Rita Scarr, her husband Jack and how their precarious lives become intertwined with Ezra, who works at Hull’s infamous house of ill repute, the Earl de Grey.
We performed this at the Mildmay Club in London on 22 February 2020 and hope to bring it back to the stage soon.
The London Sea Shanty Collective were commissioned by the British Library’s Printed Heritage Department as part of a project to revive songs from the historical collections. As part of our concert at the British Library, we sang two songs from their archives – Billy Taylor and An Invitation to Lubberland, a 17th-century Roxburghe Ballad. It sits in a subversive tradition ranging back to the 13th-century Land of Cockagne and forward to the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
Part of a project building up to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s departure for the “New World”. We sang ballads and shanties as Bubble Theatre and members of the public brought the ship and its passengers and crew to life in a park in Rotherhithe, south London.