MudFoot Theatre: Hudson Bay Epic

The Hudson Bay Epic is a contemporary folktale set against the frigid backdrop of Henry Hudson’s final attempt to find the northwest passage.  Part historical adventure, part mystical love story, the play weaves a tall tale of forbidden romance, hidden identities and wild folk magic.

In 1610, Henry Hudson departed England on the ship “Discovery” to chart the arctic sea and attempt to find a route to the Orient.  When winter came, he and his crew were forced to settler at the southern-most tip of James Bay, enduring starvation and scurvy trapped in the ice.  With the come of spring, Hudson’s crew mutinied against him and set him adrift in a small boat, never to be seen again.

Alongside this historical narrative we have devised a fictional love story.  Andrew Bosworth is a woman who lives as a man amongst the Discovery’s crew.  Thomas Woodhouse, an actual historical figure of whom little is know, discovers her secret and in turn falls in love with her.  This pseudo-homosexual relationship ends (or begins) with the lovers surrendering their mortal bodies to the sea and being transformed into Beluga whales.

The play is staged in and around a ship-like structure made out of reclaimed materials.  All of the songs and sounds of the tale are created out of the acoustic qualities of the set itself -a PVC pipe becomes the breath of whales, water in a barrel becomes the churning of the sea, a fire extinguisher becomes the deep resonance of the arctic ice.

The Hudson Bay Epic has just finished its 2014 Fringe tour of the Winnipeg Fringe festival and the Calgary Fringe Festival. We plan on bringing it back with a second tour sometime in the near future.

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