Wallis, Sarah Jane (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The Bee Charmer is a full-length play for the stage, the principal theme, the coming of age of a young bee charmer. Honey spends the school holidays with her grandfather, a beekeeper with a strange talent for charming bees; he can approach a swarm and not be stung. They also allow him to conduct their flight patterns. He teaches Honey his dark art, but when she discovers a message in the swarm pattern, she falls ill. Honey’s mother is swiftly recalled from her conference about the global disappearance of the honeybee. Veronica is a scientist determined to solve this modern mystery. The family dynamics mirror what is happening in the natural world with the breakdown of order in the beehives. The settings include the garden of beehives, a patch of ground with large wild hives, an oversized manmade construction that imitates a beehive and finally the set and auditorium will be transformed to the internal beehive, dark and febrile where the final loss of the bees is played out. There is also an accompanying essay, which charts the drafts of the play from original conception, through rehearsal and performance at the Mphil Showcase in June 2009.
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