Currently "on mic" in our studio is the audiobook version of The Dark Well of Glastonbury by Phillipa Bowers, which is being narrated by Tracey. The first six chapters have been recorded for editing this past week. Tracey says, "beautifully written and observed, the book is a joy to narrate."
Look out for more information to come on this title over the coming weeks in our newsletter. To sign up to receive these for free, please click here
Author of the book, Phillipa Bowers, has this to say about the title on her website:
The Dark Well tells the story of Louisa an impoverished young widow who hopes to survive in Edwardian England as a companion to gentlewomen. She goes to Glastonbury in 1903 to care for her aunt and while there she experiences the stories of the keepers of a sacred well that has been unrecognised for many centuries.
This well was once one of three sacred wells on the sacred island of Avalon and while the others, the red and the white, are known to this day, this black one, used for scrying or seeing into the future, has lain unrecognised for centuries.
Each chapter tells the tale of a guardian, or keeper of the well, dating from long ago in the late Neolithic time, through early Bronze Age, the Roman occupation, the Romans departure, the time of the Druids and the arrival of the Christian church, the building of the great abbey church, the Black Death, dissolution of the monasteries and the contamination of the well.
Interweaving through the tales is the story of Louisa, who has known great tragedy and assumes there will be no more love or happiness in her life, but eventually realises this will be possible.
We look forward to bringing you this title soon. ~ Mark
HAPPY NEW YEAR! While everyone else is trying to shed the crimbo pounds and stick to their new year's resolutions we here at Circle of Spears have decided to revive our somewhat fallow News/Blog section. As you might have noticed we went through the entirety of 2017 without any new posts. 2017 was not without many great releases and milestones for Circle of Spears however. We celebrated our 2nd year trading; We took WITCH on tour, including performances at Credfest in Crediton and Fringe Theatrefest in Barnstaple, reaching our 50th performance back in September whilst performing at the Alma Theatre in Bristol; went to Credfest in Crediton and Fringe Theatrefest in Barnstaple; we premiered a new show Ghost Stories, featuring Dr Emerson Kennedy and Miss Eliza King (deceased); performed our murder mystery evening Body in the Library at Totnes Library; attended numerous sales events around the southwest; released 8 new audio titles and had enough on our to do pile that we had to close our books for submissions in early March; Were featured on Tiverton Community Radio, Phonic FM, Coast FM and BBC Radio Bristol; Designed and road tested an escape/puzzle solving room for kids and began collaborating on various animated projects with Yellow Mouse Studios with whom we hopefully have a few more surprises in store for 2018.
Phew...I'm knackered just writing out that list. Hopefully though it goes some way to explaining just why we were scant on posts for 2017. 2018 however will be different. Each of us will be keeping you up to date with all that's new at Circle of Spears, some behind the scenes exclusives and sneak peeks of things to come.
We hope you'll join us in making 2018 our best year yet.
The quality control process continues apace as we move ever closer to the release of our next fiction title on September 1st - Richard Dee's cracking steampunk adventure "The Rocks of Aserol". More about Aserol later in the week.
Circle of Spears takes particular pride in the high quality of our audio products. We have a stringent 3-tier quality control process, beginning with a 'first pass' edit to eliminate obvious mistakes. This is usually done by the reader, then passed to a colleague, who listens to the recording whilst following the book, noting any further errors.
Finally, the master disks are produced and listened to by another colleague to ensure that the disks themselves have recorded correctly. All of this is done in-house, keeping our overall production costs down.
The first two performances of "Witch" took place on Wednesday 27th July in the Library of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall, kicking off our summer season with the play. Initial audience responses have been fantastic with feedback including "intense", "very powerful" and "I would give it five stars".
Some tickets are pre-booked into August already, and with this being an intimate piece with just 20 audience members in each show these people are wise to secure their seats now. If you are intending to come, please do the same by contacting the Museum directly. The contact details are on the Witch poster on the previous blog post.
These performances also saw the official launch of the "Witch" audio CD - the full show as an audio play with added sound effects. This CD is available exclusively to show audiences for the duration of the run at the Museum, but will be made available for pre-order on the web store in October in time for a general November release. The cover art is shown in this image.
We look forward to bringing you more news from Witch over the summer.
Where better to perform a play about witch trials than in the library at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic?”. The museum’s managers were extremely enthusiastic about the proposed project, providing a number of original transcripts for the basis of Tracey’s research, as well as advice on the draft script.
“The museum’s input has been invaluable,” Tracey said. “I selected details from a number of sources, drawing heavily on the transcripts they shared with me, then wove the information into the story of a suspected witch, her accuser and the magistrate interrogating them. This allowed me to include a lot of Tudor/Elizabethan social history whilst still focussing on the human aspects of such emotive cases.”
The company gave a test performance to the museum staff and an invited audience, which was very well received. Staff member Joyce Froome described it as having “remarkable immediacy and impact…with characters who have real depth and complexity.” Author Alex Langstone said, “I was very lucky to be invited to a preview performance of this play…and I can thoroughly recommend it.”
“Witch” is due to be performed in the library at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Boscastle, Cornwall, throughout the remainder of the season on Wednesdays and Sundays at 5pm and 8pm. The first performances are on 27th July. Tickets cost £10 and are available from the Museum. For further information, including performance dates, please contact the Museum on 01840 250111.
More information about Circle of Spears Productions can be found at www.circleofspears.com and you can follow them on Facebook (Circle of Spears Productions) and Twitter (@circleofspears).