• sheilavanloo

The Magic of Miracle


Miracle Theatre

The lights dimmed on Miracle Theatre’s summer tour as they performed their final shows of the season at Enys Gardens. What a summer this intrepid travelling troupe has enjoyed – or should that be endured? With an extreme mix of Cornish weather, from almost being washed away by torrential rain to wilting under a sun that was surely hot enough to fry eggs on the bonnet of Miracle’s famous pink van.

Regardless of the weather, the show always goes on and Starcrazy played to sold out audiences every night. Having been starved of live theatre for so long, the buzz of anticipation seemed more heightened this year as people craved entertainment that took them away from their sofas.

Starcrazy delivered entertainment and escapist nostalgia in equal measure; brilliantly conceived and written by Bill Scott with script development collaborators Ben Dyson, Ben Kernow and Mary Woodvine. Bill worked alongside musical director and composer Tom Adams to create a rich sound scape of music and song. Hannah Stephens is Miracle’s resident assistant director and also designed the choreography for the show. Under Bill’s direction Starcrazy transported us back to those more innocent times, bringing 1950’s suburbia to life with wonderful characters and gentle comedy.

Our unassuming hero Stanley has a mission – he believes there is ‘something out there in deepest space’ and is determined to make contact; for years he has enjoyed a solitary life, building his own satellite station in the privacy of his garden sheds. His tranquil solitude is shattered with the arrival of a young and nosy new neighbour, Gwen, who cares for her bedridden Mum and is very eager to befriend Stanley. The unfolding relationship between the retired Stanley and the fresh faced Gwen is beautifully performed by new names to the Miracle family – Martin Hyder and Anna Munden, the chemistry between their characters is lovely to watch. Martin has a string of film, tv, radio and theatre credits to his name, including Kneehigh’s Dead Dog In A Suitcase. Anna is no stranger to theatre having performed with other well known Cornish companies plus numerous appearances in tv and film; her confidence and stage presence will ensure a great future for this young performer.

Risha Silvera is the third new addition to the Miracle team and makes up one half of a decidedly dodgy duo masquerading as government agents, her comedy partner in crime is Dan Richards. Risha is new to Cornish productions, but her credits include a one woman play at Vault Festival and a variety of roles with companies in Oxford, Hampstead and Leicester. Dan is no stranger to Miracle productions, he has also performed with Cube and Trebiggan, co founded Near Ta Theatre and is co artistic director of ‘Owdyado Theatre. Dan and Risha’s comic timing as ‘special agents’ is superb, while their transformation into the dancing aliens who step out of Stanley’s shed is pure magic.

Jude and Alan Munden’s inventive set evoked strong memories of my Grandad’s garden sheds, although he was in rural Cornwall and not the suburbia setting of Starcrazy – he also didn’t, to the best of my knowledge, have sheds filled with enough paraphernalia to rival Goonhilly or serve as an alien portal. The Mundens’ clever sets are as much a part of Miracle as the famous pink van.

Welcome back Miracle, we’ve missed your lovely silliness.

The good news is that Miracle take to the road again on 16th September with a different show – Everyman adapted by Carole Ann Duffy, promises to be very special with Kyla Goodey (Trifle Gathering,Kneehigh,Wildworks) directing and music by Dom Coyote (Kneehigh, Plymouth’s Drum, Paraorchestra).

Find out more and book tickets for Falmouth, Wadebridge and St. Ives –


Sheila Vanloo

August 2021

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