Manx Beauty – The Music Project

Two years before the Manx Beauty came up for sale, Richard Wemyss started to write the story of the building of the Manx Beauty as a new musical work. He has brought together a team of musicians, designers, tutors, and a poet, working alongside Culture Vannin, Culture Trust of the Isle of Man and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to develop and produce the project.

The team has constituted itself and called itself EN – Compass

The Team

  • Richard Wemyss – Project co ordinator, Producer, Musician, Fiddle and Piano, composer
  • Margaret Robertson MBE- Fiddle Major Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Tutor and composer. In 2020 Margaret was awarded an MBE for services to Traditional Music
  • Rachel Gray – Pipe tutor and Trustee of Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, Musician, Small and Highland pipes and guitar.
  • Isla Callister – Manx Gaelic speaker and fiddler. Isla feels a strong personal connection to the project, with her mother hailing from Fife, and having grown up in the old fishing town of Peel in a house that was part of an internment camp during the Second World War. The Manx Beauty and its story feels like a reflection of her own Manx and Scottish heritage.
  • David Behrens – Musician, Piano, saxaphone, guitar and vocals with community music project experience
  • Martin Malone – Poet and Tutor , Gardenstown by Fraserburgh
  • Designer and Artistic Director – former artistic director of Scottish Youth Theatre. Lecturer in Theatre design and designer for the Scottish National Theatre.

The Project – “The Boatbuilders”

Stage 1 – Development Phase

Stage 2 – The team will work with schools in the East Neuk of Fife, the Isle of Man and the Fraserburgh Area. These are the core areas in the first part of story of the Manx Beauty. Workshops in each area will develop the story, musical themes and the performance skills of young musicians. Workshops will also relate the the history and characters to the musical themes.

Stage 3 –

All young musicians, tutors, actors and the technical team will come together to develop the final show.

Stage 4 –

Rehearsals and performance

The Vision for the performance

The show will be designed to be performed in a theatre setting or site specific, in other words our ambition is to bring the show to boat building and fishing communities. In addition to playing our young musicians will be involved as actors and narrators. They will physically build the Manx Beauty and bring the story to life in the way a jigsaw picture emerges. Musical inspiration comes from the traditions of Scotland and the Isle of Man.

To conclude we will have a group of young musicians and school pupils who have been instrumental in developing our story of the Manx Beauty. They will have taken part in a exiting performance providing them with new and valuable experience. Above all we will have shared the story of the Manx Beauty in an interesting and exciting way to a much wider audience than just those interested in old boats , and they will feel part of the story of the boat.