The World Traders Charitable Trust was pleased to support the live staging of the epic production of Mayflower by the Historia Theatre Company. A few of us attended an evening performance with Master, Mary Hardy, at the Hen and Chicken Theatre in North London and even had a drink with the script writer Kate Price, the Director and cast.
The year was 1620 and some 40 pilgrims from England and Holland who called themselves ‘Separatists’ set sail from Plymouth with another 60 passengers in search of a new life in the Americas. Except that they had to negotiate with ‘merchant adventurers’ (aka world traders of the time!) on the terms of their passage, and the crossing was far more terrifying than they could have anticipated. Some had to leave close family behind and not all survived that winter. Nevertheless, their faith sustained those who did and it is estimated that there are today over 35million descendants from the original passengers on board the Mayflower.
At the epilogue of the two hour play performed by eight actors taking on over a dozen characters, there was a roll call of names of those who had made safe passage. It was a poignant moment for us in the audience. 400 years on, we are still witnessing migrants from around the world who are prepared to take on perilous journeys to find a better life.