The national tour of sean burn’s passionate and powerful new play, ‘collector of tears’, comes to Marlborough Theatre on Wed 5 Nov.
‘collector of tears’ is a poetic and epic love story spanning over four hundred years, told by Tanya Sealt, a young woman who cannot age until she has cried. Instead Sunderland-born Tanya collects tears from the people she encounters during moments of radical English history, passionately learning to fight for human rights and understanding her own sexuality forged in relationships with men and women across time. Wherever she goes she carries with her an amazing collection of glass tear-bottles, through which she reveals each unique and moving story of the tears’ owners.
Ultimately this hauntingly lyrical play is about humanity, human rights and the universality of love and specifically reaches out to LGBT communities. ‘collector of tears’ received a Peggy Ramsay Foundation Grant in 2012. An earlier version of was given development time and performances at The Queens Hall Arts Centre, Hexham in 2009.
The play is directed by acclaimed director Jackie Fielding, with Madeleine MacMahon playing Tanya Sealt, accompanied by original music composed and performed live by Ken Patterson. Set designer Alison Ashton has teamed up with Effie Burns who has created the collection of glass tear-bottles for Tanya’s story while lighting is by James Henshaw.
Director Jackie Fielding says: ‘sean burn has written a moving recollection of history brought alive in a truly original way. We are looking forward to having a wonderful time uncovering the magic of this epic piece, and then sharing it with our audiences.’
sean burn says: ‘I am really proud to have such a strong team working on collector of tears. This play explores themes close to my heart – including radical politics and bisexuality. Touring this play nationally demonstrates the quality of my writing, especially as this script also received my second Peggy Ramsay Foundation Grant.’
sean burn has had four plays staged since 2012. ‘calyx’ was performed at the Capital Plays Festival, mac, Birmingham, 2012. The same year also saw the successful national tour of ‘next swan down the river might be black’, shortlisted for the BBC’s Alfred Bradley Bursary Award, published by Aurora Metro and toured by gobscure to sold-out venues in the North-East. This September also saw sean’s play ‘fell’ performed at the Page to Stage Festival, Liverpool by House of Orphans, directed by Lucia Cox. Throughout 2014 Graeae Theatre in association with the Royal Court, Soho Theatre and National Theatre Studio has accepted sean as one of only five disabled writers nationally onto a unique playwriting development programme. Graeae Theatre will give a rehearsed reading of his finished script flowers of the forest in London, December 2014. sean burn is previously writer of Time Out’s Play of the Year 2004 with cutter; and a recipient of a first Peggy Ramsay Foundation Grant in 2006 for taking the blood of butterflies. He was short-listed for a Dadafest disability arts award in 2009.