The Cornish Caretakers
Cornish Caretakers show and workshop for Cornish Primary Schools
The Cornish Caretakers are made up of Mr Rodda Rowe Rescorla (played by me, Edward Rowe) and Mrs Penrose Pengilly Penwarth (played by the wonderful Emily Harrison), and together we are thrilled to look after Cornish history and heritage. For our latest show, we are from the fabulous PK Porthcurno Museum telling the story of communications.
A little bit of history about The Cornish Caretakers first! To date, we have toured two shows to primary schools over the last four years, performing to well over 20,000 primary-aged children. The first show was about famous Cornish men and women and included such legendary people as Bobby Leach (first man over Niagara Falls), Emily Hobhouse (revolutionised care in South Africa), Mary Bryant (escaped a prison colony in South Australia and made her way back to Kernow), Dolly Pentreath (prolific Cornish speaker) and many more. In the second show, we brought to life people from Cornish mining, and with the help of these characters and of course the children, we managed to get a replica of Richard Trevithick’s Puffing Devil steam engine to puff across the school hall.
Our latest show for PK Porthcurno involves the Caretakers of the children telling the story of communications in Cornwall and around the world. A pigeon delivers a message, and before we know it, all forms of communication are sending us a message which we must decipher. There’s a telegraph machine, mobile phones, a satellite dish, radio, a bonfire to deliver smoke messages and much more. There’s even a Tik Tok dance for all to join in. Fortunately, the children are there to help us understand the message.
As well as a show for the whole school, I deliver a workshop to a KS2 class which includes playing the now legendary game, Race to Porthcurno. The children pick a way back to Porthcurno from anywhere around the globe- they can deliver their message back to PK via cable, ship, radio, pigeon, smoke or satellite and of course encounters trials and tribulations along the way which makes it trickier!
They laugh and learn throughout the whole morning and the competition to be back to PK first is immense!
We always have fabulous feedback from the children and the teachers. Very often it’s the first time the whole school has gathered together post covid and we are delighted to help their learning and of course, make them laugh. The children love to ask a question or two after the show about communications, and my favourite question we’re frequently asked is, “when are you coming back?”.
I play Mr Rodda Rowe Rescorla, Emily Harrison plays Mrs Penrose Pengilly Penwarth and the show is directed by Olivier award-winning director, Simon Harvey. Tucked away in a cupboard pressing the buttons for music and sound effects is Lee Bartholomew.
Written by Edward Rowe