“All my endeavour is to make people believe in and love Nature as I love her.”
The extraordinary life and times of Arthur Patterson (writer, cartoonist, zookeeper, warehouseman, showman, pupil-teacher, puppeteer, truancy officer, but above all recorder of the natural history of his beloved Breydon Water ), as seen through the eyes of his wife Alice and his daughter Nellie. Undaunted by a poverty stricken childhood in 19th century Great Yarmouth, with 7 children to support and a chronic lack of funds, our hero corresponds with learned scientists, takes tea and talks birds with his friend the flying Duchess, and swaps tales of poaching and wildfowling with the almost feral Breydoners. With Arthur’s own drawings, original music and projections; two actors and a great variety of puppet characters tell the story of a man whose heart’s desire was to be recognised as a “proper naturalist”.
Written and designed by Meg Amsden, with the late Beryl Tooley, AP’s great grandaughter.
Music composed by Jane Wells, with violin: Steve Bingham.
Directed by Mark Pitman.
Made by Meg Amsden, Jayne Ivimey, Molly Barrett, Lucy Amsden, Jules Carpenter, Tim Hunkin.
Performed by Paul Preston Mills, Meg Amsden and Jules Carpenter.
Produced by Nutmeg in 2007
Photos by Kevin Hulland