Mary Anning Fossil Depot

Written and directed by Peter John Cooper 

Cast: Jane McKell and Eltjo Devries

Design: Annette Sumption 

Music: Grace Hancock

Toured spring 2018

It is said that Mary Anning, born in Lyme Regis in 1799, was  a placid baby; then struck by lightning she became bright and talkative. Not only did little Mary survive, but at 11 years old she & her brother Joseph found the first complete Ichthyosaur fossil. Self-taught, Mary went on to be an inspiration, shaking the 19th Century world of science. ‘Mary Anning Fossil Depot’ is an, entertaining performance, packed-full of interactive fun, facts, & adventure on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. Mary, aided & abetted by her brother Joseph, looks back at an inspiring life led with a passion for hunting & understanding fossils; struggles with poverty & self-education. This special story is interwoven by a string of ‘Curios’ – small fossils which Mary & Joseph introduce for the children to handle: ‘Snakestones’, ‘Devil’s Toenails’, ‘Ladies Fingers’ – each sold for a penny by the Anning’s to put food on the table. Mary Anning went on to prove with desire and determination, whoever you are, you can achieve great things.

This production toured 26 libraries in the spring of 2018 Dorset, Somerset, and Gloucester which invited Primary schools to walk up to their local library for a performance of live informative theatre at no cost to the schools. The production was supported by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council and Dorset Library Service.

“Entertaining, educational and informative – I could not have enjoyed it more”

“I have been a teacher for 30 years and this is the best schools production I have ever seen”

“I loved the dog – it was a masterclass in observation”

Libraries & Schools Live Tour – Free Theatre for all Children