Mary of the High Seas book and lyrics by Joel Mason

A historical action-adventure drama musical, set in the turbulent world of the back streets of London, the battlefields of Flanders and the action and adventure of the high seas.  

Raised as a boy to hide the truth of her brother’s death Mary’s life takes her from selfish young tomboy to gregarious young war hero to ferocious pirate with the heart of a lion… in the body of a woman… disguised as a man.

“Mary’s voyage of self-discovery is a fascinating one.” 

“Mason has also written an great selection of supporting characters. Mary’s mother Helen, played by Janet Lawson, has the interesting task of portraying depth to the audience while being seen by her daughter in all the two-dimensional prejudices of the teenaged. She has a great song, The Way to a Man’s Heart, a tongue twister with a belting chorus and a sweetly tripping, and highly ironic, middle section.”

“…sketched in with plenty of comic depreciation of the commanding officers.”

“…there are some great tunes in here and some nicely worked duets and ensemble pieces.”

“A big tango scene after the pirates capture an Argentinean ship is an excellent way to finish the first act on a high… ”

“There is plenty of scope here for a hugely expensive West End-style musical, complete with land and sea battle scenes, rollicking comedy and big musical numbers.” 

“Beautifully done…”                Thom Dibdin           Annals of Edinburgh Stage

Visit our website at:

Joel's play has been re-written as a novella, below?  Feel free to contact Joel at the studio M 07880 628 731

Southern Freud Chicken

Finishing school, frog gigging, and a grand oral tradition.  Southern Freud Chicken is the charming and poignant chronicle of a young man’s journey through time and culture.

Joel is from South Carolina, “born and raised”.  The son of proud stoic southern parents, he left the south at the age of 18 but his southern upbringing colors every aspect of his life though not always his accent.  That is how he came to be a voyeur among Yankees.  In his play, Southern Freud Chicken, Joel explores stereotypes held by northerners and southerners alike and exorcises the ghosts of family, tradition, and culture in a search for the meaning of the word “home”.

What the press is saying about Southern Freud Chicken

 “… there’s a comfortable storytelling structure at work. He builds up to the telling, in the broadest of Southern accents, of a nursery story that originated with the slave woman who would have looked after his ancestors as children”.

“… what he has to say is fascinating and intriguing…”

“[Mason] diverts into reminiscences of his own childhood that add depth to what has gone before”.

“…his matter-of-fact delivery succeeds in transcending the setting and showing you a world through eyes you never knew existed”.

 Thom Dibidn                                 Annals of Edinburgh Stage

Contact me through this website to book a production of Southern Freud Chicken

Aunt Mona Gamby and the Tragic Mistake


A Melodrama 
by Joel Mason

Cast: 4 Men 2 Women 
Though the part of Candy Nice may be played by either


Exterior - a field near the Gamby home
Interior - Aunt Mona’s kitchen
Interior - the County Jail

Characters in order of appearance

Eva Gamby - 
A pretty, kind hearted girl of 19 with a bright future
Bill - A noble and simple farmhand, can be anywhere from 17 to 70 
Aunt Mona - The long-suffering aunty, somewhere between 45 and 65
Candy Nice - Whiplash’s henchman of no particular age, a smarmy, saccharin 
sweet pencil pusher but can get quite nasty (can be played by a woman)
Gregory Whiplash - The classic melodrama bad guy
Brock O’Brian - The handsome Marshall


Aunt Mona, her beautiful niece Eva and farm hand Bill are just trying get the corn planted.  Hoodwinked by smooth talking opportunist Gregory Whiplash their world is suddenly turned upside down as bill is thrown into the county jail.  Whiplash suggests to Eva that she “…just might, under the right circumstances, be able to secure Bill’s release another way…” 

Will Marshall O’Brian return before all prisoners are “moved to an undisclosed location”? Will justice be prevented by the law? Will the corn ever get planted?
£10 per performance UK, $20.00 US and Canada
For rights and information

Like any good satire Aunt Mona Gamby and the Tragic Mistake plays on several levels.  It can be produced as a simple melodrama, ignoring the irony of its content or as a biting political commentary dealing with issues like

rendition false imprisonment and political tyranny.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

East of the Sun and West of the Moon is the epic story of a young girl who causes the near destruction of her town when she breaks her promise to a frog.  To save her home and her village she must undertake a perilous journey to a far away land and unlock the meaning of life.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon combines Bunraku style, live hand puppets and onstage actors who interact in a dynamic form of movement theatre.  

Cast: East/West has been performed by casts of four up to twelve. 

“This experimental theatre piece is anything but traditional.  The combination of movement, acting, music and puppetry contributes to a graceful, harmonious setting.”
“All the performers, actors and puppeteers alike, are exceptional.”
                                                                                    The Tower Light (Baltimore)

“EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON is an astonishing puppet, theatre and movement performance based on a Norwegian folk tale, and presented by LIMINAL THEATRE.  A pageant of astounding stilt-walking, magical Bunraku puppetry, storytelling in a grand Scandinavian spectacle, it will entrance children of all ages.”
                                                                                    Saturday Morning at the National 
                                                                                    The National Theatre 1999-2000
                                                                                    Washington, DC 

“Newly written but venerable in its tone… it was brave enough to leave us with wise words, lightly put for the children to remember and for we adults to recall. A lovely way to ease into the evening.”      
                                 UK Theatre Network, Friday 12th March 2010
 “Liminal Theatre have successfully crafted an enjoyable hour of entertainment which sweeps the young audience into a magical and inventive land of imagination, with a creative vision and originality that is a pleasure to behold.”
Edinburgh Spotlight

A production that appeals to both children and adults that doesn’t undermine their intelligence.”
 “Joel Mason’s direction is both intriguing and comical...”
TV Bomb
£10 per performance UK, $20.00 US and Canada
For rights and information

From Failing Hands            Winner of the Scottish Youth Finals 2006

From Failing Hands the Barony Players 2010 Photo by Connie Smith
Launched from words of the war poem In Flanders Fields, this one act  illuminates the war experience at home during WWII  adapted from accounts of the people who lived through it.  An ensemble of  between 5 to 15 bring us from laughter to tears and finally to a profound understanding of what happened to a generation.  

From Failing Hands is a consummately versatile piece ideal for ensembles.  The cast can be of any and all ages.
£10 per performance UK, $20.00 US and Canada
For information


© 2011 Joel Mason all rights reserved 



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