Bernard's Stage Musicals

Flotsam

First performed 30th June/ 2nd July 2012

Bernard originally got the idea for Flotsam from reading about the perils and hardships faced by street children in Brazil. His musical moves that scenario to a present-day or near-future UK altered almost unrecognisably by climate change events: rising sea-levels; perhaps a tsunami; certainly credit crunch plus a fuel/peak oil crisis causing the breakdown of lifestyles hitherto taken for granted. Food riots follow, populations are displaced, fuel is unattainable, power supply and communications are disrupted, the grip of law and order is tenuous at best.

The story takes place against that backdrop. A city, damaged and dislocated, is attempting to regenerate itself. A business consortium has grand plans and the money to fulfil them: and an ambitious politician, with their backing, wants to restore law and order and become Governor of the region. Dirty, scavenging children have no place in the consortium’s vision for the city: under threat, they find unlikely champions in the politician’s own daughter, the woman vicar of the city’s church and a pushy young journalist.

Tackling both ecological and political issues at the same time, Flotsam takes swipes at political ambition and short-sightedness, greed, hypocrisy and society’s all-too-frequent neglect and ill-treatment of the young. But it’s also about people, how at their best they support one another and triumph over adversity. It’s fast-paced; funny at times, strongly emotional at others; includes elements of a whodunit and a surprising dénouement; and there are some powerful songs along the way.

Click on the right to listen to a selection of songs recorded live in performance.