‘The sea was our life. Our life was the sea.’
The Cormorant Tree, a new musical with book and lyrics by Steve Darlow and music by Glenn Tollett, is set in the mid-19th Century, on the Devon coast, involving romance, loss, smuggling, conflict, deceit, madness, and corruption.
While on holiday in Devon 2019 (during which many of the lyrics for Spitfire were written) Steve visited the ruined seaside village of Hallsands, or what is left of it. Much of the village literally fell in to the sea as a result of dredging taking place in Hallsands Bay. Not only were the homes of the inhabitants destroyed, but their way of life as well.
A 1960 newsreel shows the devastation, despite which, one resident remains.
The story of Hallsands, would prove the inspiration for Steve and Glenn’s next musical, The Cormorant Tree. A story of corruption, deceit, jealousy and love, set amidst the battle between tradition, religion, and progress.