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THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE

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1040 Abroad

The Ballad of Anne and Mary

A brand new musical podcast about scary female pirates features American cabaret singing sensation Christina Bianco
By News Team
Published on April 30, 2021

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An electrifying five-part musical podcast series The Ballad of Anne & Mary launched yesterday with a stellar cast including musical sensation Christina Bianco, actress and comedian Sooz Kempner, Hamilton star Karl Queensborough, and drag legend Le Gateau Chocolat among others.

It's 1721, and London is abuzz with news of notorious pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read, currently languishing in Newgate Prison. It’s the perfect time for debt-ridden journalist Nathaniel Mist to exploit the public appetite and ghost-write a sensational (and hopefully best-selling) history of pirates. But as the balladeers and gossips on the streets of London build myths around the blood-thirsty, perverse lady pirates, Mist is forced to reckon with the real Bonny & Read...

Christina Bianco Christina Bianco

Gritty and romantic, The Ballad of Anne & Mary whisks listeners away on a rollicking adventure across the Caribbean seas, through the backstreets of Georgian London, and into the cells of its most notorious prison. Original songs fuse sea shanties and pirate songs with orchestral and rock instruments to create a musical world at once familiar and surprising. Recorded in home studios during a year when the world stood still, this is the perfect escape across time and space, drawing you into the jaw dropping world of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, two of the most notorious pirates who ever lived.

Christina Bianco, our October 2014 interviewee, August 2015 cover star and September 2016 reviewee, who is playing the part of Anny Bonny, said "Listeners are in for something incredibly special. It is a female driven, action-adventure musical - which is a rarity! Not only does it have a gorgeous score and a script that is both hilarious and touching, but Long Cat Media have created an immersive sound design that makes you feel like you're living inside the story. Oh yeah - and it was all done in isolation! It's an absolutely stunning achievement that I am honored to be part of."

Sooz Kempner, who is playing the part of Mary Read, added "If you would have told me two years ago that a full-blown musical could exist in podcast form, I'd never have believed you. But this is exactly that, and it's about two badass women to boot."

Exploring how legends are made, and why the truth rarely gets in the way of a good story, The Ballad of Anne & Mary is a celebration of rebels, the environment that made them, and how they become a repository for our fears and desires. Looking back from a time when rule-breaking women are still demonized by the media and by the public, what must it have been like in 1721?

This incredible podcast is written and directed by Lindsay Sharman, with music by Laurence Owen and an incredible cast including Carole Stennett, Dominic Brewer, John Henry Falle, Hayley Evenett, James Ducker, Colette Boushell, Ivan Wilkinson and Helen Fullerton. It has been supported by funding from Arts Council England and the UEA Enterprise Fund.

It is available free on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast and Google Podcasts as well as on www.longcatmedia.com, with new episodes being released every Thursday. The soundtrack will be available to buy on Bandcamp.

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