This physical comedy was originally commissioned by a Japanese Producer and premiered in Tokyo in 1996.
Devised by GR and Andy Taylor, and inspired by Ray Harryhausen’s stop-frame animation techniques from films like ‘Clash Of The Titans’ and ‘Sinbad’, it told the story of Commander Harry Pepper and his Petty Officer Tom Allison whose submarine crashes on the ocean floor. Finding a way into the undersea world of Tyreme, they battle dinosaurs, living statues and warrior skeletons trying to find their way back to the surface.
Part of the research involved walking around Ray’s private museum in London to see the creatures from his various movies – now mostly in bronze as the originals are gradually eroding being made of rubber, wire and paint. Ray admitted some worry over how his animations would be treated but on seeing the show at The Purcell Rooms he thought it “brilliant”. In essence it was like re-visiting the creative process for ‘THUNDERBIRDS F.A.B.’
The show was great fun to perform, very tiring (in Santa Fe in 1998 there were oxygen canisters in the wings due to the height above sea level) and in addition to the shows in Japan it also played the Edinburgh Festival (in 1996 and 1997), and toured to Oman, Lebanon, Brazil, Netherlands, New York, Singapore, Taiwan and others …
In fact, ‘Harry Pepper’ was played also by Wayne Forester and Rob Thirtle in order to accommodate the various tours and travel dates. Most of the music was provided by William Walton – apart from the theme from ‘Zulu’ which accompanied certain pirate activities in the show!
“Theatre in its most perfect polished form” The List Magazine , UK
“Ingenious comedy and wonderful escapist joy” News Of The World
“The best show of its kind I have ever seen” Zwolle Courrant, Netherlands
“Exceedingly well done and exceedingly clever” The New Mexican, USA