How many Badgers do you need to make a sett? No, I don’t know, either – but Euan Rose, Birmingham Crescent Theatre member who turned to writing and gave us the big Brummie musical Wallop Mrs Cox, seems to be well on the way.
He launches the revised version of his latest opus, Charlotte Badger, the romanticised story of Bromsgrove’s 18th-Century woman pirate, at the town’s Artrix on Tuesday next week. Gail Graye plays the swashbuckling buccaneer again – and one of Charlotte’s descendants is coming from Australia to be in the first-night audience.
Moreover, this is not just any old Badger: Angela Badger is something of a literary figure in Australia and New Zealand – a feisty lady, very much in the Charlotte Badger mould, says Euan Rose – and she has written a book, Charlotte Badger, Buccaneer, which has topped the Antipodean best sellers, helped perhaps by the fact that Charlotte is registered in a New Zealand museum as the first female white settler.
“I didn’t know about the book when I was writing the show”, he told me. “She contacted me via the Bromsgrove History Society and I sent her a flyer about the show. She was thrilled that someone had taken Charlotte Badger on – and we’ve been in contact ever since.”
The new Aardvark version of the show has banished the giant squid which admittedly prompted a few reservations when it rose from the sea without looking remotely wet, and it features a new song, It’s a rum-tum-tum-bum mucked-up kind of world – and Crescent Theatre stalwart Charles Fulford will be in the company for the first time, as Charlotte’s father.