Read more on The Adventures of Awful Knawful – Poster from the Kneehigh Cookbook archive.
The first ever poster for the first ever Kneehigh show, The Adventures of Awful Knawful. The show was performed everywhere and anywhere throughout Cornwall.
The adventures of a failed stuntman – Mike Shepherd, 2008:
Based on a script by Mick Ford and Peter Flannery.
Adapted/devised/directed by Mike Shepherd.
Performed literally anywhere and everywhere fields, quarries, schools, village halls, tents, and preaching pits.
This show was performed in the round with two rostrum blocks and four exits.
It featured Allan Drake as a zombie; Dave Mynne as a mad professor inventing, among other things, the worlds greatest mousetrap; me and my brother literally chained together, wrist and ankle; Pandora Feltham as The Voice; Emma Wilby as The Thing; and Tony Jarman, Ed Carter and John Mergler as the worlds greatest stuntman.
We advertised the show by demonstrating John Mergler’s extreme fitness and irresponsible fearlessness with a series of stunts. These stunts always involved him being propelled violently from a bicycle and were mostly successful and entertainingly spectacular with two possible exceptions:
1. The time he was left dangling from the clifftop by a flimsy rope, frantic calls for emergency services, his mother, Pam bursting into tears, and after his less than spectacular fall into brambles and stinging nettles, a headline in the Cornish Guardian: Kneehigh Almost Ruin Feast Week
2. Awful Knawful’s stunt started the show at Trewan Hall, St Columb. I also ended the show as John collided with a low beam and was taken unconscious to hospital.
John Mergler is now triathlon champion of the world (veteran class) and lives in Sydney, Australia.
This was also the show where PC Burstow, Mevagissey, repeatedly tried to arrest me throughout the performance for not having a performance license. I kept giving him the slip until the curtain call.