Freckles the Musical, London 2017: Synopsis
Freckles is set in 1930s South Devon opposite the iconic art deco hotel on Burgh Island, where rich and royalty often stayed. The story focuses on the colourful characters of Bigbury- on Sea and the impact of a newcomer. The decision by childless couple Martha and Ralph Timms to take in a foster child from the city is met with concern. With the arrival of the hard to place “foreigner”, Fran Eddy, suspicion and disdain quickly spread. Mrs. Rathbourn, the wealthy town gossip, is shocked by the unkempt, tomboy, red-head and predicts, with some accuracy that the “odd” child will be a disruptive influence at the school and cause conflict. When it appears there is a thief in their midst, others are also quick to pass judgement. The local children however, view Freckles Fran with a mixture of suspicion and fascination. The Head teacher is taken aback by Fran’s outspoken and challenging retorts. Martha and Ralph soon feel the weight of responsibility. Martha’s fears of not being equipped for the parenting role are being confirmed. Martha’s low self-esteem in fact stems from a controlling (now deceased) mother figure.
Fran Eddy impacts on the lives of three married couples in particular, as well as inspiring a transformation in the jaded, head teacher. Fran, the live wire, sparks energy in the “kids” too and a misadventure leads to a chance encounter with a charismatic American hotel guest, W (Wallis Simpson) on Burgh Island. Can Fran be accepted in a somewhat blinkered community as it moves towards the outbreak of War? Can Fran encourage others (in different ways) to overcome fears and to be brave in the face of adversity?
Will Fran ever be accepted and belong? She dares to stay true to herself and keep trying!!! The FRECKLES Effect is “a sure fire hit, not to be missed!” ***** review British Theatre Guide - Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016