Doctor Coppelius
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Silhouette of ballerina in window

Doctor Coppelius

written and performed by Chris Neville-Smith
after "Coppelia" by Leo Delibes

I want you to know: I am not a bad person. But I am not one of you. I can't do anything right ... When everything I do is bad, what difference does one more bad thing make?"

Once upon a time, there was an idyllic town in a peaceful kingdom. And amongst the townsfolk lived Swanhilda. She was fair and kind-hearted, and she loved Franz with all her heart. But whilst Franz had feelings for her, he also had feelings for the mysterious Coppelia: a woman who was only ever seen reading on a balcony. In fact, Coppelia was only a mechanical doll, but such was her beauty the whole town believed her to be real.

But we've already heard the story of Swanhilda and Franz. What is the story of the doll's creator, the recluse and genius Doctor Coppelius?  Now, the tragic villain from Leo Delibes's Coppelia gives his side of the story. An outsider fleeing lands who don't want him, it is a story from scaremongering and dehumanisation to hope and redemption. Doctor Coppelius does not seek your forgiveness for the terrible thing he did - only your understanding.

This is a brand new project for a story I only had the idea for in January, but I can't wait to share this with you and when I realised I could make this work as a storytelling show - coupled with the fact that I've always wanted to do something in the wonderful Scrivener's Bookshop - I couldn't pass this up. No decision yet on what to do with this after Buxton, but this is where it begins.

Upcoming performances

Scrivner's Bookshop for Buxton Fringe (work in progress): 4.00 p.m., 11th July 2024. Free, ticketed.

PLEASE NOTE THE READING ROOM AT SCRIVENER'S BOOKSHOP HAS A CAPACITY OF TWELVE. I HOPE TO TAKE PEOPLE ON THE DOOR, BUT TO BE CERTAIN OF A SPOT, PLEASE CONTACT ME.