Lady Margaret Crankie
Title of production: Lady Margaret Crankie
Creater / Designer: Sandi Green-Baker
Cast: Sandi Green-Baker and Re Baker-Dietz
Vocals: Charlie Becker
This crankie / shadow puppet performance illustrates the traditional English folk ballad, Lady Margaret (there are other closely-related versions, variously titled). According to renowned folklorist Francis James Child, this ballad dates to the seventeenth century.
In this version of the story, Lady Margaret’s lover, the fickle Sweet William marries Lady Margaret’s rival. Abandoned, Margaret kills herself. Later that evening, Margaret shows up at the foot of the honeymooners’ bed to haunt her former lover. Creepy!
As William lies in bed with his new bride, the dead girl’s image kindles his ultimately fatal remorse. Frightening!
William can’t resist a resist a spectral fling and two-times his new wife by seducing his dead girlfriend. This rendezvous opens a path for their otherworldly reunification. Only old folk ballads can achieve this level of absurdity.
The crankie substate Is composed of concatenated velum sheets. The black artwork was cut by hand from black Tyvek. Other design elements include charcoal drawings and gravestone rubbings. The performance is animated with black silhouette shadow puppetry performed in flickering lantern light.