ABOUT PORTSMOUTH                                                              

Pontine Theatre
6-15 April 2018: Fri @7pm, Sat @4pm, Sun @2pm
Location: Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock Street, Portsmouth NH

If you’ve ever wandered the streets of Portsmouth wondering about the lives of the men and women who once graced the impressive mansions, sailed to foreign lands from the wharves along the river front, or traded in the shops around Market Square, you’ll find answers, insights and charming entertainment at Pontine Theatre’s stage adaptation of BREWSTER’S RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH.


Pontine’s stage adaptation of Brewster’s “Rambles” includes stories of prominent events, such as the capture of Fort William and Mary which foreshadowed the Revolution, the triumphal visit of newly elected President George Washington, and the great fire of 1813 that devastated the downtown and left hundreds homeless.  The play also features local folklore including the tragic hanging of Ruth Blay, accused of murdering her infant child; the mysterious murder that gave the name to Frenchman’s Lane; and anecdotes of witches, wizards and haunted houses.  Alongside these are vignettes of everyday life including school dramatic exhibitions at the Old Brick School House on State Street and the adventures of Portsmouth’s young people at vaccination parties on Pest Island; plus tales of local eccentrics like Toppin Maxwell, who built an ill-fated windmill at his tanyard on the shore of the North Mill Pond.

Pontine Co-Directors, Greg Gathers and Marguerite Mathews, bring these stories to life with an impressive array of acting and staging techniques, including storytelling, shadow puppets, masks and toy theatre — complimented by period music and richly detailed sets and props.  Charles Brewster’s stories are augmented by an introduction from Thomas Bailey Aldrich’s AN OLD TOWN BY THE SEA and poetry by Benjamin Penhallow Shillaber,  Albert  Laighton, and Sarah Orne Jewett.  The rich language of these local literary luminaries, coupled with Pontine’s innovative dramatic style brings the past vividly to life.  Romantic adventure, tragedy, mystery and nostalgic sentiment await the audience in this fascinating foray into Portsmouth’s past.

© Pontine Theatre  2017