The Astronomer’s Story

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Barnaby Festival commissioned me to create a  “unique and unforgettable experience” to be the centre piece of Barnaby Festival 2016.  The Astronomer’s Story was the largest theatrical production the festival had ever programmed, an incredible story of how the moon and stars came to Macclesfield.

The Astronomer’s Story was a pacey 50 minute actor-musician theatre production, suitable for adults and children.

The audience were invited to meet the eminent astronomer John Mershel. John disappeared from public life years ago, following the Great Moon Hoax. The Sun, a failing newspaper, received the “scoop” of a lifetime: a British Astronomer had invented a telescope powerful enough to view the surface of the moon. Each week they chronicled the discoveries of bat men and lunar beavers.

It was all nonsense of course but who did they attribute these fictitious facts? John! Now, every time he attempted to talk to  about his own discoveries, all people wanted to know about were lunar beavers.  John decided to assemble a crew of astronomers, scientists and ragamuffins to invent, or discover, something so mind boggling that it would eclipse the great moon hoax forever.

The performance took place in the atmospheric setting of Christ Church, Macclesfield.


The Astronomer’s Story is a LAStheatre production. It was commissioned by Barnaby Festival and performed as part of Wild Rumpus’ La Lune.

Supported by

Arts Council England

Credit: Producer / Writer / Director


*Karl Wallace, Festival Director