The legends of Cornwall are famous throughout the world, and one of the greatest is that of Jan Tregeagle. This legend is the first in a series of stopmotion films of these much-loved tales.
Original screenplay by Simon Tytherleigh, based on traditional sources. Featuring music specially written for the film, inspired by the Cornish folk opera, "Jan Tregeagle" , written by Colin Wilson and Phil Beer.
Jan Tregeagle was a wicked and greedy magistrate terrorising 17th-century Bodmin, who thought he could redeem his sins by paying the clergy to keep him out of Hell. But when he is summoned from his grave to settle a legal dispute, they face a dilemma. As it is impossible to put Tregeagle back in his grave, they set him to tasks that will last until Judgment Day. Except they don't....
This powerful legend is a morality tale about the consequences of our actions told with beautifully sculpted and handcrafted puppets set against a background of recognisable Cornish landmarks.
Click here to see who's working on Tregeagle.
The film features several main characters and many more as minor figures and the townsfolk of Bodmin.
Jan Tregeagle is the main protagonist, consumed by greed, happy with the bribery and corruption that are his trademark as a judge. He lives in luxury while everyone else exists in squalor and poverty. When he has a dream of being dragged down to hell, he realises that either in this life or the next he will face his come-uppance. As he carries out tasks set for him, he descends into a pitiful figure consumed by remorse for his sins.
The Orphan Girl falls victim to Tregeagle when he steals her inheritance. She returns to haunt him and ultimately to forgive him.
The Hounds of Hell are sent from Hell to claim Tregeagle's soul if he falters in his tasks. They keep watch over his every move, and are not happy to be outsmarted. They are accompanied by the Puppy of Hell...!
St Petroc, who founded a monastery and church in Bodmin and is one of the patron saints of Cornwall, arrives to sort out the mess. He gets Tregeagle working on his final impossible task, and keeps the hounds at bay while Tregeagle does his penance.
Scroll down to see a couple of interviews with Simon in the studio/workshop.