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Mary Celeste and the Beast of the Bowery


From the award winning writer John Knowles comes his first horror play:

A priest, a cabin boy and a woman in chains, all adrift on the Adriatic in a small rowing boat. A night of reckoning stretches out before them, as a full moon rises.

The Mary Celeste & the Beast of the Bowery – background

On November 7th 1872 the Mary Celeste set sail from New York bound for Genoa. On December 4, 1872 she was discovered adrift on the Atlantic Ocean off the Azores Islands, with no crew and no obvious signs of disturbance, except for one small rowing/lifeboat which was missing.

Prior to her sailing an incident rocked the Bowery of New York. A woman had been discovered naked and covered in blood, around her the dismembered bodies of five men; all notorious pimps and vicious criminals. Before a trial could take place the woman disappeared, acquitted in her absence, the general consensus was that a gang war and opium madness had caused the men to kill one another and that the woman, driven insane, had taken her own life in The Hudson. The incident is known as the five-ways full-moon massacre on which the folk song ‘Full-Moon – Blood Moon’ is based.*

There have been many theories about what happened aboard the Mary Celeste, the latest being that her cargo of neat alcohol had been stored in un-seaworthy casks which leaked vapours throughout the ship, turning the crew into walking drunks and filling them with delirium and madness. All we do know is that they were never seen again.

Our story begins on the Mary Celeste and moves onto a small row boat, set adrift on a vast sea, where a priest, a cabin boy and a woman in chains confront the past and each other.

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