Dr Dee's Daughter and the Philosopher's Stone

In 1595, Dr John Dee, alchemist, astronomer and magician, relocates to drafty Manchester College, where the Queen has made him warden. While he is immersed in work and trying to convince the dons he isn't talking to the Devil, his young daughter Katherine is left to herself.

Looking through her father's old diaries, Katherine reads about his abandoned quest to discover the Philosopher's Stone - the Elixir of Life. Katherine experiments, and manages to summon a playful spirit, Madimi. With Madimi's aid, Katherine starts her own search for the Philosopher's Stone.

But using Dee's magic crystal has opened a pathway and not all those who use it are as friendly as Madimi...

Dr Dee's Daughter and the Philosopher's Stone is a collaboration with record quartet PalisanderMusic is an important aspect of the story telling, with the musicians playing an interactive role in the production. As interesting to see as they are to listen to, a range of recorders from 6 inches to 6 feet tall, add to the air of mystery. The repertoire is inspired by the time frame in which the story is set: Renaissance England during the reign of Elizabeth I.

"A complete and brilliant package" (5* - The Latest) Full review

"Superb on all levels" (G Scene) Full review

"What I particularly liked about this imaginative and enjoyable production was that while it was evidently geared to a younger audience it never talked down to them, but was informative, accessible and engaging. The music was very well chosen and included many unfamiliar works which were well worth hearing and the puppetry was well performed and lots of fun." (Mark Enyon, Festival Director, Newbury Spring Festival)

"We were so thrilled to host Dr Dee’s Daughter – it was one of the highlights of our Festival this year and was everything we hoped it would be and more.  The audience response was unanimously positive and you have created a family show which will be a hard act for us to follow in the future! I was so impressed with how integrated everything was – often where collaborations fall down is that there is a bit of drama and then a bit of music and this totally wasn’t the case because the musicians were at the heart of the action and everyone performed from memory.  The writing was really clever – it never played down to the children and the adults equally enjoyed the story and the way you integrated the music.  You deserve every success for the tour and we are very proud to have been there to help you get started with the first performance. " (Clare Norburn, Festival Director, Brighton Early Music Festival)

Past Performances

November 2016, Friends Meeting House, Brighton (Brighton Early Music)

May 2017, Corn Exchange, Newbury (Newbury Spring Festival) 

May 2017, The Stables, Milton Keynes

May 2017, Toll Gavel United Church, Beverley (Beverley Early Music Festival)

July 2017, Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham (Cheltenham Music Festival)

August 2017, Kendal Town Hall, Kendal (Lake District Summer Music) 

October 2017, Wiltshire Music Centre (Wiltshire Early Music Festival)

Cast & Creative
Katherine Dee / Ludovico / Katherine Dee puppeteer

Dr Dee / Madimi / Raphael puppeteer

Music - Palisander

Musical Arrangement
Lighting Design

Costume Embroidery
Set and props

Katie Sommers

Eleanor Conlon

Miriam Nerval

Lydia Gosnell

Caoimhe De Paor

Hannah St Clair Buggs

Charlotte Barbour-Condini

Eleanor Conlon

Miriam Nerval

Natalie Rowland (Pitch Black)

Katie Sommers

Eleanor Conlon

Pamela Conlon

Scarlett Hayler-King

Katie Sommers

Tom Peteuil

To book Dr Dee's Daughter & The Philosopher's Stone for your venue or festival, please contact us for touring information and costs. We can also provide accompanying music or puppetry workshops tailored to your specifications.