Jenny Coverack



Tavistock Times Gazette

17 April 2003

Historical tale told by talented actress

Felicity Barnaby

JENNY Coverack is a talented actress. It is no mean feat to hold the stage single-handed for an hour and a half, and to hold the audience's interest. But Jenny has done this, not once, but many times.

A Father For My Son tells the story of Kathleen Scott, wife of Captain Robert Scott and mother of Peter.

It has been adapted from Kathleen's autobiography and diaries, and the biography of Louisa Young. Kathleen's granddaughter, by Jenny herself and Robert Edwards.

Jenny moved about the stage at the Wharf with great assurance, speaking clearly and distinctly, with appropriate emotion and show of feeling.

The addition of a cardigan or shawl, or just the movement of her hands, and of course a change in emphasis of her voice, could signal a change from sculptor to mother to grieving widow.

Kathleen was portrayed as a warm, vibrant character, full of fun and entirely believable.

Jenny was funny, poignant. exciting and tranquil, sometimes within the space of a few minutes.

Though this was not the first time she has performed this piece at the Wharf, it certainly merited a second airing and was clearly hugely enjoyed by the audience.

Felicity Barnaby

Reproduced by kind permission of the Tavistock Times Gazette

A Father for my Son

Performed at The Wharf, Tavistock

4th April 2003

An unsolicited review by Ian Massey

As a professional amateur play style person, I decided to go and see it, and I have to say it was incredible.

Having never seen a one person play before I can't say that I have much to compare it to. All that I can say is that Jenny's acting was outstanding, managing to move the play at such a rate that the story, (in the form of diary entries, letters and monologues) moved smoothly, and every part of her portrayal was done with superb acting, showing the energy of a young woman in the first half, and slowly showing her aging through changes of stance, appearance and movement.

AMAZING, I can't think of anything else to say about it. The script must have been hell to learn, and having no other people on stage to help with cues and such, and only having minimal props. AMAZING!

I don't know how many others of you saw the play but it was incredible. I just needed to say something about it.

Anyhow, I guess I will see you all at some point in the future, and look forward to it.

Ian Massey

Thanks, Ian!

Tavistock Times Gazette

3 April 2003

A woman's point of view

Ann Parsons meets actress Jenny Coverack

A ONE-WOMAN play last performed by the artiste off the Antarctic peninsula can be seen at the Wharf in Tavistock tomorrow (Friday) at 8pm.

`A Father for My Son' was written by Jenny Killingbeck of Lammerhooe near Horsebridge - under her stage name of Jenny Coverack - and Robert Edwards of Tavistock, and is performed by Jenny herself.

Jenny, who trained as an actress at the Bristol Old Vic, said she had become `fed-up' with people relating what men had done but not talking about women's roles. The play relates the story of Kathleen Scott - the widow of Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the Antarctic - whom Jenny described as `just an amazing woman, ahead of her time'.

Kathleen had come from quite a poor background, being the youngest of 11 children. She was orphaned at an early age and was sent to live with an uncle and virtually brought herself up.

`She went vagabonding and enjoyed sleeping outside. But she was a talented sculptress, having studied firstly at the Slade School of Art, then running away to Paris and studying under Rodin. She was also friendly with Isadora Duncan,' said Jenny.

Kathleen also looked after refugees in Macedonia and helped in the First World War, taking ambulances across to France, and was possibly the second woman ever to fly.

Kathleen `loved men', said Jenny, but was looking for a man to give her a son rather than be a husband. She brought up son Peter by herself after Robert's death until her remarriage when he was 13.

The play has toured from the Isles of Scilly up to London and Arundel over the last few years and was sold out when it came to the Wharf previously a couple of years ago.

The last performance was on board the ship Orlova - on which Jenny's husband was lecturing off Elephant Island in the Antarctic, when money was raised for the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

The play is an adaptation of a biography written by Kathleen's grand-daughter Louisa Young and also Kathleen's diaries and autobiography.

`The difficulty in Writing the play was to know what to leave out,' said Jenny. `It is a very moving story.'

Jenny said Kathleen's second son by her second marriage was still alive and had come to see the inaugural performance of the play three years ago at Cotehele. `He said: "Don't change it"!' she said.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Tavistock Times Gazette