Mother Goose – January 2013

Mother Goose – January 2013


Brighouse Echo Review

Cast List


Emma Newsome


>Holly Robson

Mother Goose

Andrew Mann


John Murphy


Paul Tankard

Bill Pumpkin

Andrew Featherstone

Ben Bogtrotter

Samantha Mann

Priscilla the Goose

Pete Forsythe

Fairy Fortune

Sophie Tankard

Demon Discontent

Robert Davison

King Proper Gander

Richard Walsh

Queen Goosegog

Debbie Granger

Old Mother Goose
When she wanted to wander
Would fly through the air
On a very fine gander”

Thus begins the tale of Mother Goose and her son Jack who buys a goose which lays a golden egg. Jacks sells the goose to a dishonest merchant, Mother Goose turns Jack into Harlequin and his ladyfriend into Columbine, The egg is thrown into the sea and a fish brings it back. The merchant threatens to kill the goose but Mother Goose catches it and climbing onto its back flies up to the moon!

And so we have a description of the familiar character connected with children’s rhymes and known the world over.

Mother Goose is a title that can cause confusion on both sides of the Atlantic. Just as the very word “Pantomime” means something different in America (basically to mime without words) as it does in Great Britain (A popular family entertainment seen mostly at Christmas) so the Mother Goose title can mean two different things.

In America Mother Goose is synonymous with a book of Fairy Tales, narrated by the mythical figure of Mother Goose herself. In Great Britain it is the title of a Pantomime telling the story of Mother Goose and her pet goose, Priscilla- The Goose that lays golden eggs.

There is even a train of thought in America that one Elizabeth Goose from Boston, Massachusetts, living in the late 17th Century was the original. Legend (unsupported) tells that one of her daughters married a printer who collected all her stories, and published them as a book. To this day Nursery Rhymes are known as “Mother Goose Songs” in America.


The earliest mention of a “Mother Goose” dates back to 1650 in France, when Jean Loret mentioned her in his book “La Muse Historique”.

In 1697 Charles Perrault* used the phrase in a published collection of eight fairy tales “Histories and Tales of long ago, with morals”. The book illustrated an old lady spinning and telling stories with the words “Tales of my Mother the Goose”. It was published in England in 1729 as “Mother Goose’s Fairy Tales”.

Perrault’s stories were folk legends he had collected and rewritten in a more popular form. They were: “Sleeping Beauty (in the wood)”,” Little Red Riding Hood,” “ Blue Beard” “, Puss In Boots (or the Master Cat),” “ The Fairies, “Cinderella (or the little glass slipper),” “ Ricky with the Tuft” and “Little Thumb.”

In England later that century John Newbery published several collections of traditional rhymes. These included “Mother Goose’s Melody: or Sonnets for the cradle”- published by his stepson in 1780 the edition contained 52 rhymes with illustrations.

The popularity of these books in England made Mother Goose’s name more identified with Nursery Rhymes than with Fairy Stories. Since that time the name has become widely used for different collections of folk tales and especially nursery rhymes.

By 1786 the stories of Mother Goose were published in the first authorized American version by Isiah Thomas, also entitled “Mother Goose’s Melody”