peredur eng

Michael Harvey storyteller peredur


Brought up wild in the forest as violence rages in the outside world Peredur goes to King Arthur’s court to find that the great king’s glory days are over. He follows the way of the warrior, gains strength and skill from dark, subterranean forces but discovers that the source of his power is a double-edged sword. A contemporary retelling of a classic tale for today’s audiences from some of Europe’s leading oral interpreters of myth.

Michael Harvey storyteller peredur poster image

Sometime in the twelfth or thirteenth century professional court poets from Wales and France got together and the first stage of an international professional storytelling exchange took place – a cross -fertilization that yielded Peredur fab Efrog on one side and Perceval Le Gallois on the other. The themes of this collaboration spread throughout Europe – King Arthur, the Holy Grail, the Fisher King and the code of chivalry and echoed down to the German Romantic revival with the Works of Goethe and Wagner.

The Franco-Welsh storytelling collaboration was rekindled with Michael Harvey's participation in the 3rd Labo (a series of experimental encounters for professional storytellers) at La Maison du Conte, a groundbreaking storytelling centre in Paris. Before long the trailing ends of the medieval collaboration were picked up and Michael and Labo director, Abbi Patrix were soon in discussion about re-telling the story for today's audiences.

The project included Michael, Marien Tillet, a leading contemporary French storyteller and Alexandra Grimal, French jazz saxophone phenomenon who counts the National Jazz Orchestra of France amongst her bands. The preparations began with a period of deep listening to this complex and ambiguous text, drawing out themes and images for today's audiences under the directorship of Abbi Patrix.

The project was financed by the Arts Council of Wales and was a partnership between Beyond the Border and La Maison du Conte.