telling myth


telling myth

Myths tell us how the world was made and explain the forces that drive the world and ourselves.  They are often on a grand and spectacular scale and leave their imprint on the landscape of the world they made and those that tell the stories. They are challenging, deep and long and this workshop will help you really inhabit and convincingly tell these strange, extraordinary and huge stories.

In this workshop we will look at

  • naming and summoning - mythical names bring the presence of those named into the listening space.

  • deep listening - bringing the audience deeply into the material

  • negotiating structure - these stories are big and not always linear and we will look at how to tease out plot lines

  • ritual - mythic space is ritual space and we will look at ways of bringing ritual meaningfully into your telling

  • parallel materials - using the writing, songs, music and visual art that surround these stories

  • varying registers - we want to remain responsive and alive while telling

This workshop draws on my research and performance of mythic material, principally from the Welsh traditions of the Mabinogion as well as directing other performers working on similar material from other cultures. I was the storyteller with India Dance Wales for many years telling the stories of Hindu dieties. I have also worked on projects that use ancient artifacts and their landscape as a starting point for the creation of myths by community groups including the Mantell Project in Denbighshire, a three year Cultural Olympiad project with local schools. I have toured two shows based on Welsh mythology for the production company Adverse Camber.

The performance yesterday at Cresswell was one of the highlights of my journey. I felt like I was receiving part of my culture that had been denied to me by the location of my birth. The delivery of those stories was magnificent and I felt like I was being given a gift. The whole process of the first story in the forest took me back several thousand years. I felt transported
— Ken Hutchinson, Australian visual artist
...the best storytellers serve to remind us that these ancient myths are not for the coy, and Harvey is a master near the top of his game...these are the stories of kings and magicians saved and maintained for the people. Michael Harvey has an impressive stage presence, that rare mixture of ego and modesty, both sides deployed expertly and with sincerity. He revels in the stories, they are sermons, an he treats them as if they have grown richer with age, not simply become classical. They are not updated, reimagined or “reduxed”, but they are unmistakably presented with a modern swagger.
— Gary Raymond - Wales Arts Review
Dreaming The Night Field’ draws you into the heart of The Mabinogion. As the show’s prologue makes clear, you will be transported somewhere else – into a metamorphosising world of passion, upheaval and mischief- making, where a king can hear everything, a living woman is made out of flowers, a hero sets sail in a seaweed boat, and a magician pulls dogs and stallions from the woodland floor. It’s ancient and weird and compellingly beautiful and, while you’re there, oddly believable.
— Tony Jones, playwright

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