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Beowulf: A Performance Translation

This is a dynamic performance by Sebastian Lockwood of the great poem using a new translation by Clark and Lockwood.

This single inherited epic in our language has it all: drama, blood, heroism, mourning, and teaching with soul-searching thought about all this. It looks back. In its top layer of listening, we are brought along with heroic figures, even with a superhero, to challenge agonizing monsters. This world also includes beautiful sea voyages, crafty disputes, the falling of tribes, and moving elegies. Most often its Old English poetry can translate directly into fresh pictures. The epic Beowulf is a masterfully told story.

Beowulf also steadily gives insight on its listening audience during a momentous time of transitions, in England between the eighth and 11th century. The courts of Beowulf teem with signs of deadly intrigues to come, hubris, cowardice, the betrayal of good leaders. Pagan Wyrd and Christian God are both at work here. In early Christian England, the people, including monastics, still loved to tell and hear those ancient oral heroic – and pagan – teaching-stories. This epic is unique in that it bridges the ethical gap.


The Epic of Gilgamesh

A new version of The Epic of Gilgamesh by Sebastian Lockwood. This is the story of Gilgamesh, King of Kings, who brought back knowledge from before the flood – who loved and lost his companion Enkidu and had to find out why we die.  The Epic of Gilgamesh was written on clay tablets over 4,000 years ago, in what is today Baghdad Iraq – the Biblical Garden of Eden between the Tigris and the Euphrates.  Having performed the story for years, Lockwood gives a passionate reading from a text that faithfully follows the original.

Hereward The Wake

Hereward the Wake, the last of the Anglo/Saxon/Dane Vikings, will hold out against the impossible force of William the Conquerer. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Hereward, already a great hero, will end up at Saint Etheldredas’ Island and Minster, Eely, with his wife, Torfrida, and mother, Lady Godiva. He will ride to battle on his magic mare, Swallow, followed on foot by his right hand man, Martin Lightfoot. This is the best of Charles Kingsley, written in rich language and narrated by storyteller Sebastian Lockwood, himself originally from Norfolk and a great admirer of Hereward the Wake.

Mr. Midshipman Easy

Mr. Midshipman Easy is the 1836 novel by Frederick Marryat, a retired Captain in the 19th century Royal Navy. The novel is set during the Napoleonic Wars, in which Marryat himself served with distinction. It was adapted twice into films in 1916 and in 1935 as Midshipman Easy. Captain Frederick Marryat (July 10, 1792 – August 9, 1848) was an English Royal Navy officer, novelist, and a contemporary and acquaintance of Charles Dickens, noted today as an early pioneer of the sea story. He is now known – for his semi-autobiographical novel Mr. Midshipman Easy and perhaps the first Young Adult novel, Children of the New Forest.

Children of the New Forest- a storyteller’s version

The Roundheads under Cromwell and the Cavaliers under Charles I, have fought a bloody Civil War: the defeated King has escaped south towards the New Forest.

The Parliamentry troops believe he will hide in the home of Colonel Beverly, a famous Cavalier – they surround the house believeing they will smoke him out. No King is found and they are told that they have killed the four children who were in the house – but they escape with the old forester, Jacob Armitage, who must now teach them to lose their lace, and velvet manners and behave and look like Puritans. He must also teach them how to hunt, farm and survive in the magnifiecent New Forest, first laid out by William the Conquerer.  Edward, the oldest, Humphrey and their sisters, Alice and Edith will find a new life, and for Edward, new love with the Superintendents’ daughter, Patience Heatherstone.  Captain Marryat tells this story with loving attention to the details of living in the forest and to History where the balance between King and Parliament has changed forever.



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