Storytelling in the Middle Ages: An Evening of Tall Tales, Music and Werewolves
“Once upon a time there was a lady spy, Ingenue Bond of Venice, who led twelve priests into temptation…” So began one of the modern adaptations of a medieval tale created by a group of storytelling workshop participants, who were challenged to retell a Breton lai in the style of a Bond film. In their hands, the Old French tale of Ignaure, a knight who wooed twelve ladies simultaneously until he was discovered by their twelve husbands, was shaken and stirred to become a dashing, Martini-quaffing adventure featuring an audacious female secret agent, twelve unfortunate priests, and a moonlit chase through the catacombs and piazzas of Venice.
Five storytellers took the train to Banbury, a short journey from Oxford, to speak at a wonderful literary festival: Banbury Literary Live. This event was held at North Oxfordshire Academy. We were met at the door by friendly secondary-school students, who had been delegated to look after us while we were at the festival. We were whisked in through the gleaming, bright auditorium, past a troop of children making a racket and having a fantastic time.
We had arrived about an hour early for our performance slot… however, the children who had come along to the festival were getting tired after a long day of exciting literary events and activities and so we went on almost at once! Our audience were soon happily ensconced in bean bags, their parents sitting towards the back of the room. With no time for nerves, we launched into a sequence of stories: Continue reading