Gawain and the Green Knight
26th August 2020, 6pm (doors 5:30pm) TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
Join storyteller Beth Webb at 6pm on 26th August to enjoy a costume performance of an ancient tale of blood, honour and deadly games, in the stunning grounds of The Bishop’s Palace, Wells
The tale of Gawain and the Green Knight dates from around 1400, but there is only one written record of it which was lost and lay hidden in a library for over four hundred years.
The story tells of a knight who is green all over – even his horse is a rich emerald colour. He rides into King Arthur’s court on New Year’s Day and demands a game. ‘Is anyone here big, bold, or red blooded enough to strike me one stroke and be struck in return?’ he roars.
Sir Gawain, Arthur’s nephew, takes up the challenge, hoping to kill the strange knight with one blow, so there’ll be no return match. Although he strikes the stranger’s head clean off, the corpse gets up and retrieves his head which tells Gawain to meet him at the Green Chapel a year hence.
And so, the adventure begins. Tales of seduction, sinister magic ‘and an ogre or two’ follow our hero hard and fast on his journey towards certain death.
Storyteller Beth Webb has performed in festivals and events from Orkney to Cameroon via Cork to Glastonbury Festival, but she has developed a particular fascination for the mediaeval romances. She says, ‘These stories are about people like you and me, struggling with everyday dilemmas – in Gawain’s case, should he tell the truth and lose his life, or lie and hope to escape? I’m intrigued by the way they speak to us about our own lives in a magical, yet direct manner. Home truths are always better understood and remembered through stories,’ she adds.
She admits that she rather likes the costumes people wore at the time, as well as the ideas of eating boar’s head while listening to lute music. ‘Reality for the people at the time was harsh and cruel, but they were wonderfully creative throughout it all – especially with their storytelling.’
Beth says, ‘Storytelling is one of the most ancient art forms. There is no script, it’s not like acting. The teller has an idea in their head, and they must find a way of expressing it to the audience in front of them. No story is ever told the same way twice, for every audience is different. Every performance is fresh, and often surprising, however much one rehearses.’
Tickets are £15 Adults, £12 Palace Members and Key workers and the doors open at 5:30pm for a 6pm start. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS