Books in medieval times were not as they are today. Although some were richly produced for aristocratic clients, most were simply-produced household manuscripts and were read aloud to family and friends at special events.
My performance work in churches and historic buildings attempts to replicate this experience while embellishing the reading with music and lighting - a "heightened reading".
With shorter romances, the complete text is translated and performed to length. With longer romances (such as Sir Gawain or the Alliterative Morte Arthure), the full text is translated and then abridged to make the most of the time available for the audience.
As with a medieval audience, the works are read aloud from the page. With minimal lighting or props, the performance relies on the imagination of the audience.
Music is designed to be minimal yet helping to convey the action from scene to scene of the original medieval romance.
I have been particularly pleased to have been assisted by Dr Jon Banks of Anglia Ruskin University in the delivery of the music. Mike Ashman, a former director with the Royal Opera House, has directed a number of the heightened readings.
I undertake private readings, book signings and literary events (such as the Bradford Literature Festival I appeared at in 2018). If you would like to book me to appear at your event, please contact me here.
For a review of our performance of the Alliterative Morte Arthure, click here.
For a review of one of our performances of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, click here.
I am always looking for new venues for performances; if you would like to commission a special performance, please contact me.
I occasionally produce short films about Middle English romances (as shown on this page) or about the medieval world.
To see more of these videos, please do subscribe to my YouTube Channel here.