Exploring today’s land through our ancestor’s eyes

Earth, Water, Fire!

In the times before modern science, things were explained differently. Tales told through generations passed on the knowledge and wisdom of people and place, wrapped in the epic journeys of heroes, heroines and dragons.

What hero stories would our ancestors tell of rural life today? Our landscapes are rapidly changing, the maidens have attitude and armour is pointless… Lisa, with musician Emma Welton and filmmaker Matt Biggs, present a new contemporary storytelling show, directed by Paula Crutchlow, that connects us across the centuries.

90 minutes. Suitable for ages 13+.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and by Plymouth University, North Devon & Torridge Councils and Beaford.

Myth and magic of the ash tree

The World Tree

In a world of magic and miracles, Yggdrasil the ash tree holds all of creation in its roots and branches. Odin the Allfather hangs upside down from the great tree, waiting for wisdom to come. But what happens when the ash tree falls sick?

Ash is one of our most beloved trees, bringing many gifts: timber, fuel, tools, inspiration and protection. Now ash dieback is on the march through our countryside, and in ten years’ time most of our ash trees will be gone.

Lisa tells ancient stories from the Norse, Irish and British traditions in this show, peppered with natural history and sharp observation. Find out how ash trees have always been at the centre of change – and why the old stories tell us of hope and renewal.

60 minutes. Suitable for ages 8+.

“…a fitting celebration and a lament of the loss of the trees; a small, but sincere act of giving back.”

See the Forest Research photo essay on Trees Outside of Woodlands, featuring The World Tree, here.

Fragments of Arthur for our times

The Wounded King

Three storytellers, three fragments of Arthurian legend that reflect, connect, contradict and leave vital questions in the air.
Lisa Schneidau tells Healing the Wasteland. A fool is fated to discover a great truth. He’s on the right track, when the land around him is dying. But does he even know the right question to ask?
Katy Cawkwell tells Arthur and Mordred. He’s slept with his sister. He can’t trust his son. The fake news is getting out of control. Cracks in the kingdom are widening and things are falling apart…
Ronnie Conboy tells The King Under The Hill. Somewhere underfoot, in the quiet dark, sleeps the hope of a nation. A young man walks a lonely road with an unexpected friend. Maybe there’s no such thing as magic: it’s just knowing where to look.

90 minutes. Suitable for ages 14+.

A history of the land through story

The Tangle of the Commons

The Tangle of the Commons tells the story of the British landscape and our relationship with the wild things around us, seen and unseen. Who really owns this place – and what happens if humans push things too far?

Here are some of the old tales, laced with history, ecology and a hefty dose of the ridiculous, to provoke thought and inspiration about the land we usually take so much for granted. Expect malevolent fairies, dastardly robber kings, slimy boggarts and a particularly disgruntled wild pig.

90 and 60 minute versions. Suitable for ages 12+.

“Lisa takes an old, familiar story – and along the way, reshapes and updates it with captivating skill, wit and verve.”

Wise Women and Witches

Wild Women and Witches is an hour-long storytelling piece about the hedge-wisdom held by women in Britain through the ages.

These folk tales paint a picture of how society has used and abused wise women – from midwifery to witch-burning.

60 minutes. Suitable for 14+

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