The Prophecy of Merlin

Friday 16th February 2024
7:30 pm

Pay What You Can - £5-£13

Event Description

The Story Begins …

Welcome to an hour of fast-moving oral storytelling and achingly beautiful music, an epic adventure story by Mike O’Connor and Barbara Griggs.

The year is 936. The Dargan a Verdhin (Prophecy of Merlin), an ancient and precious Cornish book, traces the lineage of the kings of Cornwall, and is an icon of Cornish nationhood. Stolen by Saxons, its message suppressed, it lies in a monastery at Exeter.

But then Saxon King Athelstan, hungry for land, obliged (the Cornish) to retreat from Exeter, which till that time they had inhabited with equal privileges with the English, fixing the boundary of their province on the other side of the River Tamar … This city (he) cleansed by purging it of its contaminated race. At once, Britons beyond the Tamar become refugees. They include:

Gerrens – a disinherited Cornishman.

Genevra – his resourceful wife.

Pascoe – their son, who works in the monastery.

Listen; become part of their story. Join them as refugees become fugitives. Follow their historic path to freedom, secretly bearing a priceless treasure, beset by danger but sustained by the land and its legends.

Music is integral to the tale and is exquisitely dovetailed into the performance. Melodies are linked with principal characters and events. Music supports action, mood, and emotion. An Dhargan, Yn Termyn eus Passyes, Dons Rhys an Kam, Kan Pibough Sagh, Kri Bran, Ilow Kosk, and An Dasserghyans are by Barbara. Kynvan Bran and Medhel an Gwyns are by Mike. Kan an Alwedh is a unique tune from the time of John of Cornwall, possibly from St Germans.

Travellers on the Journey

Mike O’Connor OBE is a well-known storyteller with a deep knowledge of legend and folk tale and great skill with language. A bard of Gorsedh Kernow, he is respected as a violinist, songwriter, and musicologist and known to many for his music for TV’s Poldark. He is responsible for the musicology, folklore and history behind this tale.

Barbara Griggs is a skilled and sensitive musician and a fine storyteller. She too is a bard, and is also a Gorsedh harpist. Her music has been described as having ‘breathtaking beauty.’ She is the expert on costume and custom, and with Mike, works to integrate words, sound effects and music.

Track Record Mike and Barbara’s Return to Lyonesse, won a British Award for Storytelling Excellence: ‘a storytelling BAFTA.’ Odysseus Dreaming was an acclaimed retelling of Homer. In all, the subtle integration of words and music has won high praise.


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