New Welsh music and mythological stories reimagined under the stars this summer for festival and online audiences

Acclaimed storytellers Daniel Morden and Hugh Lupton have joined forces with one of Wales’ most exciting new composers, Sarah Lianne Lewis, to create a visceral, moving and profound storytelling experience, which will be told under the stars at Beyond the Border – Wales’ International Storytelling Festival this summer as well as its Online festival.

Imagine listening in to stories told at night, while gazing up at the stars…

Stars and their Consolations conjures up Greek myths of some of the most prominent constellations in the Northern Hemisphere’s night sky. Performed indoors and outdoors during the storytelling festival, and online at home, audiences will be able to hear a fusion of ancient stories reimagined and illuminated by a unique and evocative soundscape written by Aberystwyth born composer, Sarah Lianne Lewis.

Daniel Morden (Abergavenny) and Hugh Lupton (Norfolk) are renowned for their lucid and passionate retellings of Ovid and Homer, touring to festivals across the UK and the world. Their performance partnership on stage and teachings off stage ignited this interest to develop a new project, which was commissioned by Beyond the Border as a ‘Storytelling Adventure’ with support from Ty Cerdd.

Storyteller Hugh Lupton explains, “A few years ago Daniel Morden and I taught a course on the mythology of the constellations at Stella Kassimati’s ‘Amari Centre’ on Crete. Afterwards we thought it would be interesting to put together a performance of a set of these stories. We’ve been working for years with Greek mythology and we knew that there’s a rich seam of star stories in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. We saw that staying within one culture would give a coherence to the piece – everything would inhabit the same imaginative world.

It’s been a fascinating process, not least re-approaching Greek Mythology in the wake of the ‘Me-Too’ movement. We’re still five weeks away from our first performance at the festival, we’ve been working on-line and next week we’ll be meeting up in flesh and blood for the first time and rehearsing together. It’s proved to be an exciting collaboration. The show will be a rich mixture of storytelling and soundscape.”

Artistic Director, Naomi Wilds said, “Beyond the Border has a strong history of commissioning adventurous new work and we’ve been delighted to support the new perspectives Sarah, Daniel and Hugh have been bringing to what these stories mean to us today during their creative process. For centuries, and across cultures, stars have been fixed points for humans to navigate by, and in a turbulent world, the stories we tell about the constellations reflect us back to ourselves, in ways these artists have captured really brilliantly.”

Storytelling Adventure Commissions will continue for the next Beyond the Border Festival in 2023 with an open call out expected next year.

Stars and their Consolations will be performed inside the Beyond the Border Festival Big Top tent on Friday 2 July in the evening, followed by a special outdoor broadcast with the audiences listening through headphones on Saturday 3 July. At the same time, audiences online who are unable to make the festival this year will be able to listen at home on the Saturday evening through the Beyond the Border Online Festival.
Trigger warning: this programme contains images of sexual violence.
Suitable for ages 16+

Beyond the Border – Wales’ International Storytelling Festival will take place from 2-4 July at Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire (subject to Welsh Government approval). Limited day tickets are still available.
Beyond the Border’s Online Festival will run from 26 June to 10 July, with the Stars and Consolations audio experience taking place on Saturday 3 July. Tickets will be available online.
The Festival and Online Festival programme schedule will be announced after 7 June.

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