Wednesday, 12 June 2013


A new Gawain - or a different Green Knight?

our stories will use the atmospheres and
settings of Wycoller Country Park

Some 700 years ago, possibly in the now lost Dieulacres Abbey near Leek, an anonymous scribe wrote down a narrative poem of heroes and temptation, enchantment, deceit, chivalry and naughtiness. A single manuscript survived the centuries and now Gawain and the Green Knight it is one of the gems of early English literature
Packhorse Bridge at Wycoller

Inspired by the story of Gawain and the recent translations and retellings by Simon Armitage and Michael Morpurgo,  Mid-Pennine Arts, Roughlee Primary School, Whitefield Infant School and myself have embarked upon an exciting heroic adventure of our own.

Playing with the sounds and rhythms of words, inventing our own characters and working in Wycoller Country Park, we're writing our own new alliterative, narrative poems

Our stories will grow, patterns of words will change, ideas will become music (with Hannah Jones), adventures will become textiles (with Ruth Evans) and everything will go…wherever it needs to go!

First session yesterday: telling the story of Gawain to get us started, making the story with people, howling like the wolves in the woods, falling in moats, being locked in dungeons…..

More instalments will follow!

First character studies:

the wet-weather witch watches 
from windows, waving 
at passers-by

In a wild wood, wild boars snort and snuffle in the leaves,

Horses run through the trees,
And in a dark cave, deep in the woods,
At the foot of a hill lives a black bear with her babies.
Every day the bears bathe in a raging, rushing, rattling river

One knight was riding through the forest and saw
beyond the trees,
beyond the woods
The ruins of a castle
And the golden broken remains of a temple

I have worked on Gawain projects before - most notably a puppet performance for the Flash TeaPot Parade a few years ago (you can work it out - the village itself is called Flash, not necessarily a description of the various teapots)

This new project is supported by
the Clore Duffield Foundation
Duchy of Lancaster

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