In the whole World, only one manuscript unfolds the Roman de Silence...
...it was written in the 13th Century and discovered in Wollaton Manor, Nottinghamshire, in a box marked Old Papers - No Value (next to a few letters from King Henry VIII.) Silence, a descendent of King Arthur, is born a girl, raised a boy, switching pronouns depending on their own feelings, becomes a runaway, a minstrel and a champion knight.
But when the story was discovered, the date was 1911; suffrage protests were at their explosive height. And this story suggests that England's wellbeing depends on a quest for gender equality. So the manuscript was kept silent.
But the story was made to be told.
Now is the time to tell it.
A couple of years ago, acclaimed spoken word artist Rachel Rose Reid found an academic textbook of the Roman de Silence in the basement of a second hand bookstore in New York, and is on her own quest, to renew this adventure which has so much to say about 21st century sexual politics, identity and freedom. Join our journey to help Silence speak again.
The Story so Far...
The Roman de Silence is written down. Although set in England, it's thought that the book was brought from France during the 100 Year War.
The text is discovered by W.H. Stevenson as part of a Report on the Manuscripts of Lord Middleton, though some say the tale was not understood until 1927
Full English translations are published mostly for academic purposes, countless papers are published exploring its juicy complexity; an abridged English language performance is produced in the USA.
In the midst of turbulent mental health, storyteller Rachel (that's me!) discovers a copy of Silence and takes it home. Bit by bit it begs it be told, and brings her out of her own period of silence.
Audience Responses to Silence
"...such a joy to be so captivated and to spend an evening within a story. Can't wait to hear the rest."
"Thank you so much for this new old story - told so beautifully - that strips patriarchal traditions and gives new ways to see gender roles and the meaning of free choice"
"...never seen and heard such a magnificent story..."
"You talk for an hour and a half and yet there is not a moment in which the audience would lose attention"
"Absolutely amazing and completely captivating. A wonderful story told in a magical and unique style..."
"Storytelling is about the teller and the listener - it's an active, interactive relationship - and you really had us on the edge of our seats!"
"Touched my mind in many ways. It was a joy."
"It was a pleasure to witness someone with such a gift for words and it was a cinematic experience"
"...completely wonderful, deeply engaging, and the best storytelling I have heard for a very long time..."
Rachel Rose Reid
Rachel's a previous winner of the UK Young Storyteller of the Year, and has received much attention for taking storytelling to unexpected venues and collaborations.
She has performed at Alden Biesen (BE), Beyond the Border, Festival at the Edge, Amsterdam & Norwegian Festivals of Storytelling, Racontamiunastoria (IT), Words (DN), and Contos de Liberdades, and has written and performed stories for London City Sinfonia, the RSC, and Billy Bragg.
A compelling teller of tales...a voice that draws the audience in...An air of the bittersweet permeates and old stories sound fresh The Stage
Immense skill and breathless conviction...There's no faulting Reid's command of her craft
Sally Pomme Clayton
Sally Pomme Clayton is a pioneering storyteller. She co-founded The Company of Storytellers with Ben Haggarty and Hugh Lupton in 1985, spearheading storytelling in the UK. Together they created ground-breaking performances, especially for adult audiences, developing storytelling as a contemporary art that is not just for children! Because of their work, storytelling is now a flourishing art form.
dramaturgy & direction
Adam has served as Joint Director of Company of Angels and Artistic Director of Activated Image, as well as extensive work at London’s Orange Tree Theatre.
Recent directing work includes Quentin Blake’s Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave (London / touring, 2016); Closer Scrutiny at the Orange Tree Theatre, London and Nordost (Salisbury Playhouse / touring).
Ellen has worked for international festivals across the country and has been an integral part of the Artistic Planning department at Brighton Dome. Having worked across two Brighton Festivals during 2016/2017, with a variety of artist from a range of art forms, her work covers Spoken Word, Dance, Theatre, Outdoor and Site Specific performances and events. Other freelance work includes Artist Liaison at Latitude Festival for Festival Republic and Stage Management experience with Assembly during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017
Associate Producer Spring 2018
Victoria is a Bristol-based producer who loves helping creative people do what they do best. She is currently studying an MA in Creative Producing at UWE, working closely with Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio. She is also working with MAYK, Submerge Festival and on her own projects – find out more at http://vsjones.tumblr.com
Liat & Co
Executive Producer Spring / Summer 2018
Liat & Co works with arts and cultural organisations to deliver projects and events, using their know-how to bring ideas to life, covering the areas including operational, logistical & technical support, project management, marketing strategy and implementation, evaluation reporting and booking. Clients include Tate Modern, House of Fairytales, & Arcola Theatre.
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