Epic Mali Tale visits the RSC

7 August 2013

The Old Woman, the Buffalo and the Lion of Manding
Sunday 6 October 2013, 7.30pm
Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Tickets: £12, £8 RSC members, and £5 tickets available for 16-25 year olds
Box Office: 0844 800 1110 or www.rsc.org.uk

Suitable for age 14+

An Adverse Camber and The Akua Storytelling Project production in association with mac birmingham, supported by the Albany.

'an utterly compelling and passionate piece' Festival at the Edge Storytelling Festival

The Old Woman, the Buffalo and the Lion of Manding is a storytelling and music performance for adults, created and performed by three award winning artists - London based storyteller Jan Blake and Cote d'Ivoire born virtuoso musicians Kouame Sereba and Raymond Sereba.

The show visits the RSC's Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 6 October at 7.30pm, as part of a national tour produced by Adverse Camber.

The Old Woman, the Buffalo and the Lion of Manding tells the story of the birth of Mali's legendary king Sundiata Keita, who expanded and ruled the great West Malian empire during the 13th Century. To create the performance, Jan, Raymond and Kouame have drawn on their own deep knowledge of storytelling and music traditions as well as respect for the traditional griots (praise singers) who tell the story as history. During the recent conflicts in Mali all traditional folklore was banned, including epic tales such as this one, which pass knowledge and culture across generations.

True to its West African origins, in this performance the story is conveyed equally through word, movement and song. Music is performed on the Dodo Mouth Bow, djembe drums, kalimba thumb pianos and Norse flutes. Lively call and response songs are sung with the audience at key moments and passed between the artists, as tour producer Naomi Wilds from Adverse Camber productions explains, 'When the audience joins in, each show truly comes alive. In storytelling, the audiences' imaginations co-create the world with the artists, so everyone is part of a shared experience. There's so much camaraderie between these artists, it's lovely to be part of that dynamic.'

Jan, Raymond and Kouame have worked together for many years, inspired by each other's work. This is the first piece they have co-created, following a commission from Festival at the Edge Storytelling Festival in 2009. It has been performed to high acclaim at Oslo Storytelling Festival, the Barbican and Hay on Wye Literature Festival 2012, ahead of this national tour.

Last year, as part of the World Shakespeare Festival, Jan Blake worked with the RSC and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust on Shakespeare Stories, a project which explored themes of exile and migration.

For further press information and images please contact:
Dean Asker
RSC Press Office
01789 412669, 0778 9937759

Notes for Editors

See adversecamber.org/the-old-woman-the-buffalo-and-the-lion-of-manding.html

  • Jan Blake is internationally renowned for her compelling storytelling. In 2011 she was awarded the Thüringe Märchen Preis, for those who have devoted their life to the artform of storytelling.
  • Kouame Sereba and Raymond Sereba, who are brothers, were born on the Cote d'Ivoire and grew up with the story. Both now live in Norway, from where they tour internationally.
  • The creative team are Artistic Advisor Harmage Singh Kalirai, Designer Matt Edwards, Lighting Designer Stuart Walton, Technical Stage Manager Aidan Lesser, Producer Naomi Wilds, Assistant Producer Amanda Smith
  • Adverse Camber is based in Derbyshire, East Midlands and has received funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England to produce a national urban tour of The Old Woman, the Buffalo and the Lion of Manding and a rural tour of Hunting the Giant's Daughter, see www.adversecamber.org for more info.

Other tour dates for The Old Woman, the Buffalo and the Lion of Manding include:

Fri 4 October Cheltenham Literature Festival
Sat 5 October Derby Folk Festival
Weds 9 October The Sage Gateshead
Sat 12 October The Tobacco Factory Brewery Theatre, Bristol
Sun 13 October Theatre Royal, York
Thurs 16 October Off the Shelf Literature Festival, Sheffield
Sat 18 October The Albany, Deptford

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