The BCLA2016 ‘Salvage’ Conference is proud to present a world-premiere performance telling the story of the legendary Norman outlaw Aedric Silvaticus Salvage. The tale will be told by student dancers and actors directed by Peter Cann. Musical direction will be by Dr Chris Foster and scenography by Paul Brownbill. Please read on for a synopsis of the event.
Salvage (working title)
We are such stuff as dreams are made on and our little life is rounded with a sleep
(Shakespeare, The Tempest)
He was a Shropshire warlord who was a leader in the rebellions against William I between 1068 and 1070. He finally submitted to Norman rule in 1070 and fought for William in his campaign against the Scots.
This much is documented – including his leadership of the Silvatici – the wild people. During the rebellion Edric’s soldiers became expert and successful guerrillas, spending much of their time living in the woods, emerging to harry the Normans, sacking towns and castles on the Welsh borders and disappearing again. These bands of Silvatici were the inspiration for the folktale of Robin Hood and his outlaws.
Then in the late eleventh century he disappeared and he became a legend.
The legend is that during the rebellion years he and his Silvatici were hiding after a raid in the Great Forest of Clun. There he became separated from his men and following mysterious lights came across a group of women dancing in a clearing. They were fairies and had been waiting for him. Their leader, Godda, told him that she would go and live with him, but would never be his wife and if he ever asked where she went at night she would simply disappear. For some years after the rebellion they lived happily and then one night Edric returned home, angry and guilty at the suffering of the English under the Norman yoke and Godda was not there. In the morning he asked where she had been and with a sorrowful look she disappeared. Edric then took 100 hundred of his men to scour the land for her.
Now it is said that he and his men – and Godda – sleep beneath the Stiperstones and on the eve of war ride out of an opening in the hill and into the sky.
The performance will be assembled using salvaged material: text, music, and scenographic elements – including lighting – will all be salvaged. Most of the text will be from works by Shakespeare and Cervantes and music will be salvaged from the cantata Wild Edric which was only ever performed once at The Ludlow Festival in 1990. And will, of course be played on salvaged instruments. Conference delegates may be invited to bring objects they were going to throw out to be incorporated into the performance.
Peter Cann is a writer and director. His work has been produced by companies such as: Isango Ensemble in South Africa, Birmingham Rep, Shared Experience, Welsh National Opera, Absolute Theatre, BBC Radio 4, Channel 4 Television, The Resurrectionists, and The Theatre Royal Northampton. He was Artistic Director of Pentabus Theatre from 1985-1989 and has worked as a director in Portugal, South Africa, Korea, and Jamaica.
As a writer/director he has worked with Talking Birds on The Trade in Lunacy and A Malady of Migration as well as Taking Flight – a song cycle inspired by the life and work of Sir Frank Whittle. He has collaborated with O Teatro Montemuro in Portugal on numerous projects including: Memorias Partilhadas (a co-production with the Portuguese National Theatre, currently touring Portugal) Pertencia, Louco Na Serra, A Taberna, Alminhas, O Canto Da Cepa, Enclave, Estrada Nacionale, and others. His most recent work as a librettist has been on TwinSong with composer Derek Nisbett for the Volgograd Children’s Orchestra, and the award winning Consider the Lilies with composer John Barber. He prefers working in ruined castles, burnt-out ballrooms, and multi-storey carparks to conventional theatres but will consider doing most things for the money or the craic.