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Hunting the Giant’s Daughter

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary,  Saturday,  4th July 2009

Otley Chevin

ON A VISIT to Otley in 1810 Turner sketched a thunderstorm breaking over the hills which inspired his painting Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps. As we arrive this afternoon there’s a swirl of black cloud building up over the moors to the west but by the time of the interval in Hunting the Gaint’s Daughter, performed at the Courthouse Arts Centre, a low beam of golden sunlight has spotlighted the gritstone outcrop on Otley Chevin, so that it looks like an ancient craggy fortress. This is appropriate as the performance tells the oldest Arthurian legend to be written down - in Welsh - in the White Book of Rhydderach (c.1350).

Michael and Lynne
Lynne, Michael and Stacey

Storyteller Michael Harvey, singer Lynne Denman and composer/musician Stacey Blythe are currently touring with the show but they’ll do well to match the atmospheric weather effects that audiences experienced at the start, interval and end of the show here in Otley; as we set off back home a waxing gibbous moon was rising above the wooded slopes of the Chevin. A suitable setting for an Arthurian tale.




Links: Adverse Camber Productions, Otley Courthouse Arts Centre

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