"wholly absorbing chain of tales"
by Michael Gray for remotegoat on 11/12/17

The Ramayana is a vast, sprawling epic, which has come down to us in many forms. Largely through oral traditions.
So it is a good choice for storytelling specialists the Crick Crack Club; their presentation is much abbreviated, and wholly absorbing.

We’re promised a battle between good and evil, truth and illusion.

The tangled chain of tales is told by Emily Hennessey, with Sheema Mukherjee providing not only a wonderfully evocative musical soundscape, but also a rapt listener, and vocal support at key moments in the drama.
Hennessey, a performer steeped in the legend and lore of India, draws us in to the world of gods and avatars, as she follows the legend of Rama and Sita through time and across continents. “There was once a man and a woman,” she begins, “And they longed for children ...” But gods Brahma and Vishnu warn that the stars cannot be re-aligned; only Shiva, the destroyer, holds out hope, but warns that there will be consequences …

And at the end of the two-hour tale our storyteller reminds us that in our own world it’s not always easy to distinguish gods from demons, truth from illusion.

“Will there be loads of special effects?” wondered one of the many children in the audience. Of course ! – the very best kind, Cerebrally Generated Images, conjured by the story-teller’s art, of sea monsters, air-borne chariots, a golden deer, Shiva’s marvellous palace, the flying monkey Hanuman, ta mricaulous blue arrow, the paradise isle of Lanka, the ten-headed Ravana, the cosmic battle between monkeys and demons.

The Crick Crack Club return to the British Museum on February 11, this time with “Greek myths unleashed”.

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