At Midnight when asked by Chris Bostock to “Blog Reflect” on last evening’s (May 1st) Storytelling –I immediately recalled, in a sort of, your whole life flashing in front of you moment, all that A Bit Crack has taken me to and through.
From Troy to Swaffham
Cape Horn to the Fens
Animals – Mosquitos — Buffalos and “Under the Cuckoo’s wing 5000 miles”
Creation: Conflict: Change

The Green Knight and Mucky Porter –though –as fond as I may be of Gawain, Jack the Lads, Trocky, Hodja and all those youngest sons –I listen out more and more for stories of ‘Girl, Woman ,Other’ and needed and loved the expansion of the Mabinogion for more female action and I want and need stories like “She who was silent” finding her voice and her confidence in it.

Dominic Kelly began with a personal nightmarish sleep deprived odyssey from the 30,00 islands archipelago near Stockholm via kayak, plane and train increasingly looking as if dragged “thorough bush thorough briar” and several hedges backwards, badly half- shaven, having to keep wearing a grime on the grime grimy fleece.

I hope it isn’t only me who finds something fascinating in all the things that can go wrong, going wrong for someone else though uneasy as it spirals into embarrassment, humiliation and rejection. And so easy and darkly mistaken to judge by appearance -watching National Theatre Live Streaming of Frankenstein still swirling around in my mind.

Then Dominic’s wonderful telling of the young Swedish woman herding and tending the livestock up in the forest regions and sharing wholeheartedly her food with the starving, disabled Fox but assuming unwisely that the Lindworm could overcome its natural -unnatural appetites when released by her and the terrifying image of it becoming a wheel, hurtling, chasing and capturing her. How desperately she summoned up all her intellect and grasped at straws of thinking in the jaws of death, challenging and holding her own against the Lindworm, while he relished prolonging his anticipation of killing and eating to enjoy a randomised ‘best of three’ passing animals judgement on whether she deserved to be let go. How iconic and grimly understandable the “thumbs down “of the verdicts of the horse and the hawk and yet the immediate confidence that the Fox would find a way through and out again for her to carry on with life – though never the same again.

Now we were able to relax and experience the special quality of Mariae’s voice-its pliant strength of lightness and expression-involving us to enjoy the sounds of other languages and to feel the different harmonies of Polish and Lithuanian music.

Dominic’s second tale of wonder – the damage that parents who are by turns–disparaging, setting up unhealthy competitiveness, (despising ravens) can wreak but the searching of the lonely, longing, loyal sister for her siblings in ‘Lockdown’. The key to the Glass Mountain , asking people then animals then the stones themselves, the cut off finger, the table set with food in the Hall -her eating from all the plates and hiding the ring in the soup -this story satisfyingly had it all and the brothers were restored and transformed by her quest to recover what was lost to her. The Story takes us with the woman and like the Bear Hunt we can’t go around or under we have to go through it. Mariae’s songs of weddings, water and Go to Sleep Little Baby rounded off our time together. Thanks so much to Dominic and A Bit Crack for taking us through it all with you.

Jane Young May 2nd 2020