Having first told the story as a solo piece for the Scottish International Festival of Storytelling, Michael Harvey felt that Stacey Blythe and Lynne Denman could help give voice to the women who are so central to the story. This trio approached Beyond the Border Festival Director David Ambrose about commissioning an ensemble version and this was presented as Culhwch and Olwen at the 10th anniversary festival of Beyond the Border, in 2003.
This version of the show was supported by Creu Cymru to tour Wales, Holland and Ireland for around 15 dates following the premiere performances.
In 2007, Adverse Camber approached Michael, Lynne and Stacey about working together and after successful fundraising for the plan, in 2008, the company ran a creative development process ahead of a national tour. Director Paula Crutchlow joined the team and together with designer Mary Drummond and producer Naomi Wilds, Paula led a process to revisit the show with the artists, exploring the way they were working across music, story and song, as well as backdrop, clothes, publicity and other aspects of the piece. This led to a revised version touring with Adverse Camber under the title Hunting the Giant’s Daughter for a further 27 shows in England and Wales, followed by a further 10 shows in 2013-14, as well as workshops, story walks and outdoor performances.
As with all Adverse Camber shows, there is no script or fixed cues to the piece. Rehearals are a mix of working through the story and music from a range of angles, exploring the relationship between the artists as well as the intricacies of the story and how to express this through music as well as storytelling. The show continues to change and evolve with each telling, reacting to the different dynamics of each venue and how different audiences respond.
In 2013, a further R&D Residency with Beaford Arts, in partnership with Take Art and Carn to Cove resulted in a new set of workshops and story walks being offered with the show as it toured Cornwall, Somerset and Devon in the Autumn. This has also fed into the team’s work on a new show, exploring the Fourth Branch story from The Mabinogion.