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A huddle of ideas Xanthe Gresham-Knight

Creative week at Union Chapel with Xanthe Gresham-Knight and Arash Moradi

Fri 4th Dec 2015

Adverse Camber, The Shahnameh

This week, Adverse Camber has been busy working with Xanthe Gresham-Knight and Arash Moradi on The Shahnameh: The Epic Book of Kings at Union Chapel in London.   Five days of creative explorations have delved into the show, story, music, poetry, set, lighting and clothes in preparation for Adverse Camber’s planned tours with the artists in 2016 and 2017, starting with a partnership between Cambridge Junction and Cambridge Storytellers on Saturday 30 January at 7.30pm: you can book tickets here!

Xanthe was originally commissioned by The British Museum to develop this piece, based on Iranian poet Ferdowsi’s 50,000 line epic poem, which took him thirty years to write and has become a classic of world literature.  She since teamed up with Arash Moradi, the eldest son of one of the world’s leading tanbour players and an established virtuoso in his own right, to bring the authentic sound of classical Persian music to the piece. They’ve received support from a range of organisations, the Smithsonian in Washington, Iran Heritage, Asia House and the Magic of Persia.  Different stories from the epic have wowed audiences at Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival and Festival at the Edge in recent years.

Adverse Camber wanted to give Xanthe and Arash time and space to bring all their ideas, stories and music together, to handpick the selection of material they would choose for the forthcoming tour and to consider how technical support and design could add to audiences’ experiences of the passion-filled world of these stories.  We were kept refreshed by gorgeous pomegranate fruit, expertly chopped and brought in by Arash!  We were delighted to welcome  collaborative director Kate Higginbottom to the team – Kate has been a guiding hand in the amazing shows of Nicole et Martin in recent years, thrilling audiences across Europe with their work. Design assistant Claudine Scheer, Associate Producer Louisa Davies, Producer Naomi Wilds and Creative Technician Gethin Stacey all dipped in at various parts of the week.

We’ve concluded today all feeling so excited about the shows to come.  Hope you can enjoy the fruits of our labours on the tour!

A big thank you to everyone at Union Chapel for providing such a creative, vibrant space to work in.

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