The Treasure and a Tale tells the stories of Beowulf and the discovery of an Anglo-Saxon ship burial and its treasure at Sutton Hoo in 1939.
Suitable for school or community performance
Although conceived as musical theatre, the emphasis is on telling the Beowulf story through rhythmic recitation accompanied by drumming. With the exception of the Gleeman, who has a challenging solo part, the singing roles are introduced by way of reported speech and so may effectively be taken by everyone acting as Storytellers.
By way of contrast, the scenes are separated by spoken interludes which tell of the finding of the treasure in Suffolk against the background of World War II, sketched briefly through the eyes of local children and an evacuee. There is, of course, no direct connection between Beowulf and the treasure from Sutton Hoo; yet they have in common the society that created them and each brings the other vividly to life.
Composer and musician