Ghosts, Werewolves & Countryfolk

Sun 27 Oct 2024


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All Ages | Seated





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Ghosts, Werewolves & Countryfolk

Jim Causley & Miranda Sykes Celebrate Sabine Baring-Gould’s Centenary

Devon-based musicians, six-time BBC Folk Award nominee Jim Causley and Miranda Sykes of the award-winning Show of Hands, bring a special show in time for Halloween. It also celebrates the centenary of the Rev Sabine Baring Gould, the first serious collector of folksongs, and the writer of the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers!

Singing some songs he collected, and maybe new ones, Miranda, Jim and narrator John Palmer , interweave highlights of Sabine’s own astonishing life with anecdotes and stories from his impressive array of best-selling-books.

Baring Gould was an amazing man. As well as collecting 2,000 folk songs – many of them from the south west – he was one of the top ten best-selling Victorian novelists; the writer of a bloodthirsty book on werewolves; author of a nerve-tingling book of ghost stories and the compiler of the finest Dartmoor history book.

A man of contrasts and contradictions, he died in 1924 and our tribute aims to make the audience smile, gasp and sing along to an entertaining and engaging show. Songs he collected run through all his books and you’ll hear how:

A penny whistle saved a mother lost in a life-threatening snowstorm (Three Drunken Maidens)

A ragamuffin fiddler’s favourite tune lived on in his instrument after he died (Bold General Woolf)

A cottage was built in a day on the moor for a newly married couple ( Cottage Well Thatched with Straw)

The eerie mysteries of Wil O’ The Wisp (The Blue Flame)

And ….. how Sabine became Sherlock Holmes’s God Father.

Baring Gould was born in Exeter in 1834, the son of the Lord of the Manor of Lew Trenchard near Okehampton. He was at school in Warwick and a schoolteacher in Sussex. He then became a vicar in Yorkshire, Essex and Devon and devoted his time to his love of folk music, country traditions and the macabre……


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