The Tristan & Yseult company are at the Guthrie in Minneapolis this month. Musical Director Ian Ross shares some thoughts of home with us in his guest blog:
"Mr Russ Gold- our west coast musical guest drummer and occasional moustached purveyor of San Francisco yacht rock- has recently been adding more soft mallet cymbal rolls to the show Tristan & Yseult. We decided that it gave an oceanic feel to certain scenes- the arrival of Tristan to Ireland or likewise his return with Brangian and Yseult to the shores of Cornwall. Perhaps slightly literal but rather lovely none the less. Tristan & Yseult is a story of the sea. "Outwards is the way" after all and what is love if not as powerful and unbalancing as the waves.
It is the presence of the sea that makes Cornwall feel so special, that you can stand on tiptoes near Zennor and see the Celtic sea and English Channel at once. Magic. The oceans put us in our place, second only to the night skies (also glorious in Cornwall) they put a sense of scale in time and space that is humbling and healthy, both daunting and hopeful. At least that's how I feel.
When I'm in the middle of these mammoth U.S.A residencies with a Kneehigh show, I try to return in my mind to the cliffs at Lamledra as often as I can. This helps to ground me. To remind me of the humility that I feel in such a special place. To keep in order the ego and to remind me that these stories are like the sea, they've been here much longer than us and they will survive us without a doubt.
This is also what has always blown me away about Kneehigh and the work it produces. It’s nourishing like a good meal, it’s that delicious sip of hot tea, and as exciting and captivating as a well-built fire. There is humility and a sense of greatness outside of itself.
This is all to say, we miss Mike! He our leader and ensemble master always keeps a good sense of all of this. Humble, hilarious idiot genius Mike Shepherd. Dead Dog on the way, can't bleddy wait."
Photo: Russ Gold