Audience – adults only
Length – 2 x 50 mins with an interval
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Provoking, seductive, and a virgin, the Queen of Sheba visits King Solomon to test his wisdom. Riddles and tricks, desire and foolishness ensue, as they unravel each others’ histories. Sheba has a bird’s claw and hairy legs and Solomon falls passionately in love with her. As his attempts to seduce her get increasingly desperate, he looses his wisdom and his throne, before the secret of Sheba’s virginity is revealed. Sally Pomme Clayton snips and clips stories of this royal duo from Sumerian, Hebrew, Christian, and Islamic traditions, tracing Sheba’s ancestry back through Medieval folklore to Adam’s first wife, Lilith, and forward to the nursery tales of Mother Goose. Told with an ancient Ethiopian story scroll, accompanied by camel bells and talking birds, Sally Pomme mixes sacred with profane, raunchy with poetic, the Bible with jokes.
“Sally Pomme Clayton spins her yarn calmly and deftly. Gong strokes, the thud of a tabor and the twittering of birds make the story more vivid. She holds her audience, making us laugh, imposing silence like the Queen herself! This is quiet, thoughtful, wonderfully economical entertainment that knows just when and how to strike home.” Eastern Daily Press
Solomon and Sheba at The Barbican Pit Theatre