Mother Danube

Audience – adults, and 10 plus
Length – 70 minutes
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A mythical journey across Europe evoking the River Danube in story, song and music – celebrating the vibrant histories, cultures, languages and heritage of this vast river. Written and created by Sally Pomme Clayton with music and songs, arranged,  composed and played by Emma Clare. The performance was originally commissioned by Totally Thames and The European Commission. Mother Danube takes the listener on a journey of 2,860km from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. Stories and songs follow the river from source to mouth, but as the listeners travel downstream, they travel back in time. 
The Danube flows through ten European countries, more countries than any river on earth. The Danube passes modern cities, ancient fortresses, wild forests, industry, mountains, rural communities – this diverse mix of cultures, peoples, and geography has bestowed a huge resource of stories. The performers tell fragments of Hungarian myth, Romanian fairytales, Bulgarian legends,  sing Serbian folk songs, play music inspired by Bartok, a medieval troubadour song composed by King Richard 1st, and of course Strauss’s Blue Danube! River Danube has always been linked to the feminine, known as Mother Danube, a mythical figure who appears in legends and myths along the river. The performance imagines the river as a woman, journeying through the stages of life: from a sparkling young maiden who seduces sailors; to a great mother who gives life to fish, plants and birds; to a wise old crone, who has seen everything, splits into three and spills into the Black Sea.  And  along her banks, a 30,000 year old statue was found, the Venus of Willendorf, an ancient goddess – is she Mother Danube herself?
Take a mythical meander along The Danube! 

“We just wanted to say a huge thank you. Myself and my two children along with their French exchange brother (14,14, 11 years) attended Mother Danube event in Bermondsey. It was a beautiful setting and the blend of story and song and music was spellbinding. To hold the attention of three young people for an hour was commendable. I was enchanted by the entire event. Thank you again!” Audience Member Totally Thames on The Arts Ark