Can you be addicted to love and war? The epic Iranian heroines and heroes certainly thought so. Sometimes with disastrous consequences. Xanthe Gresham Knight, dazzling spoken word storyteller, dives into the majestic mythology of Persia, performing episodes from the works of two 12th century poets, Firdawsi and Nizami. Excerpts from the Shahnameh and The Seven Princesses are accompanied by the world famous Kurdish Iranian musician, Arash Moradi.
Immerse yourself in a passion-filled world of adventure, lust and romance, filled with supersized heroes, magical horses, selfish Kings and femme fatales. Two outstanding artists bring energy and humour to this sweeping history of Greater Iran through a combination of crafted poetry, evocative music and effervescent storytelling. Just as Ferdowsi and Nizami gathered together source materials when creating their work, so Xanthe and Arash combine ancient inspiration with their own distinctive voices.
Originally commissioned by the British Museum, Xanthe and Arash’s collection of stories has expanded, thanks to honorariums from the Smithsonian, The Blanton Museum, Texas, Harvard University, the Magic of Persia, Asia House and Iran Heritage. Xanthe and Arash have just completed a major tour of Shahnameh thanks to the production company Adverse Camber.
“Speaks like a woman spitting jewels” Arts Council of England
“She unfolds each tale like the petals of a lotus. At the end, you leave with something beautiful created in your own mind.” British Theatre Review
Xanthe is a graduate of Oxford University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In her work as a storyteller, she dives deep into the ancient stories, carefully studies different translations, paying special attention to female characters. Her book Goddesses and Heroines, Female Superstars from Around the World comes out in 2020.
Arash Moradi was born in the North West region of Kurdish Iran, a musically rich area. Arash started learning this ancient art form from an early age from his father. For centuries, the music of the tanbur has been considered sacred within this community, with songs and chants passed on from master to apprentice across generations.
Artistic Director of Adverse Camber: Naomi Wilds