WE'VE all heard of King Arthur, but did you know he had a cousin? Well he did, and, according to legend, the shores of North Devon were once his stomping ground.
Hunting The Giant's Daughter is a show which tells the mythical tale of Culhwch, who falls in love with Olwen – the daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden – and must battle the giant to win Olwen's hand.
In three performances this weekend, Adverse Camber touring group will narrate the legend through a blend of dynamic storytelling and traditional Welsh music.
Fittingly, much of the story's action takes place in the South West and so Berrynarbor and Lee – the venues for the show – may very well have seen Culhwch and his men pass by on their quest to defeat the giant and win the girl.
"The story is set in the times of King Arthur," said Fiona Fraser-Smith of Beaford Arts. "It's a love story and mythical adventure set along North Devon's rugged coastline.
"We're particularly excited the show is being performed in our area's iconic coastal villages. The performers are each highly experienced artists, and their love of storytelling, singing and music comes across really strongly."
Hunting The Giant's Daughter originates from a collection of ancient Welsh stories known as The Mabinogion, and events are re-enacted by award-winning storyteller Michael Harvey, singer Lynne Denman and composer and multi-instrumentalist Stacey Blythe.
In addition to the performances, a story walk – supported by Exmoor National Park and the National Trust – will be held at Heddon's Mouth on Sunday, offering a unique encounter of legend and landscape amid the dramatic setting of the woodland gorge. Storyteller Michael Harvey, recipient of the prestigious Creative Wales award, is excited about the visit: "It is going to be very special to tell this story in the places it depicts," he said.
"It is certain to add an extra frisson for us and our audiences to know that we're connecting older times and tales with people who occupy the very same landscape right now."
Derbyshire-based Adverse Camber were set up in 2006 with the aim of "producing and touring shows of full-length storytelling for adult audiences". Other productions include The Kingdom Of The Heart, and The Old Woman, The Buffalo And The Lion Of Manding.
Hunting The Giant's Daughter has been touring since 2009, and has taken in areas all over the UK – with the addition of Ireland and Holland. As well as village halls, churches and community centres, it has visited theatres, festivals and universities. Of the accolades the show has earned, Storylines magazine has described it as "Captivating...bursting with drama, passion, tenderness and laughs...a tour de force".
For those who either miss the show or would like to see it again, the same format (two venues and a story walk) will take place in Glastonbury, Kilve and Dunster Castle in Somerset in conjuction with Take Art group. See www.takeart.org.
Hunting The Giant's Daughter is at Berrynarbour Manor Hall on Friday September 27, 7.15pm (07917 562216); Lee Memorial Hall on Saturday, September 28, 7.15pm (01271 865591); Heddon's Mouth (Story Walk) on Sunday, September 29, 2pm. All tickets: £7.50 (adult), £5 (child), £22.50 (family), www.beaford-arts.org.uk.