Silent Sessions stir up a Tempest for Shakespeare Festival

Silent Sessions

Silent Sessions - Credit: Archant

Silent Sessions, a dynamic young theatre group, combines traditional storytelling, drama and traditional music to create an unforgettable experience for Folk at the Maltings’ contribution to the St Albans Shakespeare Festival.

A magical blend of traditional music and storytelling is promised from the group’s retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a rollicking seafaring story featuring pirate captains, admirals, sea monsters, chests, treasure and a thrilling sea chase.

Silent Sessions is made up of Mae McAllister, James McNamara, Will Seaward, Jenny Wilford and Owen Woods.

Mae is a composer, performer and musical director. Her classical compositions are heavily inspired by the folk music of the British Isles and often include the lever harp and penny whistle.

James is an experienced player of traditional Irish fiddle music for dance, theatre and concert. He first picked up the music in sessions in Wellington, New Zealand, and is now part of the thriving Cambridge folk scene.


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Comedian Will is often described as a cross between Brian Blessed and Stephen Fry, and is both a folk singer and shantyman.

A recent graduate from Drama Centre London, actress Jenny Wilford is experienced in classical drama, comedy and physical theatre. She also has a profound musical background including extensive experience in traditional music.

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Owen Woods is a pipe organ builder by day and a noted melodeon player by night, performing at folk festivals all over England and Wales. He is much in demand as a dance musician and workshop leader and performs with his Jazz Ceilidh Project amongst many other dance bands.

You can see Silent Sessions performing The Tempest on Saturday April 16 at 8pm at the Maltings Arts Theatre

Tickets £10, students £8, under 16s £6, on the door or in advance, by booking online, by phone on 0333 666 3366 or in person at St Albans Tourist and Information Centre, 01727 864511.

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