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‘Living By the Sea’ > Sidmouth stories at the Folk Festival

  • by JW

This Thursday sees a great show about life at sea at centre stage, as reported in the Herald:


Sidmouth stories told in song, in Living By the Sea

Tales from Sidmouth’s past and stories of present-day residents feature in a special show during the Folk Festival.

Living By The Sea explores the harsh, vigorous lives of maritime communities, and is aimed not only at festival-goers but all local residents.

The show blends story, poetry and folksong to take an impressionistic voyage through communities whose lives are governed by the sea. It has been created by storyteller Matthew Crampton, with music arranged and directed by Paul Sartin. They are the team behind the recent reworking of Peter Bellamy’s set of folk ballads, The Transports.

“The sea is one of the most perilous places for humans,” explained Crampton. “We cannot control weather or tide. We cannot know what lies below the surface. Yet we have always been drawn to the sea – for food, for travel and for inspiration.”

Closer to home and to the present day, the show presents a moving account of the Bagwells, a fishing family from Sidmouth who featured in the recent TV documentary Working The Sea by the Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub CIC.

‘We want the show’s choir to act like a Greek Chorus,’ says Sartin, ‘while also creating the mood of a folk session. We’ll certainly be encouraging the audience to sing along – to be part of the community we’ve created for this show.’

Living By the Sea will be performed on the main Ham Stage at midday on Thursday, August 8.


Sidmouth stories told in song, in Living By the Sea