National Tour – Jim Causley & Miranda Sykes with narrator John Palmer

Six-time BBC Folk Awards nominee Jim Causley and Miranda Sykes of Award-Winning Show of Hands and Daphne’s Flight come together for the first time to celebrate the centenary of a Victorian superstar through his music and stories.
Sabine Baring-Gould inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Sherlock Holme’s Hound and Bernard Shaw’s Doolittle. He brought Ghostly Aunt Eliza, wretched heroine Mehalah and Norse hero Grettir to life. He mentored folk song collector Cecil Sharp – and wrote Onward Christian Soldiers
He was a giant of his time. He was a top ten best-selling novelist; the writer of what is still the go-to book on werewolves; author of a nerve-tingling book of ghost stories; storyteller of the Norse Myths of Iceland; compiler of a classic Dartmoor history book and composer of numerous popular hymns.
But he says the most important thing he did in his life was to collect songs from the countryfolk of Devon and Cornwall. A pioneer collector, starting a decade before Sharp and Vaughan Williams, he amassed more than 2000 songs.
Miranda, Jim and narrator John Palmer, director of the critically-acclaimed Vaughan Williams anniversary “From Pub to Pulpit” Cathedral tour, interweave some of those songs with anecdotes from his own astonishing life and stories from his impressive array of books.
This tribute aims to make audiences smile, gasp and sing along as they hear how:

A ragamuffin fiddler’s favourite tune lived on in his instrument after he died (Bold General Wolfe)
A cottage was built in a day on the moor for a penniless newly married couple (Cottage Well Thatched With Straw)
The eerie mysteries of Wil O’ The Wisp and his graveyard trips (The Blue Flame)
Bram Stoker took ideas from Sabine for Dracula
And ….. How Sabine became Sherlock Holmes’s God Father.

Jim has been a long-term admirer of Baring-Gould and includes many of his songs in his popular shows based on songs of Dartmoor.
“It’s fascinating to see how many songs he collected found their way into his Dartmoor books.  It’s also quite eerie to see how many other songs fit the mood of his books on ghosts, werewolves, myths and his classic Gothic novels”, he said.
Miranda added: “We’re really excited about having found a unique and enjoyable way of bringing all of his work together in a show which we think will engage audiences and leave them fascinated and entertained.”
John Palmer said: “It’s surprising that someone who was such a prominent public figure in his day has almost disappeared today. We hope that this show will introduce many more people to Sabine and restore some of the credit he deserves”.

Fri 17 May: Horbury Working Members Club. Yorkshire
Wed 3 July: Penzance Literary Festival, Cornwall
Sun 7 July: Lichfield Arts Festival, Staffordshire
Sat 20 July: The Davids Hall, South Petherton, Somerset
Sat 3 Aug: Sidmouth Folk Week, Devon
Mon 12 Aug: Broadstairs Folk Week, Kent
Fri 16 Aug: Beautiful Days Festival, Devon
Sun 18 Aug: Beautiful Days Festival, Devon
Wed 21 Aug: Whitby Folk Week, Yorkshire
Sun 26 Aug: Lyme Regis Folk Weekend, Dorset
Thurs 26 Sept: Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, Devon
Fri 27 Sept: Devoran, Truro, Cornwall
Sat 28 Sept: Pound Arts, Corsham, Wiltshire
Sun 29 Sept: St Saviour’s Church, St Albans, Hertfordshire
Sun 6 Oct: Hartlepool Folk Festival, County Durham
Sun 20 Oct Folk House, Bristol
Mon 21 Oct: Colchester Arts Centre, Essex
Tues 22 Oct: Swanton Novers, Norfolk
Thurs 24 Oct: Calstock Arts, Cornwall
Fri 25 Oct: Heath Street Baptist Church, Hampstead, London
Sat 26 Oct: Under the Edge Arts, Wootton under Edge, Gloucestershire
Sun 27 Oct: Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter, Devon
Sat 2 Nov: The Ropewalk, Barton under Humber, Lincolnshire