A special performance in words and music will take place in St Mary the Virgin, Ivinghoe, to mark the 800th anniversary of the 13th-Century church.
The village name was spelt ‘Yvingho’ at the time, and ‘Yvingo Tales’, created by local writer Dave Sivers, and set to music by Judith Sheridan, is a re-imagining of the building of the church in 1220 and the events leading to the dramatic fire of 1234.
Yvingho Tales takes its inspiration from The Canterbury Tales – a series of monologues in which each character presents its arguments for their actions. The work, which will be performed by Beacon Community Choir, Beacon Chamber Ensemble and The Slapton Players, and conducted by Judith Sheridan, brings to life the lives, hopes and fears of the villagers as their world is changed forever, and incorporates folk tunes collected from the area.
Dave Sivers said, ‘Researching some of the local history at the time has been fascinating. There is just enough information to pick out the main characters and key events, but plenty of room to weave it into narrative that has it all: greed, betrayal, death and destruction, triumph and tragedy.’
Judith Sheridan added, ‘From the outset I wanted the music to be accessible, easy to perform and easy to listen to. I have woven traditional folk melodies associated with the locality into the score, thus grounding the music firmly in the vicinity.
‘At times, lively, at others, sorrowful, the music reflects the changing attitudes, moods and emotions of the villagers, leading up to a jubilant, joyous finale.’
Performances are on Saturday 27 November at 7pm and Sunday 28 November at 4pm.