The villain of Arthurian legend, Morgana Le Fey is sister, mother, and scorned lover - but that was not always so. Once named Morwenna for the gleam of light on the sea, she was originally a goddess of the earth. This show plots the course of our heroine, mixing together lighthearted jokes, beautiful folk song accompanied on the harp, a journey through the timeline of the legend's development, and clever storytelling.
The show starts tunefully: the Lady of Shalott is sung as our storyteller walks serenely in, dressed in white with the requisite long blonde wig. We now know the Morgana as 'The Bitch of Camelot', and this show explores her metamorphosis into the villain of the piece. I enjoyed taking a look at this well-known story from a different point of view; the show entwined the history of the Arthurian legend with the stories of her role in it, which gave the piece a lovely structure, building towards a strong conclusion.
But as well as exploring its premise really well, this interesting, informative show tells an intriguing tale. I particularly appreciated the incorporation of other mythologies, including Egyptian Isis and Osiris, and the nod to the Shiva. There was plenty of humour - which was very enjoyable, and occasionally somewhat adult. That style especially suited the tales of love and lust in the court, but it did break the more mystical atmosphere that had been building through some of the other tales, giving a sense that the piece wasn't quite sure which mood it wanted to aim for.
There were also intermittent stutters and stops in the storytelling, which did affect the flow. But the delivery was mostly engrossing, and it is clear that this piece has been passionately and carefully crafted. The use of a few key props such as draughts pieces was highly effective, and items are also used well in the more humorous parts.
Morgana Le Fey takes a fresh look at this famous tale; it is interesting, fun and engaging, although sometimes seems unsure what atmosphere and style it is aiming for. With a harp and singing, simple visual elements and good storytelling, it's easy to enjoy. But it doesn't just look at how this character has changed over time: the piece also draws on just why Morgana was so besmirched, and will certainly get you thinking more about the legend and the history of this island.