Sally Pomme Clayton
Solomon and Sheba
Provoking, seductive, and a virgin, the Queen of Sheba visits King Solomon to test his wisdom. Riddles and tricks, desire and foolishness ensue, as they unravel each other’s histories. While Solomon seduces Sheba, loses his wisdom and his throne; Sheba's ancestry is traced back to Adam's first wife, Lilith, and forward to Mother Goose, until the secret of her virginity is finally revealed.
Solomon and Sheba appear briefly in the Bible, yet countless apocryphal tales about them exist throughout the Middle East and beyond. This performance piece marries myth, apocrypha and folklore, and beautifully combines performance storytelling with references to research and personal anecdote. The result is a stunningly composed, highly entertaining, and informed exploration of a classic story, drawing on sources from across the world.
Solomon & Sheba is particularly (though by no means exclusively) suited for programming for literature festival audiences, and in selected heritage contexts. Solomon & Sheba will appeal to adult audiences, and is unsuitable for children under 15 years.
Prices - available on request
Solomon & Sheba has previously been programmed at The Barbican, Northern Stage, The Soho Theatre and The King of Heart's Arts Centre, Norwich.
Solomon and Sheba is in permanent repertoire and is available throughout 2010 and 2011. Please enquire with specific dates.
Press for Sally Pomme Clayton
‘She delights in subverting her audiences expectations ...
subtly tweaking and twisting the stories to suit the responses and demands of the audience.’
‘One of the country’s most highly regarded storytellers ...
she awakens the imagination of the audience.’ The Independent
Review of Solomon & Sheba - The King of Hearts, Norwich.
‘Sally Pomme Clayton is a teller of tales. For material she looks back to the First Book of Kings in the Old Testament. There she finds the story of King Solomon and Queen Sheba. It has fascinated imaginations for centuries. Who were they, exactly where did Sheba come from? What did she want? What, not to put too finer edge on it, did Solomon desire? Traditional wisdom, fabled but forbidden beauty, two monarchs - enough to stir infinite curiosity. The narrator spins her yarn calmly and deftly. Gong strokes, the thud of a tabor and the twittering of birds, make the story more vivid. But what really makes all the difference is her fervent desire to communicate and her skill in creating a web of intrigue. She holds her audience, making us laugh, or else imposing a silence that none dares to break, as we wonder whatever will be coming next. Like the Queen herself, extra details come from afar, from archaeology in Mesopotamia, from anthropology far earlier than that, and from feminism that still has its part in modern society. This is quiet, thoughtful, wonderfully economical entertainment that knows just when and how to strike home.’
Christopher Smith, Eastern Daily Press, 22 December 2008
Sally Pomme Clayton has performed for adults and children since 1984 and is a founding member of The Company of Storytellers with Ben Haggarty and Hugh Lupton. From witty folktales to wild romances, she has a huge repertoire of stories drawn from all over the world, and she regularly works with musicians performing alongside Welsh National Opera, London Sinfonietta, Chamber Domaine and Joglaresa.
Sally Pomme Clayton's performances combine poetic language, startling imagery and playful humour. She has been a featured artist in many European Storytelling Festivals and toured with The British Council to Spain, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Sweden and Portugal. Until 2008 Sally Pomme lectured on World oral traditions and creative writing at Middlesex University and Birkbeck College. Since 2009 she has taught modules on storytelling and children’s literature for the Open University and Rose Bruford College.
Sally Pomme has published several books. In 2001 she won a Performing Arts Lab award for playwriting for young people, writing ‘Stardust’ for The Unicorn Children's Theatre.
Solomon and Sheba has been successfully performed in venues ranging from village halls to 180-seater black box theatres. Production is highly flexible and if any of the stated technical requirements present a difficulty or query, then please do contact us. The artists will happily work in non-performance venues, provided there is a point of focus for the performance and minimal noise intrusion from adjoining areas.
Minimum get-in (prior to house opening): 2 hours (non theatre venues), 3 hours (theatre venues)
Performance length: 2 halves of approx 55 and 50 mins, plus interval
Interval: Yes, 15 – 20 minutes (max)
Target audience: Adult: (not suitable for children under 15 years)
Performance area: minimum dimensions: 5m width, 4m depth, 3m headroom.
The performance to take place in front of black backdrop/tabs if possible.
In larger theatres, the artist will require three large black flats, positioned centre stage behind the artist’s performance area. In other venues, a black drape, flat or other means of displaying the scroll needs to be provided. The scroll can be pinned to a drape, a display board covered with black cloth, or similar.
2 small tables (matching) are required. They can be round or square, approximately 25 inches wide, 28 inches high.
For venues with theatre lighting, there are only two states: a preset and a performance state.
The performance state is a warm wash with salmon, straw, amber and gold, plus a spot light for a scroll, which will be displayed upstage, behind the performer pinned to a black flat or black drape. The scroll dimensions are 53 inches long x 28 inches high. It will be displayed centre stage, at a height of approximately 5.5 - 6 ft.
In venues without (or with limited) theatre lighting, it is ideal to place the performer in a pool of light, whilst placing the audience in relative darkness.
In smaller venues (up to approx 150 seating capacity) the show can be performed acoustically.
In larger venues, where audience capacity and venue demand amplification, a live stage can be appropriate to amplify both voice and hand held musical instruments, or a lavalier type radio microphone will be needed. In such cases, a sound technician will be required.
For further information, and to book, please contact the programme manager, Kate Norgate
07791 157 437