Poster for The Raven and other Underworld Journeys with the Talesman in a dimly lit cave. A faint carving of the Goddess Inanna adorns the rocks and a raven looks down upon them.

A scholar ponders over a curious volume of forgotten lore
The Goddess Inanna visits the ancient Sumarian kingdom of the dead
Izanagi seeks the Shinto mansion of the dead to bring back his lost love, Izanami
An African beauty is taken into a tunnel by the moles...

From the earliest times and across all cultures the kingdoms that lie beneath our feet and beyond our breath have held a deep fascination for us. The journey in to darkness has been taken as readily by the scribes and storytellers of yore as by Edgar Allen Poe.

Review from Bracknell South Hill Park, Cellar Bar, October 2011

Last Thursday evening a captive audience was transported to the underworld when South Hill Park's atmospheric Cellar Bar played host to the Travelling Talesman's Underworld Journeys. The charismatic, flame-haired Cliff Eastabrook (aka the Travelling Talesman) resurrected and retold ancient tales from far flung places such as the Gulf of Iraq, Africa and Scandinavia. The stage was suitably furnished with a colourful and eclectic assortment of musical instruments and intriguing props, indicating a well-travelled talesman. Dramatic tambor drumming set the scene for the story of Elydir, a young boy who inadvertently enters the Underworld after fleeing from his parents. The snake-like plot twisted and turned, depicting poor Elydir's paradox of being torn between two worlds: his familiar Glastonbury homeland and the enthralling freedom and wonder of the Underworld.

Next up, the mercury plummeted as the audience descended further into the Underworld with Princess Inana. A lyre provided a haunting accompaniment to this five thousand year old tale of Inana's deadly deal with the folk of the Underworld. Percussive sound effects were performed and recorded by the Talesman and subsequently looped in the background, creating an effective and eerie soundtrack to Inana's subterranean journey.

The evening concluded with the Talesman's lively rendition of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven", which he likened to "an underworld journey into the mind". The highlight of the evening however was the suspense-filled tale of the ill-fated Prince Hat; complete with beautiful princesses, mountain trolls, castles and golden spinning wheels, this tale was everything one would hope for from a good gothic fairytale.

Cliff Eastabrook is an engaging performer who has storytelling down to a fine art. His musicianship and acting ability had all spellbound and made for a magical and enjoyable trip to the Underworld.

Jane Howard, South Hill Park.

Technical Requirements:

Lighting: A warm general with soft house cover so I can see and interact with the audience.
Sound: This show makes use of live sample and loop technology. A single XLR to take the output from my onstage mixer, a front of house system (speakers and power amps) sufficient for the room.
A 13 amp, square pin mains electricity socket

For bookings please contact:

Jo on 07766342147