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Tonight 5:00-6:30 pm, Odds Bodkin is on Full-Screen Zoom to Tell BEOWULF

Scored throughout with haunting and beautiful music on 12-string guitar, here is Odds Bodkin’s renowned storyteller’s version of Beowulf, a thousand year old Viking tale of darkness and light.

The monsters lurk in the fens, staring down the cliffs at the humans, tiny creatures who sing in their feasting hall to push back the night. The first monster, Grendel, who towers to the height of many men, hates the singing. With his enchanted fur to protect him and his wolf fangs to tear apart flesh, he attacks and takes back thirty slain men to eat in his cave.

The Danes are terrorized. Every night, Grendel comes. They try iron, bronze, silver, even gold sword blades and spear points, but nothing can penetrate Grendel’s hide.

For twelve years, the monster feasts, until in a far off land, a great warrior–one who has a reason to be grateful to the Danes–decides to go on a mission of mercy to kill the beast.


First discovered in 1563 in a dusty library when it was already five hundred years old, Beowulf is the oldest known work in the English language, a classic in every sense. Odds Bodkin brings it to life tonight on full-screen Zoom.

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

Sunday Feb. 28 at 5:00 pm EST on Zoom

Not recommended for children

Tickets: $25

 

Sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA

Huddle Around the Zoom Fire Sunday Night for Beowulf

With 12-string guitar and Celtic harp, character voices and sound effects, master storyteller Odds Bodkin will perform his classic tale, BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, for adults this Sunday night at 5 pm EST. The tale contains mayhem and violence and is not recommended for children.

Shorn of its heraldic side stories, Bodkin’s version of Beowulf cleaves closely to the original thousand-year-old story of a thane who rescues an aged king from monsters that attack his hall. Filled with striking scenes and plenty of humor, the story translates vividly over Zoom.

 

Tickets are $25

 

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

ODDS BODKIN

MARCH 28, 2021 AT 5 PM EST ON ZOOM

 

This performance is sponsored by Grendel’s Den.

 

If You Have a Daughter, Buy This Ticket

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls is a live performance featuring master storyteller Odds Bodkin telling four great stories for daughters everywhere. Each tale is filled with live music and intriguing characters. No matter where you live, you can tune in via ZOOM on Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.

“a consummate storyteller” — The New York Times

“a modern-day Orpheus” — Billboard

Tickets: $25

 

Odds Bodkin’s BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE is a Week From Today. Grab Your Tickets Now!

Sunday, February 28th at 5 pm EST. Tune in on ZOOM for a full evening of adult storytelling with compelling acoustic music and characters.

This virtual event is sponsored by Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square.

Tickets: $25

 

 

Deep Inside Act II of Beowulf, A Bizarre Scene

He’s already killed Grendel, a towering, sword-proof beast, but now Beowulf has sunk to the bottom of a reeking mere to hunt and kill Grendel’s mother. If Beowulf rids Denmark of these demons, King Hrothgar will declare him his son. In Beowulf’s world, that’s the promise of full half of Hrothgar’s fabulous wealth, enough for Beowulf to become a king himself back home. Hrothgar is the richest man along the Baltic.

Denmark and Sweden/Geatland

 

As he approaches her underwater cave, Grendel’s Mother curses Beowulf. She has dragged her son’s carcass here along with the bloody, hairy arm Beowulf tore off Grendel in the mead hall, which she has stolen back before retreating to her home. She is huge, with fangs and claws, yet she stands like a woman at the water’s edge. With Grendel gone, she is now the last of their kind. Through the ripples she sees soft colored lights beyond the submerged entrance. The man, the killer of her son, has arrived at the mere’s bottom.

Into the water she slides, kicking through the blackness toward what she sees is a helmet with glowing gems on its crown.

Holding his sword out, the man cannot see her. Stealthily, she swims to behind him and violently clamps her fangs onto the helmet, thinking to crush it, along with the soft human skull inside.

Up until this moment, Beowulf has been reliving boyhood memories. How Hrothgar once paid the blood price for Beowulf’s father, and the Wylfings had stopped pursuing him. It had been wonderful to stand on the ship’s deck heading home to Geatland with his father, who was a free man at last. Yes, Beowulf has come here for glory, but also to show gratitude to King Hrothgar of the Danes for that act of mercy so long ago.

Feeling sudden pressure inside the helmet, Beowulf slides out of it and slashes the sword, Hrunting, at the she-beast behind him, but the blade is too slow in the water. With a bubbling scream she shoots back into her cave, ready for the fight.

She is three times his size.

However, Grendel’s Mother does not know that this man is Beowulf, a fearless thane of the Geats who has come from the north, a warrior with the grip of thirty men. He doesn’t know it yet, but after she stabs him in the chest, he will kill her with a weapon crafted by long-dead giants.

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In the actual telling of this scene from BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, haunting, scintillant music on 12-string guitar builds the creepiness, while Grendel’s Mother hisses loudly to herself, and Beowulf’s voice speaks his inner monologue, “Fate often saves an undoomed man if his courage holds.”

Come see and hear the entire tale via ZOOM on Sunday, Feb. 28th at 5 pm EST.

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

AN ODDS BODKIN ZOOM STORYTELLING

SUNDAY, FEB. 28, 2021 AT 5 PM EST

TICKETS: $25

 

Hear a sample from the tale:

SPONSORED BY GRENDEL’S DEN.

 

 

 

 

 

TWO ODDS BODKIN ZOOM CONCERTS COMING UP: BEOWULF and TALES FOR GIRLS

Over the next three weeks, Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin will be live on ZOOM for two very different shows–BEOWULF, a brooding adult show, and SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: FAIRY TALES FOR SMART GIRLS, a funny, rollicking concert for the whole family.

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, his storyteller’s version of the oldest known work in English literature, goes live Sunday Feb. 28th at 5 pm EST. A riveting, feature-length tale with music to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA, this is among his best-loved tellings and is a favorite on Harvard  Square. Tickets are $25.

 

 

Then, on Sunday March 7th at 5 pm EST, it’s SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: FAIRY TALES FOR SMART GIRLS in celebration of International Women’s Day. Odds uses 12-string guitars and Celtic harp to animate four of his classic fairy tales for kids, each featuring a brave and clever girl hero. Tickets are $25.

Some fans say they prefer his ZOOM shows because of the close-ups on his face and instruments. Judge for yourself from the comfort of your home.

Your ticket purchases your Zoom invitation with a password for the show.

 

 

 

 

Can a Man Who Looks Like This Tell Sensitive Stories for Girls?

Absolutely. Odds Bodkin has been doing it for forty years. Many of his current fans are young women in their twenties and thirties who still love his stories. They write to him often about how much his audio tales meant to them when they were growing up. And a good many of them are now young moms who visit his shop to buy these classic tales for their own daughters.

The Three Spinning Fairies is one such tale. Here’s a sample:

 

The Wise Little Girl is another. Here’s a sample:

 

Now, if you like, you can hear these tales in full for free on your Amazon Alexa, or, you can experience Odds Bodkin tell these and two other tales for girls live on Sunday March 7th, 2021. The show is at 5 pm EST and no matter where you are, you can tune in, because it’s on ZOOM.

A virtual event to celebrate International Women’s Day.

To learn more, click on the logo:

She’s Clever, That One: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

A Live Storytelling by Odds Bodkin on ZOOM

Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST

Tickets: $25 (Get them here)

In Celebration of International Women’s Day

Long before I went from a dad with three little boys driving their mom crazy to a happy grandfather with three compelling young women in my sons’ lives, I told stories about girls. I studied what’s called “the eternal feminine” in mythology, and found many places in my stories to laud the power of women.

International Women’s Day is March 8, 2021, and so I’ve created a new Zoom online concert. It’s a family show called SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: FAIRY TALES FOR SMART GIRLS and I highly recommend all four stories. They’re funny, with intriguing characters and head-scratching surprises everywhere. They’re all filled with beautiful music, too. Some even offer opportunities to sing along.

The show is Sunday, March 7 at 5 pm EST on ZOOM. Just grab a ticket and download your ZOOM credentials. Then mark your calendar and enjoy the live show! It’s great for the whole family.

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: FAIRY TALES FOR SMART GIRLS

A Storytelling Performance by Odds Bodkin on Zoom

Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST

Tickets: $25

On Becoming Two Very Different Monsters

In my storyteller’s version of Beowulf, Grendel doesn’t speak, but his mother does. As descendants of Cain and the last two forest demons of their kind, they represent all that was terrifying to humans in the medieval darkness. Forests were always thick and close back then, and no electricity lit the earth. Let’s hope those times don’t return.

Robert Zemeckis, in his animated 2007 film version of Beowulf, made Grendel a multicolored, hairless giant. Straying even further from the original story, Zemeckis presented Grendel’s Mother as a sexy Angelina Jolie with smooth golden skin, naked most of the time. Both Grendel and his mother spoke words.

For my version, I’ve gone a more traditional route and followed the basic Beowulf text, imagining Grendel as giant wolf on two legs who can roar, and that’s about it. His mother is a female version of this species of ancient forest demon, covered with fur and just as big. She speaks in a terrifying shrill voice. There’s nothing sexy about her.

Tasked as I am to create voice characterizations for my tales, I spent considerable time exploring my lowest, most guttural vocal register for Grendel. What he emotes is roaring fury. Unbridled, explosive fury. He possesses cruel confidence, both in his invulnerability—he has magic, blade-resistant fur—and in his ability to kill, at least until he meets Beowulf in the mead hall. His persona takes a lot of energy to create. I dread to think what I look like when I enact him.

I don’t watch myself do these things. I just work in my trance.

Grendel’s screechy, crafty mother, on the other hand, is signaled by a rapidamente motif on 12-string guitar and her heavy running footfalls. “Killer has a sword,” she thinks in her underwater cave as Beowulf sinks down toward her, “what kind of sword?” If a blade is giant-made, she fears it. Human-made blades cannot cut her. Instead, they vaporize, something Beowulf discovers to his horror when he tries to cut off her head, and it doesn’t work.

Two very different monsters. Two very different voices.

There are plenty of other character voices in Beowulf: The Only One, including Beowulf, Hrothgar the King and various thanes.

 

 

Odds Bodkin

Beowulf: The Only One

An Adult Storytelling on Zoom

Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5 pm EST

Tickets: $25

Of Oaks and Thunder

The Druids of ancient Europe were the “Oak Seers.” Dur means oak. Wythe means seer. Put together you get Durwythe, or Druid. Dur is an old word for oak, from which we derive our word “door,” since in the old days the strongest doors were of oak. They were, pardon the pun, durable. The Norse god Thor’s name has the same etymological root: dur, or oak, that tree most often struck by lightning. What comes with lightning? Thunder. Hence Thor, the God of Thunder.

His name has–sorry, here comes another pun–endured all this time because wonderful stories are told about him. The most intriguing among them, at least by my lights, is Thor’s Journey to Utgard. It’s the tale of how to prove his strength to his enemies, the Frost Giants, he journeys to their capital city and messes up terribly, or at least so it seems. He fails at every task of strength put before him as the giants guffaw. Loki is along for the journey as well, and he fares no better. These are not the characters you see in Marvel movies or those stories. These are genuine old myths.

As the first long tale in my Zoom performance tomorrow night, Sunday Jan. 10, Thor’s Journey is humorous in places, mostly because he and Loki trade barbs and insult one another at every turn. But still, it’s epic, as is the score on 12-string guitar. Here’s a sample:

 

 

I’ll be introducing Viking mythology as I play Celtic harp, and then I’ll launch into the two long tales with an intermission between them. Lots of characters. Lots of music. Lots of fun. Join the crowd. Folks will be tuning in from all over.

This Zoom event is sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.

 

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

ODDS BODKIN, storyteller and musician

SUNDAY, JAN.10, 2021 at 5 PM EST on ZOOM

TICKETS: $25