FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS: A Fairy Tales Show and a Workshop in NH

Abbott Library in Sunapee, New Hampshire hosts Odds Bodkin for a day of fun family events on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 starting at 10:00 a.m.

All events are FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS Storytelling Concert at 10:00 a.m.

First, a FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS storytelling concert where Odds tells two rollicking fairy tales–The Little Shepherd and the Tale of the Kittens. Each story is filled with voices, sounds and music on different 12-string guitars. Odds offers an introduction to the magic of fairy tales and how they help kids grow as he plays Celtic harp.

FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS Workshop for Grades 3-5 at 11:00 a.m.

Next, an hour-long workshop where kids learn the classic story elements of a fairy tale, experience fun imagination exercises and learn to create fairy tales of their own.

STORYBLAST FAMILY CONCERT for All Ages at 6:00 p.m.

An evening performance of Odds Bodkin’s best, funniest, most family-friendly tales. Performed with music on guitars, Celtic harp and other instruments.

 

GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES

Open up an Odds Bodkin Epic Drive and here are the tales you’ll find:

 

Buy it today and receive a free autographed Odyssey Poster/Map with your purchase. A full color poster on one side, and a map of the Mediterranean world on the other, this 16″x20″ map shows where, according to scholars’ best guesses, all 42 episodes of The Odyssey took place.

Adult Storytelling with Music in Cambridge MA Tomorrow Night: Love Stories

Usually I tell mythic adventure stories during my trips down to Grendel’s Den in Cambridge. I hop in my car in New Hampshire and two hours later, I’m on busy Harvard Square, loading in the harp and guitars, greeting the crew for the evening and grabbing a coffee. Then it’s to the stage for tuning and a sound check. Before I know it, I’m performing tales of gods and monsters. Giants speak. Hammers fly. Dwarves chitter. Beasts roar.

It’s fun and the audience usually has a good time. They eat, they drink, and then they listen.

Happily, my Grendel’s Den show last month, Odin and Thor Battle the Frost Giants, was sold out, packed with nice people. Tables full of professorial-looking souls, others crowded with students and millennials, even a few young couples out on dates.

No kidding. Dinner and a story, I guess. I’m flattered at the thought.

Tomorrow night’s show, however, is one that those young, unmarried people out on that date together might really enjoy. Basically two long love stories, one from Japan and one from Arthurian England, this show takes place once a year for Valentine’s Day. Both tales have elements of magic, yes, but no monsters to speak of. No life or death battles. Just the wonder of male/female relationships in the face of the prime directive, and how things can go so very wrong if the trust isn’t there, and how things can go so very right when it is.

A few tickets remain.

WORLDS APART: Tales for Lovers

Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA

Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5 pm

TICKETS $15

 

 

WOMEN FREE TO BE ANGRY

All right. I don’t look like much, I agree.

A portly, middle-aged white dude in a chair with a couple of instruments. Two microphones on booms. Not much else. No flashing lights. No background dancers or singers. No pyrotechnics to burn the house down.

I’m definitely not pretty.

Nevertheless, this coming Sunday night, Feb. 10th, 2019 at 5 pm at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA, I’m performing WORLDS APART: TALES FOR LOVERS. The show is two stories, The Crane Wife and The Dame Ragnell. Two ancient love tales about women either being thrilled or disappointed by the men in their lives, or feeling both emotions at the same time. And how their men, following their own rules, see the women.

Old, old stuff.

I once heard a beautiful woman say, “I married a prince. And look, he turned into a frog.”

These stories might well make you weep.

 

Odds Bodkin

WORLDS APART: TALES FOR LOVERS

Feb. 10, 2019 at 5 pm

Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA

 

TICKETS

LOVE IS CONFLICT: Old Stories Have Something To Say

Love between men and women nowadays in the Western World is marked by increasing conflict, it really is. The ancient compact between women seeking children and protection and men, longing in their hearts to give women those things and surge life forward, seems, at least in this dubious historical moment, to be over. Or at least in flux.

Enter these two ancient stories about love. The Crane Wife, a simple-on-its-surface folktale from old Japan, and The Dame Ragnell, a more intellectually complex but nevertheless fraught tale from the French courtly poets of the 1400’s, those iconoclasts who dared to suggest that without their families’ approval, a woman and a man could fall in love and marry each other anyway, just from the sheer magic of their souls having found one another.

“Romantic love” is a Western notion. It was born in Europe. It speaks to a time when towns became cities.

If you’d like to listen to and think about these two ancient love stories, by all means, join me at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this coming Sunday, Feb. 10th at 5 pm. It’s a Valentine’s Day show, one I do each year.

The music is on pentatonically tuned Celtic harp and pretty lush 12-string guitar. Lots of character voices, sound effects and other drama-inducing illusions to keep the tales moving.

Hope to see you there.

TICKETS $15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When a Goddess Loves a Nerd

Let’s say you’re an impoverished and lonely sail maker in ancient Japan. No woman will even look at you, much less fall in love with you, much less toil up the cliffs to your hovel overlooking the salt marsh to give it a try. Nope, you’re an involuntary celibate, doomed to a life of loneliness.

But then, on the wings of a storm, magic blows into your world. The wind slams it into your front door and knocks it unconscious, leaving it there. It’s a white crane. An injured, delicate bird.

Ah, but it’s not, of course. It’s a goddess, and you, the nerd who nurses it back to health, are about to become the luckiest man on earth…

Come hear The Crane Wife and another love story for Valentine’s Day this coming Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5 pm at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square. This one is scored with pentatonic Celtic harp. The other tale is scored with 12-string guitar.

WORLDS APART: TALES FOR LOVERS

Odds Bodkin

A Valentine’s Day Adult Storytelling

TICKETS: $15

 

LOVE STORIES on Feb. 10 at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA

Odds Bodkin performs WORLDS APART: Tales for Lovers on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 pm as he returns to Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square. A Japanese tale of love and greed, and a hilarious but moving Arthurian tale of beauty, ugliness and love.

Bring someone you love, or would like to, and settle in for some sophisticated adult story entertainment. Music on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp.

TICKETS: $15 BUY NOW

DON’T LET ‘EM SEE YOU WEEP

What if you are a beautiful young woman, but you’ve been cursed to live in a hideous body until the best man in England marries you of his own free will? In your ugly form? He can’t be told you’ve been cursed. He can’t know you are beautiful.

The problem with enacting characters is that their emotions come with them. Oh, sure, they’re just fictions, I know. Crafted phantoms of the muse. Still, if you’re speaking the words of the Dame Ragnell, who’s been enchanted into that hideous body, and she’s about to undo the spell by having tricked Sir Gawain of Camelot into voluntarily agreeing to marry her, then portraying her in this moment is not easy.

Because how this man reacts, now, as you both disrobe on your wedding night, either means freedom and joy for you both, or tragic failure.

Only he can dispel your terrible duality.

But only if he says the right words.

He has no idea of the pleasures that await him if he does.

So what if, in his innocence and his chivalry, he says those words?

And you become your beautiful self again?

Well, right around then, it’s time to cry a few tears.

So here I am, the performer. Odds Bodkin. I’m the master of the scene and the voices. It’s my job to control them and deliver them to the audience, along with the surging music at this point of The Dame Ragnell tale, found in Chaucer and Chretien de Troyes. Ah, but it’s tricky, because if the Dame Ragnell’s emotions get too far into me and I’m not really careful about it, I too start to weep uncontrollably right along with her. Just break down in sobs.

This can be very embarrassing and unprofessional, as you can imagine.

I dread this moment of the show. If I don’t thread the needle and control my own emotions about the whole thing, my tear ducts release and suddenly I can’t see the guitar or the audience and the whole thing goes to hell in a hand basket.

This has happened before. This is a very challenging story to tell.

Still, I’ll be telling it yet again, or at least trying to, at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA on Feb. 10th. By far the most liquid and wondrous 12-string guitar music I’m capable of playing backs it up.

Wish me luck.

 

Worlds Apart: Tales for Lovers

Odds Bodkin

Feb 10, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA

Tickets $15

WORLDS APART: Tales for Lovers at Grendel’s Den…Feb. 10 at 5:30 pm

Sir Gawain is not only handsome beyond words, he’s a humble and gentle man in his day-to-day dealings with women. On the male side of the equation, however, he’s a powerful knight, feared in combat, who may well kill you if he has reason to.

As his code of chivalry demands, he treats women with the utmost deference, thinking of them as sacred beings. As he passes by, the young women of Camelot catch their breath and swoon. They all think of him as “the best man in England”. For that time and place, he might well be.

But as King Arthur’s best friend, his loyalty is about to be tested. In order to save Arthur’s life, Gawain is about to promise to marry a woman–sight unseen—who he’s been told by Arthur is the ugliest, foulest, smelliest woman on earth. Hideous beyond belief. The antithesis of feminine beauty.

Still, Gawain promises to marry her.

The Dame Ragnell is a six-hundred-year-old story Odds Bodkin tells with character voices and music on 12-string guitar. Although it’s filled with laughs, it speaks to eternal questions of love and beauty, and asks the most dangerous question of all: “What does a woman desire most?”

It’s one of two love tales I’ll be telling for WORLDS APART: TALES FOR LOVERS at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

 

Worlds Apart: Tales for Lovers

An Adult Storytelling for Valentine’s Day with Odds Bodkin

Sunday, February 10th at 5:30 p.m.

Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square

TICKETS: $15

Bear, Deformed Giant or Wolf-Beast? What did Grendel Look Like?

In the latest Hollywood version of Beowulf, Grendel is a deformed giant with golden highlights. As somewhat human, maybe he deserves our sympathy, despite his cannibalistic tastes.

However, in my adult storytelling version of the tale, BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, both he and his mother are considerably more bestial.

In some depictions I’ve seen on book covers, Grendel is round and furry, almost like a bear. Since “the Beowulf poet” who wrote the tale but who’s identity remains a mystery, left few clues about Grendel’s appearance, I’ve opted for a wolf beast, eighteen feet tall, with matted fur that swarms with flies.

Like other characters in the tale, he’s got a distinct voice, although he cannot speak in human tongue. Still, through his roars and growls, you can tell what he’s thinking.

Come hear Grendel speak and see if you think I’ve been able to pull it off. The show is this Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 at 8 p.m. at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH.

Scored throughout on 12-string guitar, this is an adult storytelling with graphic violence. No children, please.

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

 

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

Odds Bodkin

Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 at 8 p.m.

Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar, Nashua NH

Flaming Oil on Beowulf’s Shield

The Fire Drake’s tongue is grooved down the middle, like a channel for the flaming oil it pours onto Beowulf’s mead hall, and during his final battle with it, onto Beowulf himself. This dragon doesn’t spew flames across distances. Instead, it hovers overhead and pours them. As he crouches beneath the extra-wide bronze shield he’s ordered made, since he knows a linden wood shield will just burn, Beowulf begins to cook anyway.

You must admit, most FX Hollywood dragons act like flying WWII flamethrowers these days; we’ve all seen them. But in my telling of the epic, the physics of heavy dragon oil, ignited at the tip of its tongue and impossible to put out, just seems all the more horrible because it’s viscous, like liquid napalm.

This scene occurs at the very end of BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, which I’ll be performing this coming Friday night, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH. It’s a great intimate venue with a fabulous sound system that deepens the 12-string guitar to a kind of polite thunder, so if you feel like taking in some mythic storytelling instead of your usual Friday night fare, join me.

Great food and a great bar, too. An adult storytelling.

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

 

Odds Bodkin

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

Jan. 18, 2019 at 8 p.m.

Riverwalk Café and Music Bar

Nashua, NH


Photo by Simon Brooks.

One Story? Two Hours Long? Yes, and It’s One Week Away

One story? Two hours? Yes, that’s how long it takes to tell BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE. Add on a historical introduction and an intermission and you’ve got a full evening’s entertainment for adult listeners.

A week from today I’ll be at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH (usually an intimate venue for bands and singers) for my annual telling of Beowulf. No poetry, just characters, live music and narration. So grab a ticket, plan on dinner and drinks, and come enjoy this vivid tale!

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 at 8 p.m.

The Riverwalk Music Bar, Nashua NH

 

Tickets $12 in advance, $15 at the door