Into the Melting Pot is the third concertplay in The Telling’s Empowered Women Trilogy, a 17-date UK tour. Set in 1492, a Jewish woman is forced to leave her home in Seville. Her story is startlingly contemporary, with resonances to Windrush, Black Lives Matter and the worrying rise of Anti-semitism, and is played out to a soundtrack of plaintive Sephardic songs and lively medieval Cantigas which were developed by a Spanish community where Christian, Muslim and Jewish musicians worked together. The music fuses medieval and Arabic instruments/styles, with the potential to make early music accessible to a wider audience.
The show is fully staged, with 5 musicians, including 3 instrumentalists: Emily Baines (recorders), Giles Lewin (fiddle/oud) and Joy Smith (medieval harp/percussion) – plus actor Suzanne Ahmet. It is written by Clare Norburn, directed by Nicholas Renton (BAFTA-nominated BBC TV Mrs Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters) and lighting design by Natalie Rowland.
The 17-date tour will include Wolverhampton, Cumbria, Folkestone, Manningtree, Lympstone (near Exmouth) and Wales. It aims to give new audiences a way into early music: most of these are places that do not usually have access to live early music. A film will also be made and released in the autumn.