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Oxford Theatre Review

Anca Farcas, Oxford Theatre Review,
21st Apr 2012

Coming back from “A Love Like Salt” tonight at the Bodleian Library, I understood why storytelling was and remains the foundation of every culture, the carrier not only of critical moral values, but of social unity and creative force. And in this case, of an incredibly beautiful evening and amazing passionate performance by The Devil’s Violin Company.
I personally think no other form of art is so exquisite as spoken word; no other can unearth our emotions to such an extent, nor have the patience and power to dig through our numbed vitality and stir our imagination. And with such a gifted storyteller as Daniel Morden, it comes as no surprise that I have difficulty fighting off the regret of not having lived in those mythic times he so powerfully portrays. It was really something in his voice and way of performing that was beyond captivating, you could listen to him endlessly, such refined mixture of grief, anger, joy, love, obsession, that he could convey through effortless play of his voice. At the same time, I now could not imagine such a show without the accompanying music, which was in perfect synchrony with the stories; not too simple but at the same time, not too dramatic as to make it seem forced. It has been some time since I heard an accordion being played so beautifully, so if anything, I would have only included more musical segments to this event. Being commissioned by the Bodleian Library and the English Faculty with the occasion of The Romance of the Middle Ages currently running exhibition, the setting of the Divinity School provided the necessary picturesque location. The only other place that would have been as good would have been sitting around a fire on a summer night, huddled together completely enchanted.
It is a shame we do not have more opportunities to see this company in action, they will give another performance in May, which will surely be quite popular given the enthusiasm following tonight’s event. Their humorous yet profound and original adaptation of those three wonderful classic tales ensures that the art of storytelling will not yet disappear but will continue to inspire. All in all, great job!