About the Company
A Spell In Time is a unique British-Bulgarian storytelling performance company that brings Bulgaria’s extraordinary traditional tales to English-speaking audiences for the very first time. It was formed in 1995 by storyteller, Moni Sheehan, who is half Bulgarian and musician, Ivor Davies. With a spellbinding mix of traditional storytelling, folklore ritual and evocative music, the Company has gained acclaim in the UK and abroad for its passionate and poetic performances.
Bulgaria's traditional tales have ancient origins and are largely unknown in the West. They are magical and deliciously dark with a dash of humour. Archetypal characters, thrilling narratives and exquisite imagery combine to conjure the intense world of dream and a mythic age of long ago when anything was possible. Beautifully atmospheric and profoundly entertaining, they cross the boundaries of space and time to speak to the heart, mind and soul.
A Spell In Time’s performances are based on authentic Bulgarian heroic epics, mythological ballads, ritual songs, legends, folk and fairy tales translated by mother and daughter team, Paraskeva Armstrong and Moni Sheehan. These narratives were handed down orally over generations and collected by Bulgarian folklorists from village storytellers and singers.
The Company has created a range of shows in the Tales of Hidden Bulgaria series, as well as devising a variety of other projects. They have collaborated regularly with the 40-strong London Bulgarian Choir. Highlights include the spectacular "Forest of Sound" project at St John's Smith Square which combined glorious singing, primal tales and colourful wedding rituals; and a specially-created performance for the extraordinary Brunel Thames Tunnel Shaft in London.
The Company has performed in a wide range of venues from theatres and arts centres to festivals and storytelling clubs, including Beyond The Border Wales International Storytelling Festival, Festival at the Edge, the Bulgarian Cultural Institute London, St John's Smith Square and the Guadalajara International Storytelling Festival, Spain. It has also featured on the BBC World Service, Bulgarian National Radio, BBC Radio Shropshire, BBC Radio Sheffield and Resonance fm.
At a time of increasing interest in Eastern Europe, A Spell In Time presents an exciting distillation of Bulgarian traditional culture that offers an alternative insight into shared human experiences. The Company welcomes new initiatives and collaborations, and enjoys exploring new ways of presenting traditional culture in our modern world.
In conjunction with performance, the Company offers workshops in related skills, including Bulgarian Folk Dance and Storytelling.