Friday 22nd March 2024 @ 19.30

"The Glory and the Pity"  -  Sef Townsend



Sef tells stories and sings a song or two from the time when Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in relative harmony, for 800 years, 

in 'Al-Andalus, or Safarad’, Spain. It is impossible to deny the richness of life that existed during that golden period, with a flourishing of Literature, Arts and Science, whose ramifications led directly to the Renaissance in Europe. 

This cross fertilising of language, custom, songs & poetry resulted in wonderful tales and romanças set at this fecund time of coexistence - and the many stories of how people negotiated their way through expulsion, forced conversion and execution are compelling. 

And so the great success story that was called Al-Andalus was, unwisely, brought to an end by the new Spanish monarchs, Isabella  & Ferdinand - but new seeds started sprouting elsewhere. As Sultan Bayazid famously said when criticising those haughty monarchs for rejecting the Jews: “You venture to call yourselves wise rulers, but you, who have impoverished your own country, have enriched mine".