Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 2 December 2021 7.30pm

Do go; these are very special occasions.’ Bridport Review

“Splendid, and gripping”.

“A fascinating lecture. People were enthralled and totally engaged”.

Illustration of the Green Knight holding his recently decapitated head, from the manuscript c. 1400 held by the British Library

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

A talk with readings by Graham Fawcett

Thursday 2 December 7.30pm

Tickets: £12.50

Reserve a table for supper at Café Sladers from 6pm.

One of the best-known Arthurian stories, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late 14th century Middle English manuscript, author unknown.

When a huge stranger enters the main hall in Camelot during a New Year’s Eve banquet and invites any of the assembly there to take a single swipe at him with his own axe, in return for a similar swipe at them in the future, he has no volunteers.

Gawain finally accepts the challenge because, he says, he is the youngest and so his life was the least indispensable of all those present. The Knight bows his neck, Gawain raises the axe and decapitates the Knight with his single blow; whereupon the Knight picks up his head, confirms a return meeting with Gawain a year and a day from thence, tucks his head under his arm, re-mounts his horse, and rides off into the murk.

Aye, and what then? How the story, the intricate plot, opens up from then on is at the heart of this poem’s unique edge-of-seat, extraordinarily modern brilliance.  

An adventure like no other, the poetry and narrative drama are wonderful, and you end up having drunk to the dregs an inspiring poetic lesson in how to face the future and not be disabled by fear of the morrow.

Recently translated by Simon Armitage and released this year as a film starring Dev Patel, Sir Gawain is once again in the spotlight. Graham Fawcett explores the poetry and character of the original together with the cultural impact the story has had through the centuries.

Please phone 01308 459511 to book now! 

GRAHAM FAWCETT has lectured or led workshops at literary festivals throughout Britain on reading and writing poetry. A highly entertaining lecturer, writer and educator, he was a tutor for The Poetry School from 1997 when it began until 2015. Previous to that he wrote and presented radio programmes about literature and music on BBC Radio 3 for many years.

Graham Fawcett’s talks explore leading poets, their lives, the political and cultural environment in which they wrote and, most of all, their work. The programme is two 45 minute halves with an interval.

Enjoy a delicious light pre-lecture dinner served by the celebrated and award-winning Café Sladers. Choose from a menu of seafood, free-range meat and vegetarian dishes. Let us know if you have special dietary requirements. A wonderful selection of wines, desserts and cheese are available à la carte.

Please phone 01308 459511 to book your tickets now.

“We [the audience] were more than happy to stay the course, stunned and astonished in equal measure. Stunned by the breadth and depth of Fawcett’s criticism, astonished at our luck to be living miles from a university yet participating in what, to all intents and purposes, was a post-graduate lecture, presented with immaculate complexity by a master of ceremonies par-excellence.”

Elaine Beckett

2 Responses to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 2 December 2021 7.30pm

  1. Rosie Mathisen says:

    Is the Anna Akhmatova evening still on? Assume not as we re not able to meet inside yet so do you have an alternative date?


    Rosie Mathisen

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