“I don’t see the point of these new-fangled quad bikes. Sheep dogs don’t need taxis…”
'SHEEP TALES' is a funny and thought-provoking 60-minute entertainment about shepherds and shepherding.
It is drawn almost exclusively from newly collected oral history interviews with sheep farming folk in Shropshire, Wales and North Northumberland; chronicling a century of dramatic change.
Counting sheep is easy, lad. You just count the legs and divide by four”
In words and song, Sally Tonge and Chris Eldon Lee (of the veteran comedy trio Three Men in a Bowtie) present the story of shepherding; season by season and decade by decade.
Sheep Tales is an intimate, low-tech show, designed as an after supper entertainment: Lamb Casserole or Shepherd’s Pie perhaps? It can also be presented in two halves, between courses, and Chris and Sal would be more than happy to round off the evening with some suitably silly songs.
“Honestly, my husband’s sheep frequently went to market wearing more make up than me!”
Sheep Tales includes stories of the severe winters of 1947 – when being a hill shepherd was deemed a worse fate than being an infantryman – and 1963, when helicopter drops were a lifeline. There are detailed descriptions of the art of lambing:
“Triplets can be tricky. Their legs get jumbled up and you have to rearrange them in the womb. You know those wire coat hangers you get when your dry cleaning comes back? Well, it’s a bit like trying to separate tangled coat hangers, blindfold, inside a duvet, wearing oven gloves”.
Chris and Sal describe the ancient art of how to castrate a ram with your bare teeth:
“And he did that right up to the early 60s… when those stupid welfare regulations intervened”
And they sing about the encroachment of wind farms:
They came with their clipboards
All oozing with charm
With grants for this new wind farm.
The landscape’s idyllic,
But bloody acrylic
Is cheaper than fleece
So we can’t make ends meet
It’s bound to end in defeat
And as the last generation of traditional shepherds hang up their crooks, they explore the fragile future of the industry. It’s a timely, entertaining and enlightening evening, charting a changing way of life, from the shepherds’ viewpoint.
We are performing the show at The Wightman Theatre in The Square in Shrewsbury at 1 o'clock on
Friday 30 June
Saturday 1 July
Friday 14 July
Saturday 15 July
Tickets £7.50 on line at www.thewightman.co.uk or on the door
The perfect show for anyone who’s ever worn wool…!
OUR FIRST GLOWING REVIEW :
Dear Chris & Sally,
On behalf of the Brecon & Radnor FUW I would like to thank you for a very entertaining evening last Friday.
Guests thoroughly enjoyed your comical performance, and we’ve had many comments on what a wonderful evening it was. Many members could relate to the amusingly descriptive tales and songs; the few who weren’t from a farming background and couldn’t directly relate to it, now have a very good idea!!
We can highly recommend you to other counties thinking of putting on an event in the future.
And another :
I just wanted to say thanks to you both for the performance in Ystradfellte – the feedback from everyone who attended was great. Shan Evans - Ystradfellte YFC
To BOOK SHEEP TALES :
Chris Eldon Lee
07885 467 499
Performance space 4ft x 6ft.
Sound and light provided.
SHEEP TALES is being performed in memory of Diana Herbert, who’s bright idea this was.
DOWNLOAD OUR FLYER HERE