The Devil’s Violin

“What would you sacrifice for the one you love?”

On February 9th, Cardiff will be treated to a mysterious fusion of storytelling and music. Promising danger, horror, love and humour, we know we’re going to be gripping our theatre chairs in suspense! Folk Cardiff catches up with Sarah Moody from The Devil’s Violin, to learn more about their unique production of The Forbidden Door



1) Folk Cardiff is very excited to hear about The Devil’s Violin! How did the group form?

I wanted to do a show about the journey of Roma Gypsy music and Daniel Morden was commissioned to write ‘Dark Tales from the Woods’ which was a collection of Roma Gypsy stories told by a group of Roma living in North Wales in the 19th/20th century. We did our first show, The Devil’s Violin in 2006 and then after it went so well, we just kept going! The Forbidden Door is our 4th show.

The Gypsy story link was explored in a previous show, our first (2006). In The Forbidden Door we are working with traditional stories from several sources that have been shaped into a single narrative and interwoven with music.

2) Introduce us to your members – how does everyone gel together to tell the story?

Daniel tells the story and us 3 musicians have woven the music into the story (we wrote it all in the room together with Daniel, deciding what bits of the story benefitted from music. We only use music if it adds to the story, we’re interested in music replacing the words wherever it can, the relationship between words and music, the rhythm of the words etc etc…

The members are Sarah Moody (me) on cello, Dylan Fowler on guitar, Oliver Wilson-Dickson on fiddle (plays with Mabon), Daniel Morden, Storyteller

3) What has inspired your material?

Here’s a poem that has been an inspiration for the show
The Door
Miroslav Holub

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden,
or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye,
or the picture
of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if
nothing is there,

go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be
a draught.

4) The Forbidden Door sounds very mysterious! Can you tell Folk Cardiff a little bit about what’s in store? Ghosts? Murder? Or is it a secret?!

Welcome to a cinema of the mind! With our visceral combination of live music and dynamic storytelling, we weave an enchantment of melody and mystery.

Don’t open that door!

As soon as the rule is laid down, we know it will be broken. Once the door is opened, then what? – adventures! All of us love a good tale, and this is a wonderful one. Expect love, loss, drama, danger, horror, humour, twists and trials.

5) What’s great about putting music to a story?

It’s a wonderful thing to make words and narrative come alive through the music.

Music goes to the heart and helps the imagination. It’s an exciting challenge to try and conjure up the imagery through music

6) How would you like the audience to feel when they watch your show?

I’d like them to laugh and feel moved and excited – like they’ve been on a journey.

It is a personal journey of one’s own but still a shared experience. Stories are like pebbles on the beach, rounded off through centuries of telling to hold fundamental truths about what it is to be human.

7) What are your plans for the future?

To tour 60 venues with this show! We’re also going to Denmark and Holland, and possibly India.

8) Where does your name come from?

One of the stories in our first show was called The Devil’s Violin.

To book tickets to the performance and to find out more about The Devil’s Violin, please visit: 

9th February ’15 : THE FORBIDDEN DOOR – Chapter Arts Centre, CARDIFF

Starts: 8:00 pm
Location: Market Rd, Cardiff CF5 1QE
Tickets: 029 2030 4400

12th February ’15 : THE FORBIDDEN DOOR – Pontardawe Arts Centre, PONTARDAWE

Starts: 7:30 pm
Location: Herbert St, Pontardawe, West Glamorgan SA8
Tickets: 01792 863722

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