Poetry, myth, music and wonder: Dalrymple MacAlpin presents ‘The Cauldron Crone’ at the Colfax Theatre | TheUnion.com

Poetry, myth, music and wonder: Dalrymple MacAlpin presents ‘The Cauldron Crone’ at the Colfax Theatre


WHO: Dalrymple MacAlpin and friends

WHAT: The Cauldron Crone

WHEN: Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m

WHERE: Colfax Theatre, 49 S Main St, Colfax

MORE INFO: dalrymplemacalpin.com

On Nov. 23 and 24, storyteller, puppeteer and composer Dalrymple MacAlpin will take the stage at the Colfax Theater after two cancelations due to power outages thwarted his first attempts to showcase The Cauldron Crone. The program includes three stories written by MacAlpin and adapted from manuscripts dating back as far as the 6th century. In act one we are brought to the shores of Ireland and meet Fionn mac Cumhaill, famed for his abilities as a warrior and a hunter but also as a poet. In Ireland poets were offered protection wherever they went and their presence was considered sacred and inviolable. In MacAlpin’s tale, “The Fairy Fort,” we learn how Fionn achieves the third and final qualification of becoming a mantic poet, able to see into the future and travel between the worlds. From that day on he knew more than he wished to and many things he wished he could forget.

In act two we are brought across the Irish sea and land in 12th century Wales. We meet another poet and famed Bard, Taliesin, and hear just how he comes to acquire his sage like status. Taliesin was a real personage said to have lived in the 6th century and his life has garnered an array of mythical overtones and resonances still felt in the country today. In MacAlpin’s tale, “The Cauldron Crone” we meet Ceridwen, the mother of Taliesin and the most famous of all Welsh witches. After Ceridwen brews a cauldron of inspiration for a year and a day, three blessed drops of Awen burst forth, awarding the patient seeker with the exalted speech a graduated minstrel, but that is not all.

Next we travel ever eastwards to the land of mother Russia for MacAlpin’s reworking of the beloved 19th century fairy tale, “Vasilisa the beautiful,” and which he has entitled “Baba Yaga and Nababitsna.” A forlorn and ancient forest of birch trees, an enchanted doll, an iron-teethed hag and a young girl whose destines are all entwined. The ambiguous mother of Russian witches Baba Yaga herself makes a dramatic appearance in MacAlpin’s last tale of the evening.

Dalrymple MacAlpin will be joined by cohorts, collaborators and music makers: James Word playing a variety of poly rhythm gongs, drums and percussive oddities. Annette Dunklin with sweeping graceful cello bows; Shannon and Aspen Devir, arcane inspired flute duo; Tynowyn Woolman with hypnotic vibraphone pulsations; and the one and only resident Baba Yaga herself and Eva Floyd, trumpeter of the heralding night.

Stories this old need storytellers and musicians true, but they also need … puppets. Luckily MacAlpin has pulled together a colorful cluster of characters which aid in the telling and often take center stage themselves. After training at a Prague marionette school in 2016 MacAlpin began carving his own stringed allies and toting along his handcrafted puppet booth to the ever growing delight of his audience. His new collection of shadow puppets, made just for this event, will also be featured in the upcoming performances.

The Cauldron Crone is produced by Larry Casserly and takes place at the historic Colfax Theatre Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. and the 24 at 2 p.m. Doors open one hour before showtime. General admission is $15 and a reduced family rate of up to four members for $25.

For more information please visit dalrymplemacalpin.com

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