Grimebourn image


Persephone is conceived as a masque designed to marry spectacular outdoor pyrotechnics and spectacle with an epic story and jazz inspired score.

Scenes of pastoral innocence contrast with the poisoned darkness of the underworld, as a familial dispute threatens environmental destruction.

With its themes of abduction, betrayal, divided loyalties and hard, political bargaining, the myth of Persephone is as potent today as it has ever been.

Originally presented as part of the Arcola's inaugural Grimeborn opera festival Persephone is still in its' early days of development.

Songs from the entertainment were performed in Albion Forlorn at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013, and last year Lily Casson included Even though I cannot Die on her I Heart  Musicals release.

The Myth of Persephone

Flower princess Persephone the beautiful daughter of Zeus, inspires the desire of her uncle Hades, who erupts from the Underworld to abduct her in broad daylight. Her mother Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest is so distressed she withdraws her blessing from the earth so that it ceases to be fertile. Zeus reluctantly agrees to free Persephone, provided she has eaten nothing during her sojourn in the Underworld. Unhappily for her, she has accepted a simple dish of pomegranate seeds which binds her to the netherworld forever. Eventually a compromise is reached whereby Persephone divides her time between Hades and Demeter, so initiating the seasonal swing from Winter to Summer.

What is a Masque?

Masques were a form of festive entertainment which originally flourished in 16th and early 17th Century Europe, involving music and dancing, singing and acting within an elaborate design, to present an allegory to the patron.

Our masque Persephone was originall inspired by our patron Peter Goide fo performance at his lakeside estate in France.