My story of Richard Francis Burton
My story is based on the extraordinary life of Richard Burton; it is a story that runs to the heart of Empire and travel. Beginning at the foot of his peculiar mausoleum in the form of a Bedouin tent in a Catholic church, my tale of the great and enigmatical explorer becomes a journey to the edge of the known world.
Burton was an Englishman fluent in over 40 languages, with the support of the The Royal Geographical Society he led an expedition to the true source of the Nile; he was the first non-Muslim to enter the holy city of Harar and he completed the Haj from Suez to Mecca. ……..Burton turned exploration into a practice of human freedom. These stories are complemented by the soaring, melancholic, and yearning vocals of the Iraqi Kurdish singer Nawroz Oramari.
‘Tongues of Flame’ was one of the highlights of a great storytelling year in Cambridge…. They [the audience] were enthralled by the vibrant colours of the piece, and the masterly crafting of the material….. Its picture of a colonial past has an immediacy for modern culture and the 21st century legacy of British colonialism…Best of all it held me riveted, laughing, appalled – what more can I ask from a storytelling show?
2014, Marion Leeper, Cambridge Storytellers Programmer