Concerts and Performances


Performed by previous UK Young Storyteller of the Year, Rachel Rose Reid.

A Border-Crossing Monk

A Border-Crossing Monk: Secular and Spiritual Song from Late Medieval Salzburg, performed by Silvan Wagner.

The Knight in Panther Skin

The Knight in Panther Skin, or Vepkhist'q'aosani, performed by James Baillie.

This year’s concert and performance programme features outdoor dramatic performances, theatrical readings, storytelling, and live music from a diverse group of performers and sources. Check each event listing for information on tickets and locations.

You can book and pay for event tickets when you register online.

Mankynde: A Listening Party

Mankynde: A Listening Party
Performed by The Lords of Misrule
Monday 04 July, 19.00-21.00

This event is available virtually.
This event is free of charge.

The Lords of Misrule are an amateur dramatic society first established over 40 years ago at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York. Over the years they have performed a range of medieval, and occasionally early modern, drama, sometimes in modernised form and sometimes in the original language. They aim to bring out the spirit of the plays, never oversimplifying them, but always making them accessible to a wide audience. When the pandemic made live performance impossible, they turned to producing audio dramas, including a production of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

Their most recent audio drama, late-medieval morality play Mankynde, was recorded in summer 2021. Mankynde, similar to other plays from this period, such as Everyman, follows the title character as he is tempted into a life of sin and debauchery.

The play’s focus is on living a good Christian life and not succumbing to temptation and sin. Although this is a heavily moralising narrative, it also has an element of fun and humour, as seen through some of the characters. Unable, in an audio drama, to rely on visual representation of these allegorical and archetypal characters, the Lords had the challenge of trying to represent them through sound alone.

Please note that the humour in Mankynde is quite raunchy and probably not suitable for a younger audience.

LUTGARD-IS: The Rite of Time

LUTGARD-IS: The Rite of Time

Dance Performance by Sander Vloebergs

Stage@leeds: Stage 2
Monday 04 July, 19.00-20.00

This event is free of charge (first come, first served).

‘Holy one and divided into pieces, ebb and flow – between ecstasy and assimilation’

With this dance performance, dancer-theologian Sander Vloebergs reflects on the potential of mysticism and dance to transcend time and induce transhistorical movements between medieval and contemporary culture.

Vloebergs presents a reenactment of his 2019 performance LUTGARD-IS: Triptych of Identities, performed by three dancers who (re)present the medieval saint Lutgardis of Aywières. He is inspired by both the embodied presence of the historical woman and the male-authored text documenting her life.

He divides the dance in five chapters, questioning the dichotomy between text and body. During an artist talk he discusses the opportunities and challenges that are revealed when tensions between dance and text, male and female, time and eternity, are heightened on an academic and artistic stage.

Sander Vloebergs is a researcher, theologian, and choreographer. He works at the KU Leuven and the University of Bonn on the relationships between medieval mysticism, performative theology, and the arts. His art explores the relationship between physicality, spirituality, and religion from a position as a researcher-dancer. He focusses on dance as a method to give the body a new place within the theology and rituals of the Catholic Church. Ritualistic dances are appearing more frequently on artistic stages. However, choreographers are reluctant to integrate references to Christian traditions and dance research remains underexplored within theology. Vloebergs uses this unique opportunity to create hybrid forms of performance that fluctuate between dance, Christian ritual, and textual research. New networks and innovative insights about the nature of dance, theology and religion emerge from his creative process.

After finishing his double doctorate in theology and in literature, Vloebergs turns his attention to artistic dance research. In his current project, in collaboration with artist Lukas Suender and the KunstKulturKirche in Frankfurt, he creates a choreographed Eucharist to explore the idea of ‘virtual participation’.


Performed by Rachel Rose Reid
Stage@leeds: Stage 1
Monday 04 July, 20.00-21.30

Price: £10.00

In the whole world, only one manuscript unfolds the Roman de Silence. Written down in the 13th century, it was discovered in Wollaton Manor, Nottinghamshire, in a box marked ‘Old Papers – No Value’ (next to a few letters from King Henry VIII). Silence, a descendent of King Arthur, is born a girl, raised a boy, switching pronouns depending on their own feelings and becoming a runaway, a minstrel and a champion knight.

When the tale was discovered in 1911, Suffrage protests were at their explosive height. Perhaps that is why this story – which suggests that England’s wellbeing depends on gender equality – was kept silent. But the story was made to be told and now is the time to tell it…

A couple of years ago, acclaimed spoken word artist Rachel Rose Reid found an academic textbook of the Roman de Silence in the basement of a second-hand bookstore in New York, and found within it the voice of someone who shared her art of performance storytelling, still ringing fresh across the centuries. This discovery set her off on her own quest to renew this adventure which has so much to say about 21st-century sexual politics, identity, and freedom. Join her journey to help Silence speak again.

Rachel Rose Reid is a winner of the UK Young Storyteller of the Year and has received much attention for taking storytelling to unexpected venues and collaborations. She has performed to international acclaim at storytelling, theatre, and music festivals around the world, and has written and performed stories for London City Sinfonia, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Billy Bragg. During the pandemic, Rachel’s first book, I’m Hans Christian Andersen was published by Burning Eye, and she has curated the Sofa Story Club, featuring an array of unique transatlantic artistic collaborations.

‘Immense skill and breathless conviction. There’s no faulting Reid’s command of her craft.’ – The Times

For further information, visit,, or on Twitter and Instagram at @rachelrosereid.

Tickets may not be available on the door. Please enquire at the Information and Payments Desk in the Refectory Foyer if you wish to attend this event and have not pre-booked as part of your IMC Registration.

Poetry Reading by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Poetry Reading by Kevin Crossley-Holland
Performed by Kevin Crossley-Holland
Parkinson Building: Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery
Tuesday 05 July, 18.15-19.15

This event is free of charge but must be booked online.

Join us to hear award winning translator, children’s author and poet Kevin Crossley-Holland, read from his work.

At the heart of this reading is a new cycle of short poems turning on Harald Hardrada (nee Sigurdsson), the greatest warrior of his age, during his formative years as a member of the Varangian Guard in Byzantium.

A man with an imposing physical appearance, ferocious energy, and a sense of destiny, Harald had to learn how to be a leader, and his defects were scarcely fewer than his skills. Brilliantly illustrated by Chris Riddell, these poems are not narratives but passionate, terse and sometimes witty revelations, turning on Harald’s engagement with warfare, leadership, love and the contrasts between the values of the glittering, hard-edged northern world, still half in thrall to the Norse gods, and the softer, more seductive south. Above all, they’re the words of a young man among men whose lives are in his hands, and on whom his own success and fame depend.

Kevin Crossley-Holland’s selected poems, The Mountains of Norfolk, were published in 2015. Arc published his Gravitation for Beginners last year, and he is the author of The Penguin Book of Norse Myths.

Details subject to change. Booking essential. Tickets for this event can be purchased via Eventbrite.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to visit ‘Poem, Story & Scape’, a new exhibition of original artwork and manuscripts showcasing Crossley-Holland’s work. For more information, please visit:

The Knight in Panther Skin

The Knight in Panther Skin
Performed by James Baillie
University House: Beechgrove Room
Tuesday 05 July, 19.00-20.30

This event is free of charge (first come, first served).

The Knight in Panther Skin, or Vepkhist’q’aosani, is often regarded as the greatest Georgian literary work, not only of the Middle Ages, but of all time. A part of Georgia’s culture so integral that a copy was a required part of dowries more in recent centuries, the romantic epic poem contains a rich mix of Georgian language, worldview, and folklore within a self-consciously Persian literary framework, and it is renowned for its commentary on themes of love, despair, and friendship. Written at the end of the 12th century by Shota Rustaveli, a mysterious figure regarded today as Georgia’s national poet, it was written for Tamar, the first ruling queen of the Georgian Bagrationid dynasty and was probably commissioned by her second husband, the Ossetian prince David Soslan.

The story follows Avtandil, a general of the armies of Arabia, who is in love with the king’s daughter and sole heir Tinatin. Out hunting with the king one day, he comes across a mysterious weeping knight, dressed in the skin of a panther. The central mystery of the piece thus established, Rustaveli’s work follows Avtandil’s quest to discover the mysterious eponymous knight’s identity and the cause of his grief. As it does so, the story moves from Arabia to India and China and beyond into folkloric realms of Georgian imagination with mysterious sorcerers, pirates, and family feuds as just some of the perils that must be negotiated along the way.

In this performance, storyteller and historian of the period James Baillie will take listeners through a modern English retelling of both the core narrative of Rustaveli’s story and the setting of its creation. Weaving between the fantasy of the narrative and what we know of the reality of the 12th-century Bagrationid court, this will shed a unique light on a text that, whilst often treated as timeless, also contains many very contemporary references that situate it in the particular historical moment in which it was created. Blending traditional storytelling craft with up-to-date understandings of the Caucasian elites for whom Rustaveli was writing, this performance will be an opportunity both to encounter a fascinating heroic epic little known by many western medievalists and to get a window into aspects of how it might have been understood when it was first performed over 800 years ago.

A Border-Crossing Monk: Secular and Spiritual Song from Late Medieval Salzburg

A Border-Crossing Monk: Secular and Spiritual Song from Late Medieval Salzburg
Performed by Silvan Wagner
Stage@leeds: Stage 2
Tuesday 05 July, 20.00-21.30

Price: £12.00

The International Medieval Congress and the Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft are proud to bring this event to Leeds.

The so-called Monk of Salzburg was extremely popular in the 15th century. His compositions have been handed down in more than 100 manuscripts. The love songs he created are charming and some of his religious songs are still performed in his native town Salzburg as well as all over the German-speaking countries.

His identity remains a mystery, although a note in one of his compositions suggests that he was associated with the court of archbishop Pilgrim II (1365-1396). We therefore presume that it was his double status as monk and courtly singer that enabled him to create such a rich oeuvre of songs in the vernacular: half sacred, half secular. Moreover, for the very first time in the history of German music, he used polyphony. In his religious songs he often took up traditional medieval forms and melodies, whereas in his love songs he came up with surprisingly new themes and phrases. Some of his compositions sound daringly modern as if they are foreshadowing the folk music of modern times. This explains why the Monk was and still is crossing borders: borders between the secular and the religious space, between monody and polyphony, ars musica and folk music, and also between the Middle Ages and modern times.

Silvan Wagner is well known to the audience of the IMC. He staged and performed epics such as Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Willehalm and Hartmann von Aue’s Iwein. More recently, he performed a lively programme of music composed by the famous Oswald von Wolkenstein. Silvan Wagner grew up in Bavaria and began his studies of music in Cologne. He then continued his studies of German Literature and Protestant Theology at the University of Bayreuth. There he gained a PhD in Medieval German Literature and Language. His artistic activities comprise practical interpretations of classical music as well as medieval minstrel songs. In Bayreuth he created an orchestra of chamber music for plucked instruments. He also directs theatre productions and writes poems and plays. His performances of medieval music combine historical knowledge, learnt commentaries, and musical sensitivity in order to offer both an intellectual and a sensual experience.

Tickets may not be available on the door. Please enquire at the Information and Payments Desk in the Refectory Foyer if you wish to attend this event and have not pre-booked as part of your IMC Registration.

The Last Supper

The Last Supper
Hosted by The Lords of Misrule
Beech Grove Plaza
Wednesday 06 July, 18.30-19.00, 19.30-20.00

This event is free of charge (first come, first served).

The Lords of Misrule are an amateur dramatic society first established over 40 years ago at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York. Over the years they have performed a range of medieval, and occasionally early modern, drama, sometimes in modernised form and sometimes in the original language. They aim to bring out the spirit of the plays, never oversimplifying them, but always making them accessible to a wide audience.

This year, for the second time, they are performing part of the York Mystery Plays. In York, the plays performed on wagons, which are pushed through the city centre. This performance for the IMC in Leeds has been adapted accordingly (it would have been very hard to bring the wagon on the train!).

The Lords are performing play 27 of the York Mystery Cycle, ‘The Last Supper’, historically performed by the Bakers’ Guild. This, to our knowledge, has never been staged as part of the modern revival of the York Mystery Plays. One of the reasons for this may well be the fact that part of the 15th-century text is missing. The exact reason for this is unknown: because it is thought to deal with Christ sharing bread and wine with his disciples, it may have been cut from the play for looking too similar to the ceremony of the Eucharist. The Lords have some experience with these kinds of incomplete medieval texts, however, and what you will see here is a restoration, or rather a re-building, of the missing text, re-using material from other mystery plays cycles from elsewhere in England and the Biblical accounts of the Last Supper. In this way, they do not shy away from what the play may have originally have depicted and its resemblance to Christian worship, but acknowledging from where that ceremony would have derived – from Jesus gathering to eat with his disciples.

An Evening in Al-Andalus

An Evening in Al-Andalus
Performed by Mara Aranda
Hosted by the Instituto Cervantes, Manchester / Leeds
Stage@leeds: Stage 1
Wednesday 06 July, 19.00-21.00

Price: £10.00, via Eventbrite

Mara Aranda celebrates the rich melting pot that is the medieval music of the Iberian Peninsula in ‘An Evening in Al-Andalus’. Jews, Muslims, and Christians wove their fortunes and destinies on Iberian soil, in meetings and court festivities or alongside daily chores. Their music and songs were heard from houses to palaces as well as in streets, squares, and souks; they tell us about festivities, celebrations and rituals, and their intimate feelings. We can also listen to tales of the historical events of medieval Europe. All this has passed as a living testimony, from mouth to mouth and soul to soul, from the time they were created until the present day.

The concert ‘An Evening in Al-Andalus’ showcases the sounds of medieval musical instruments from all over the Mediterranean area.

Mara Aranda is an artist from Valencia with three decades of performing experience in Valencian, Turkish, Greek, Occitan, as well as ancient, medieval, and Sephardic music. Her work revolving around the Mediterranean tradition has resulted in almost twenty records of her own, and she has received numerous awards and recognition from the public as well as expert media.

Tickets for this event can be purchased via Eventbrite. Virtual attendance to the concert is not possible. IMC delegates will benefit from a £5.00 discount on the full ticket price, as indicated on the Eventbrite page. As an IMC delegate, please click on the box for the reduced price of £10.00.