The Telling returns to Lewes with “mesmerising” show about Hildegard of Bingen

The Telling returns to Lewes with their “mesmerising” show about Hildegard of Bingen at St Anne’s Church, the home of an Anchoress who had interesting parallels with Hildegard.
The Telling performing Vision. Photo by Robert PiwkoThe Telling performing Vision. Photo by Robert Piwko
The Telling performing Vision. Photo by Robert Piwko

Leading actor of the stage and screen Teresa Banham (Royal Shakespeare Company) is set to join the critically acclaimed music and theatre company The Telling at St Anne’s Church, Lewes on Sunday 26th November with the “mesmerising” (The Guardian) show Vision by acclaimed playwright/singer Clare Norburn and BAFTA-nominated director Nicholas Renton (Mrs Gaskells’ Wives & Daughters, Lewis, Musketeers).

Vision is an imagined testimony of the extraordinary medieval abbess, Hildegard of Bingen. The show aims to give an insight into the painful and visceral visionary experiences Hildegard suffered throughout her life, covering some of the core emotional moments. She re-experiences meaningful episodes from her past, alongside her haunting and distinctive chant performed live by two singers and a harpist.

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Playwright and singer Clare Norburn explains, “While the script is grounded in research into Hildegard’s life, I was actually more interested in exploring how she experienced those moments than in giving a detailed historical account. So, Vision is 'an imagined testimony' as Hildegard revisits and re-experiences meaningful episodes from her past. It explores questions such as: what did it feel like to be taken away from her family at the age of 8? How did she experience the visions which she referred to as 'the Living Light'? What was the physical experience of her visions? What did it feel to have so much responsibility in an age when women were generally powerless and silent?”

The performance will take place at St Anne’s Church on Lewes High Street. Hildegard did so many extraordinary things in the 12th century. She is well-known around the world for her work and devotion to God. She has interesting parallels with an anchoress who lived at St Anne’s Church the following century. Not much is known about her, but she would have withdrawn on life to focus on God, and lived in cell built into the walls of St Anne’s Church which was recovered during building work in the 1920s. Therefore, it seems apt for St Anne’s Church to host Vision.

An Arthouse Film adaption of Vision was released in 2020 in response to lockdown restrictions and tour cancellations. The film received critical acclaim and was selected by The Guardian as one of their online watching highlights alongside Edinburgh and Salzburg Festivals.

The Telling will tour Vision to three places across the Southeast of England plus Cardiff. The Lewes performance will be the final stop of the tour.

Tickets cost £5-£20 and are available to book online now at