Daniel Morden has been a performer for over thirty years. As a professional teller of traditional tales, he has travelled across the world from Hawaii to Hati to Belgium; collecting and sharing his stories.
However, Daniel’s story begins in Abergavenny. Having grown up in Cwmbran, Daniel would often travel to the town to perform at the Gwent Young People’s Theatre, which prompted him to finally settle and make his life in Abergavenny.
Over the course of his career, his stories have reached far and wide, through the medium of stage and radio with audiences spanning across the world – made all the more possible during COVID as people turned to the internet for entertainment.
In a time where many artists struggled, Daniel talked about how he took the opportunity to reach a whole new audience and offer comfort through his familiar tales.
He said: “I would do stories over video call and it was strange because all you could see was people sitting alone, in the darkness of their homes.
“It was great bringing that comfort to people – bringing people back to when they were young and building that connection.”
He has continued to maintain this connection through video calls but now looks forward to returning to the newly refurbished Borough Theatre on Saturday 28 January for an evening of family fun, humour and shocking twists in the aptly named - ‘Happily Ever Laughter...’
“I have performed at the Borough Theatre many times before and it was always an absolute blast!” Daniel shared.
“There were kids, parents and grandparents, lots of people who I knew in the audience and getting to share that experience with them and having a good time... it was the best..”
For this latest ivsit Daniel will be performing beside Oliver Wilson-Dickson, a talented fiddle player, who is providing the music.
“Oli and I met in Gilwern at a folk club many years ago, where he was playing,” Daniel recalled.
“I went up to him and asked if he wanted to pair up – to join my stories and his music together. Since then, we’ve become a partnership.”
Together they have performed in a range of venues from local schools to the National Theatre.
“I love telling stories with Oli because it gets people to join in. The first time we play a song, people clap along, the second- people get to know the melody and by the third, everyone knows the song and can sing it without us leading it. It’s great!”
Daniel hopes this to once again be the case with ‘Happily Ever Laughter...’ as he compares it to a pantomime. “It’s not too dissimilar from a panto! There’s lots of songs and joining in, bad jokes and stories for the whole family, which is what a panto is all about!”
To make this performance all the more special for Daniel, it is being staged to help raise money for the Mayor’s Charity appeal and profits from the show will go towards help to Kharkiv, 7Corners and Cwtch Angels.
Having known Cllr Tony Konieczny for many years, Daniel said that he was proud to be involved and contribute to such a worthwhile cause.
Looking towards the future, Daniel has many new projects and ideas that he is excited to explore this year and Abergavenny remains much of this forcus as March will see his return to the Borough Theatre for a show filled with older and darker stories more suited to an adult audience.