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Eternal Love: The Story Behind Abelard and Heloise

Eternal Love tells the story of Abelard and Heloise – the former a twelfth-century pre-eminent theologian and philosopher  and the latter a remarkably intelligent young woman destined to devote her life to God.

Abelard is appointed as Heloise’s teacher in exchange for living with Heloise and her uncle, Fulbert, in their Parisian home. However, Abelard recalls how over time, ‘more words of love than of reading passed between us, and more kissing than teaching. My hands strayed oftener to her bosom than to the pages; love drew our eyes to look on each other more than reading kept them on our texts.’

The story of Abelard and Heloise’s romance does not run smooth, and is a tragic tale of star-crossed lovers intermingled with fiery wit and reasoned debate on the medieval and theological laws governing sex, pregnancy and faith.

Abelard would later record his relationship with Heloise in his work Historia Calamitatum (‘The Story of My Troubles’) and through what he describes as his love letters with Heloise. These provide in-depth insight into the passionate and no-holds love affair the two embarked on, and the distress of their ultimate separation.

What makes the show even more special is that the opening night performance is being promoted as a ‘Pay What You Feel‘ show – the first time in The Grand’s history. For more information on the scheme, see our previous post.

Eternal Love is a story of love and tragedy, lust and faith, the pain and the comic moments of life. With the show here at The Grand until Saturday 15 March, there’s plenty of opportunity to see Shakespeare’s Globe here in Blackpool.

For more information on the show see the event page here

For a discussion on the story of Abelard and Heloise, listen to BBC Radio 4s In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg.

Eternal Love, Grand Theatre Blackpool, Tuesday 11 March – Saturday 15 March (7:30pm & Saturday matinee 2:00pm)