XANTHE Gresham Knight gives a preview performance of her storytelling theatre piece Morgana le Fey to an invited audience at York Theatre Royal's De Grey Rooms on Thursday evening.

She will then take her exploration of the myths surrounding the many faces of Morgana in the legends of King Arthur to the Scottish Storytelling Centre as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The piece is a co-production between Xanthe, York Theatre Royal and Nick Hennessey, first performed in York in 2013 in the theatre’s summer season that featured Mike Kenny's The Legend Of King Arthur in the main house.

Morgana le Fey will head north to Edinburgh this summer for the piece to be developed further in front of an audience. Storytellers do not often have chance to perform their work in long runs, making this an ideal opportunity.

Director Juliet Forster, the Theatre Royal’s associate director, believes the show concerns the quest for love and finding the female voice. "As sister, lover and foster mother to King Arthur, Morgana’s very human passions are rejected time and time again," she says. "As queen, politician, working mother and sorceress, she tries to do it all and fails. Is she trying to do too much? It’s a perennial question."

Xanthe, the show's storyteller and co-producer, reflects on Morgana's story. "The first record of Morgana is as a Water Goddess arriving on a boat with healing herbs for the sick Arthur; then medieval misogyny branded her as the evil force that destroyed Camelot," she says.

"Morgana’s fate mirrors that of women and the environment: both were shoved to the margins. Now, in the midst of today’s feminine revolution, Morgana le Fey, lightning rod of Avalon, takes centre stage at last."

Nick Hennessey’s harp, luminous songs and theatrical defence of Camelot provide a feisty male voice that adds to the show's heart and humour. "There has to be some redemption in the battle of the sexes," he says.

Funded by Arts Council England, Morgana le Fey will run at the Edinburgh Fringe from August 20 to 31 at 5pm during the Scottish Storytelling Festival.

Meanwhile, Catherine Heinemeyer, the Theatre Royal's PhD storytelling student-in-residence, will host a sharing of stories from a group of young people before Thursday's 6pm event.