From Nick Bantock

Date posted: November 27, 2018


There is a danger in listening to an author talk about his work, mostly because explanations, read ahead of time, are likely to act as a tourniquet on the experience. That said, I’ve been asked to say a few words about the underlying themes that pre-occupied me whilst I was creating the Griffin & Sabine books…

Griffin & Sabine is a journey, a love story, a fairy tale, and metaphysical mystery. It has many themes and myths woven into both text and imagery, most of which can be summed-up as, “the pursuit for internal balance.” That’s balance in both the Jungian sense of the coming together of anima and animus, and the alchemical notion of a chemical wedding.

Griffin longs for a perfect, mystical, soul partner to ease his loneliness and keep at bay the incubus that haunts his nights. He is oppressed by a history of loss and is struggling to climb out of the bleak bunker he’s been hiding in. Sabine exists in a semi-substantial idyll that she too is trying to emerge from. For her Griffin is the embodiment of physical striving and passion, and she needs his love if she is to become tangible.

Griffin and Sabine both long for wholeness, but only together can they resist the threat that hovers over them in the form of Victor Frolatti, a dark soul with a vested interest in keeping them apart.

As for the art, it’s far from being illustrational and subservient to the text; the images tell half the story from an intuitive perspective, rather than through the linear arc of language.

Each of the books begins and ends with a sliver from W B Yeats:

Turning and Turning in the widening gyre

The Falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…

This poem became my touchstone, because the pylons Yeats planted were buried amply deep enough to carry a weight far greater than anything I could build upon it.

And, if you are still in your seats after that overly intellectualized summary, then forget everything I just said, and please give yourself over to the tale as it unfolds on stage.

Nick Bantock
Nick Bantock was schooled in England, has a BA in Fine Art and moved to Canada in 1988. He’s authored 30 books, including the latest, Dubious Documents. His groundbreaking Griffin & Sabine trilogy was on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years, selling five million books in 13 languages. In 1995 he received a BAFTA Award, along with Peter Gabriel, for the CD Rom version of Griffin & Sabine. Nick’s art has been exhibited worldwide, he’s worked in a betting shop in London’s East End, trained as a psychotherapist and been a committee member responsible for selecting Canadian postage stamps.

PHOTO – Matthew Edison & Yoshié Bancroft in rehearsals for Griffin & Sabine. Photo by Peter Pokorny.