It is a tale that has been told thousands of times since first being uttered in the giant banqueting halls of Viking and Saxon England.

So when Brighton-based Barely Human Puppets decided to tackle the epic saga of Beowulf, the task was simple: combine something very traditional with something totally original.

And they succeeded.

Entering via the stage door at Brighton’s Theatre Royal it was clear that this was not to be a run-of-the-mill show.

Directed to a part of backstage rarely seen by members of the public, the intimate setting saw some members of the sell-out audience of 60 sitting on cushions.

The stage was simple, dominated by black drapes with 7th-century designs carefully stitched on.

Narrating the tale was Tom Dussek and, together with his range of voices, the tale was expertly told through a mixture of poetry, puppetry and shadow images.

With some excellent accompaniment from “musical adventurer” Paul Mosley, the Saxon imagery was well and truly thrust on to those present.

From the occasional giggle to terrifying battle scenes, the hour-long show whizzed by. Overall, it was an excellent, modern, family-friendly take on a tale that has lasted longer than the country we call home.

The Saxon storytellers would be proud.