Storytelling is… #2 The Show
Storytelling is… #2 The Show
Right let’s try this. An online show to represent what I will be performing, (though probably nothing like the actual show when the day comes) when I am at Norsk Høstfest, North Dakota State Fairground, Minesota and University of Wisconsin Green Bay in their Viking house.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen
Or should I say, Jarls, Ammadottir Farm-women and, that person over there in the corner.
We are still sat around this fire, as others have. There is a Farm-leader (read that as ‘Village-leader’ because it means the same in our Viking culture). We are timeless.
Shadows cast behind us are larger versions and I shall dance in flickering unison in your mind’s eye while I seek to portray the essence of a relevant storytelling show.
Let us weave through the mysteries of Creation as we see the giant who would become a god, Odin Borrsson, climb that giant tree.
Asgard was to be the city he would build here as a base as he goes out among the worlds on quests.
Power upon power he did gather until he became a god, the god: The All-father god of what had come before and what was yet to come.
The followers of the All-father’s pantheon would come to be described by papal scholars as sea rogues – ‘pirates’ – and so it is that I drink a potion, imagine if you will the small bottle with a label,it said something about being a magical potion but I didn’t read it properly).
So, I got that there like that there and went like that there into that there like that there, there. Then that there is in that there like that there and I went like that there, there.
Well, then I read it properly and it said, magical potion of forgetfulness. So now I can’t remember anything. So I don’t know how I am going to be able to tell you the story. I know, how about I tell you what bits I do recall and you help me remember the rest?
The details shall have to wait till we get together. I shall of course be asking if the voices I do sound right and if the captain really walks like this, then adding in your improvements as I go.
It may well be that group help is needed with the crowd scenes and with any treasure retrieval: Thus, interactive storytelling is unleashed.
We will encounter rare treasures indeed when we travel in our long ships. We will hear other stories:
Let us return from across the Red Sea with tales of three women who weave the threads of our lives.
We may enter a Yurta in Siberia where the hero the three year old golden boy journeys for nine years, and still at three year old, he defeats the nine fathom long necked hempen-haired witch-woman from the eleventh level.He is still three at the end of many adventures when he meets his true father the white stone.
In the bamboo lands we may hear a six thousand year old (first ever documented) report of a close encounter of the third kind.
Listen to the story here, (with many thanks to Donna Kitching for recording my words).
As British folklore, history and culture are woven together I become Hobb.
I am Hobb the pig-man, not that I have any pigs, but you know how you all have a pig in the house don’t you (there are always some nods) and they get in the way; so you push them outside (well they did in my-a-days). Well, I feel sorry for all the pigs so I have them round my house. I am always warm on a night, and I am never short of company. People don’t tend to like me very much, on account of the smell, but the pigs like me.
I take them for walks. On this one occasion one wanders off, ooooo the adventures as a result: I meet mermaids, marry a princess, get swallowed by a whale, get chased by trolls, live in the land of fairy, sail on a ghost ship, summon a unicorn when in dire need, save a king, and now, at the end, get my old job back as the pig man. – ‘Now, where’s that lost pig’…
I recall there are three bears, but I might need a lot of help…
I travel with St Patrick, all of his adventures are mine; we meet all the kings, we sail all the islands, the most chilling of all being the hall of the cat.
There is a great temple-like building in the middle of the island, at this point Patrick’s crew of twelve are still alive and we are out of water, so we must stop. There is no sign of a stream or waterfall but the occupants must survive somehow; we go in.
Gold shines at us. Gleaming. Glittering. All around the walls. The glass roof amplifies the light. All the walls are filled with alcove shelves and all the alcoves are filled with gold. Bizarre gold statues of ordinary everyday things. Oh how our eyes gleam, for some of us more than others: Gold.
Thoughts of thirst are replaced by greed.
Movement is noticed; an ordinary-sized house cat.
There is a circle of pillars around the room, all a little taller than a man, yet flat and empty; except the cat is leaping from pillar to pillar round and round.
A huge booming voice fills out brains, “Take any of the fruit from the middle of the room.” (We hadn’t noticed the fruit till now.) “Do not take any of the gold,” some of our number stepped towards the alcoves, “If you do so you will die.”
Three of our number carried on. They took gold. The rest of us took fruit. We left. We arrived at our ship at the shore. Three carried gold.
The cat came bounding out in large arced silent leaps, right up to us. It leapt right through each of the ones who carried gold. As it leapt through each there was a cloud of dust and then nothing.
The remaining nine of us sailed away. As we sailed in search of another fabled isle Patrick wondered if three of the alcoves now held statues of our companions carrying the objects they stole.
Here is another battle; this time the Vikings won. (With thanks to Graham Scarisbrick for recording my words.)
(NB My show at Norsk Hostfest and in the longhouse at University of Wisconsin Green Bay will be largely Viking and mainly myth.)
I hope you have enjoyed this storytelling show and that the eclectic mixture has helped you get an idea of ways of thinking, techniques and direction for your future sets; I know that I keep working on new ways.