Happy Times at Høstfest

Happy Times at Høstfest; some fun films and iconic imagery here we go…

There is a link to the full story at the foot of the blog.

Heidi travelled to Sweden to learn her skills with a promise to travel within the US Viking community.

There were activities for children,and everyone else who wanted to have a go.

There are such things as Trolls.

Menominee reconstruction in child size (I really wanted this)…

Carding flax into linen ready for weaving and eventual ironing

Joie’s stall (With singing in the background)

I didn’t manage to catch the Regia Anglorum display area which was brilliant, but here is the side stall.

Beads and Pins

Some bone pins

Through the walk way is an even bigger festival, covering anything and everything American Scandinavian. There are about 15 stages, and lots going on. I was invited to take part in the rope making.

Byebye Høstfest

A bit of reading for along the way

 

Lots of exciting ideas for activities

https://hostfest.com/experience/viking-village/

Veikko’s Quest the full Finnish story

Balagard Festival

A visit to Njardarheimr Viking Town in Norway

 

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

 

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

 

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Gathering in a circle with the theme of stories is more ancient than we would generally imagine and yet is totally relevant.

Circles as part of a festival can be mainly a safe environment for people to listen and to input to a degree. A safe environment to share with the storyteller. So the element of being a show continues somewhat. This kind of environment tends to attract young adults and teens although does work for all ages.

Indeed single people who are not always confident at going out on a night or into bars will be attracted to such circles as something they feel happy within.

There is always the opportunity to share and sooner or later most people do. There is no better time for a circle than after a workshop or series of workshops. It is something to work towards. Somewhere to celebrate.

Circles empower and give confidence.

As well as working towards a solo performance at a circle there is the opportunity to share group work.

The Yggdrasil chorus with taking turns to epitomise elements of the worlds is a good example.

As is a multinational story where everyone translates into their own language a line at a time; always goes down great.

A story in the round from prompts can be great fun.

A trigger phrase also is good IE “I am that Viking who…” (fill in the gap) – “and I…” People can always pick up on it when they are ready.

I am often told I am a great teacher and when I question they say I teach by example. My storytelling is stimulating, my approach is encouraging.

Having an expectation of those around you can lead to miracles.

Here we have a safe environment not only for telling a tale but for discussion. A great place for feedback; both ways.

Suggestions can be made.

Ideas can be practiced.

Discussion prompted by a circle often leads to the group working together to help each other.

I usually start off with a batch of stories before developing the circle further.

 

As with shows, lectures, workshops the circle part of the package empowers the individual; to feel better about their skills, to better understand the process and to be more able to tell.

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

 

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

 

Storytelling is…

 

Holding the attention

Making everyone feel four again

Embracing culture, heritage, nature

Embracing.

Ritual, history, memory, family, conversation

Reinventing without losing

Creating from what we have

Cherishing

Establishing, guiding, nurturing, directing

A magical, empowering, captivating,

breath taking, energising experience

Nothing new, ancient always

That which was, in the now,

in a new and old way all at once

Forever respectful

Universal, singular, local, specific, worldly, oral

Perfect yet fluid

 

Sit down at the metaphorical fireside

You, are a storyteller

 

 

Adrian Spendlow

 

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

 

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Storytelling is… #10 The Links

LH – Living History characterisation tips for re-enactors – My most viewed blog.

A modern continuation of the Viking mythos, I scribble, artists from all over the world replace my images – The Hammer FliesOski and the AmuletThe Horned God and the Wild Hunt

Facts and Fiction storytelling magazine – I am grateful for so much from this by post magazine – in particular the Storytelling is.. poem is published there – The comic strip too.

I cannot wait to get to this amazing festival to perform…NHhorizontalheadline

http://hostfest.com/ – https://www.hostfest.com/experience/viking-village/

I am also looking forward to going on from there to University of Wisconsin Green Bay where I will be lecturing, running workshops and storytelling in their Viking longhouse. https://www.uwgb.edu/viking-house/

I have written prose poems and travelogue pieces as Skald to the Chieftain  click here for the beginning of the series and then click ‘Next in the current series’ on each of the 26 blogs on the topic!  The start of the skaldic writing links

I was commissioned to create an ‘It happened to me’ performance for school children attending Cliffords Tower on the effects of the Normans. Click here to enjoy the blog which is written in the style it was performed.

Under the wing of Viking Comics Inc. comes the quirky series OldMan Comics, here is a link to one of those where I actually change the course of the battle at Hastings, (oooops sorry OldMan does).

I actually am Hobb the Pig-man, originally created for a commission for Barley Hall in York ‘he’ tells tales from a medieval point of view. ‘He’ has also worked on many projects for Scarborough’s Create and here is a project created for the Fossil Festival. Fossils? Yes cos it is Hobb. Hobb the Pig-man, he has also been Hobb the Night-guard and here he is as Hobb the plough boy.

A big thank you to actor Graham Scarisbrick for voicing this piece from my, soon to be released, audio play – The Boat Rises – Click below to hear A Viking Trojan Horse…

 

 

 

Actor Donna Jones, (for those of you who know her, aka Donna Kitching), voices here, the possibly, first ever documentation of a UFO encounter, (of the third kind), in a six-thousand-year-old folk tale; The Bamboo Babe.

 

 

 

 

One of the most interesting jobs I’ve been given was to be paid to sit in pubs listening to people telling me stories. Hundreds of fascinating stories came from the experience, you can read them here.

The main tool I used to stimulate anecdotes was a set of prompt cards. You can see those prompts here.

I am always pleased to be able to work with Alda and to promote her music. Here is a link to her single A Real Good Time.

And of course her sister’s company SigRun Viking Art & Design.

The three of us together produced Alda’s Rock Opera Gods Bless Ya!

For my multinational stories I reduce a popular story to a few lines so those of many countries can help tell the sagas in a nutshell.

One of the roles of the Skald is to host Opening Ceremonies.

 

The Series…

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 3 Being Skaldic

 

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

 

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

red hat

 

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

You are a storyteller of great renown – it has been posited and it will be so

(If anyone can think of a way of describing my pontifications I would love to hear.)

There are proud moments though.

(You should strive to posit so, it may even be an expected role of the storyteller.)

Think.

Embrace.

Story.

Proud moments yes.

Odin was a giant.

He sought power.

He was Borrsson.

The All-father thing. It is all timeless and mixed up. This is the gods, they can be from whenever they wish.

One of the Vanir wasn’t even born when he turned up at the God-swap with the Aesir.

These are the things which I think in the dark of the night and these are the things I fit into my stories. Think of things for yourself, these are your things.

Those proud moments.

There on the tee vee is a pal of mine. He is telling the world of how his team of archaeologists have definitely recovered the bodies of Roman-age York-based gladiators. Next thing I know he is calling ‘hi’ across the street and I am going to him to thank him for a great presentation. They are hoping to find the arena so I commented that many Roman features were still around when the Vikings arrived; they commented on the roads, they will have utilised bathhouses and a temple as a palace. If there had been an arena they would have used it as their all-ting (circular government). He looked really excited at this and said when they find it the first thing he is going to do is look for Viking-age items.

Another archaeologist friend was very interested in my thoughts on Lindisfarne. I had picked up a tourist guide and saw it mention the 1500 Scottish Border Report which stated there was a large hidden natural harbour which could house a whole fleet as it prepares to invade. I pointed out that if it could hold ships then it could hold long ships and perhaps the Vikings hadn’t just raided the monastery they had set up camp there to do raids of the mainland. The next thing I know my friend has promoted a talk on a whole new look at the Vikings on Lindisfarne.

Proud moments yes, new lines of thinking too.

Adaptability is important. Places and events want storytellers. They have a theme or a period of time. You get some strange requests. So one needs to put stories and elements of stories together. A fitting set list.

The composite – the gathering of the information and the melding into one tale.

This can be a string of known tales but once you have researched the topic (within your own know how as well as in your sources) you may well have a collection of snippets and so. Folklore, history, characters. The most common way I weave these together is in an ‘It happened to me’ style. This works well in performance and allows one to ‘hide’ behind a persona. It is easier to act things out if you are a character.

You will need a fitting costume however.

Or at least a hat. Perhaps a few.

The sagas are bitty, the myths especially so. Partly due to being patched together from many sources and partly due to being frozen in time. I love a good index. Kevin Crossley-Holland comes to mind. His work on myths is a good source.

By working through all the references to a particular character or topic within the index you can piece together a fuller picture. Then you can see ways to tell. Stories leap out of your research and juxtapositioning. All new and always.

Vikings: We only have so much material and it is laid out in a certain way and we need to explore what we can do with it.

We can try and reach back to the teller of the time and try to gain their skills by studying thoughts of their motivations.

Let us look at their whole empire, the stories from it all are often hidden within the myths.

Let’s see what can be dug up.

I don’t sing. I don’t play an instrument (except the cave harp). I love to work with music. It changes everything. And with singers too. Melding my stories and prose poems in with their ballads etc.

In the Gods Bless Ya! show my stories set the scene for the songs of Alda Raven and I seek to fill in any gaps in the flow of narrative. I also perform her words (yes, I admit to the use of a script!). SigRun Viking Art & Design create the costumes and supply the models to be the goddesses, part of my job is to create a narrative to accompany them; to get the timing right and to direct their actions subtly.

Thus are stories dramatized.

We can take part together and play roles and allocate parts.

Re-enactment groups post up a story and say who would play which part? IE The priest was very angry about this and stormed off to the sea captain. The sea captain agreed a fee to ferry him and waved him aboard his ship bound for Normandy. You volunteer and you go along. Except for the odd word or two shouted from the field it is crowd scene acting with a narrator over the tannoy.

The ways the storyteller can be utilised, the roles expected, bring me to the idea of the skald.

I haven’t so much looked at the history of the Skald, as at the necessity of the Skald, by being one.

I have looked at skaldic verse with its beats and echoes and, of course, the kennings. It is believed that they were written in such a way you would not fully understand on the first listening, but then the Skald would tell the stories which are referred to in their poetry and then read the piece again. That way on the second listening the audience would understand.

As modern-day Skald to the Chieftain I have many roles, as we are seeking to echo Viking-age life as clearly as possible. I write praise poems for my chieftain and to mark occasions.

Practicality leads one towards storytelling and uses those skills as part of the needs of an occasion.

Leading parades with my chieftain. Opening festivals, markets and events. Collating other performers and introducing them along with course leaders etc. Acting as presenter at events and as entertainer at feasts.

Providing performance opportunities for members of courses and circles. Creating group dramas.

I find that circles draw in teenagers and young adults more than any other age which is very refreshing, they have seen the shows and want to experience more.

Getting others involved can be great fun. The walk by at opening ceremonies has caused great fun. As I talk of leather working classes a glamourous presentation of their produce parades back and forth in front of me. When I announced the timber has arrived for the new constructions two men with a plank hanging down between their legs groan their way across the arena. People clamour to take part with ideas of how to promote their activity. As I say, “Visitors are invited to take part in the Glima at their own risk,“ a huge wrestler whistles as he carries a ‘dead’ body.

The multi-national stories go down far better than I ever expected they would. I strip a saga down to a few dramatic sentences and then invite people of different nationalities or dialects to stand alongside me and translate one after the other. Great fun seeing them all acting it all out.

It is always an honour to be asked to take part in a ceremony; be it a naming day, a wedding, or an event blessing. I may accompany my chieftain’s activities with a relevant poem or tale. I might utilise the mead horn, statues, a mirror bowl, the chanter’s chair or the threads of the Norns.

One ancient tradition which must be respected is to do what the participants wish.

I am reminded of the words of Jane Harrison in Ancient Art and Ritual where she talks of the 1 2 3 of existence. The one being you. The two is you and the world and the three is: you perceiving the world, the world effecting you and you reacting to that. We are destined to perform ritual.

So, what is a Skald – imagine you are a chieftain – what do you want from me?

And so to my greatest powers; example and expectation. As simple as that, my work is inspiring and I have an expectation that you will be involved and develop.

You will grow and be

I am not an academic, I am not a reenactor, I not even a Viking if I am truthful; I am a storyteller. I seek to be true to the past I am part of and I seek to be very very good. I give you part of what I am and I ask you to be ready.

As we are drawing to the close of this section of the series I would remind of story points; you can’t do a story unless you have them. Slot them in a row in your mind and you are ready.

The next section of this series will be the feature on techniques. For groups and those intending to join one of my groups I would suggest the techniques section is looked upon as a hand out, a guide, to help empower you so you can help shape the sessions.

As for endings, look at some of ‘my’ endings. I lean towards throw away, I am not very strong on morals if you see what I mean and I find punch-line type endings take away from the believability.

As we draw to a close on the lecture and move on to the techniques section it is best to reiterate; I have always found that performance example inspires and encourages people.

To summarise my personal feelings, ‘Oh no I am going to have to learn all of this.’

 

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

 

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

hob tent

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Adrian Spendlow

Storyteller – Poet – Writer – Presenter

adrianspendlowblog.com

I work widely to commission for performance and for display and publication.

I act as team leader and contributor for community based projects.

I am personal Skald to the chieftain of Viking Valley, Gudvangen, Norway.

I have written extensively from the experiences of many different groups within society: with prisoners, widely with the homeless, the elderly and those with mental health needs etc, (my background as a staff nurse in mental health continues to be an influence).

Festivals such as the Jorvik Festival and many schools have used me to draw inspiration from the thoughts and ideas of children to create displays, performances and publications. Outcomes are vital and I always seek to maximize the results in terms of displays, features and publications. I work with bands at many festivals, writing poems for each performance.

I have worked for many organizations including;

Archer Project in Sheffield

Beningborough Hall

Cape UK

City of York Arts and Culture

City of York Library Services

City of York Parks and Gardens

Hull and District MIND

Jorvik Viking Centre

Joseph Rowntree Trust

Leeds Museum Services

Peaseholme Centre for the Homeless

SigRun Viking Art & Design

Stockeld Park

Stockton Museum Services

The Poetry Society

We Are Theatre

York Archaeological Trust

York Festival of Light

York Literature Festival

York Museum Trust

York Stars

York Theatre Royal

I regularly perform at Festivals, both nationally and internationally, and at residential homes, schools, community groups, prisons and safe houses.

Past Festival performances include;

  • Gudvangen, Norway
  • Lygra, Norway
  • Jelling Festival of Mythology, Denmark
  • Beverley Music Festival
  • Buxton Fringe
  • Edinburgh Fringe
  • Glastonbury
  • Henley On Thames Festival of Music and the Arts
  • Ilkley Literature Festival
  • Jorvik Viking Festival
  • Otley Black Sheep Festival
  • Musicport World Music
  • Rollercoastival
  • Scarborough SeaFest,
  • Teesside University
  • York Festival of Storytelling

Much of my work, particularly for schools, museums and the community has been commissions, where I have developed interactive mixed media projects through research upon the commissioner’s chosen theme.

Projects include.

  • Action Towards Inclusion Team Leader and contributor empowering those with mental health needs utilizing storytelling to develop confidence and discover new directions.
  • Home to York; community based project leading to an exhibition of story related art with live performances, filmmaking and digital displays.
  • Centre establishment for the new Peaseholme Centre involving text with art and core philosophy development.
  • Circles and shares for many years at various establishments particularly around York.
  • Team Leader and performer for I’m Here project with an occupational theme around community homes resulting in a display, film and digital portfolio.
  • Storytelling courses, circles and courses at Viking festivals and schools in Norway and the UK.
  • Story walks created and performed for Bjorgvin Marknad near Bergen.
  • Community placement at Jacobs Well, York resulting in a publication of poetry relating to Alzheimer’s for circulation around doctors surgeries.
  • Collaborations with several artists and digital media artists to create text/poem/story integrated with their art including
      • Gods Bless Ya! Rock Opera with Alda Raven and SigRun Viking Art & Design.
      • Legendary; story and song duo with Olivia Jayne Newton.
      • Slim Knows Time fifties and sixties beat poetry band.

 

  • Co-writing / recording / narrating the Spendlow’s York series featuring Romans, Vikings, The Minster, Viking sculpture including the development of Christianity in early Britain and York Castle.
  • Week day residency on the Jerry Scott show; Radio York for three years.
  • Poet in residence at the Jorvik Centre for York Archaeological Trust; also many interactive projects within Coppergate Square and St Sampsons Square at their festivals.
  • Blind and Partially sighted tours and placements also incorporating other areas of need
  • Tourist walks for language schools and party bookings.
  • Access All Areas Music Awards, Presenter, London.
  • The Kirklevington Stones Project for Stockton Museum Service.
  • Student placements from York University for specific one to one projects.
  • Greek Myths and story development projects for St Olaves / St Peters schools.
  • The Viking Banner Project for York Archaeological Trust in cooperation with Arts Action York and artist Jo Pullar.
  • Many commissions for the Jorvik Viking Festival including Road to Ragnarok.
  • Andvari’s Gold Nordic myth CD for Jelling Dragon international sales site.
  • The Dolly and the Riverboat for York River Festival, (working closely with the Keelmen and descendants) Scenic sculpture with story and poetry.
  • Watery Tales initially for the York River Festival.
  • Streets Alive Concrete Poetry – interactive pavement art.
  • At Adrinskald’s Table for the Winter Festival, York.
  • Slavery for Arts in MIND, Hull, with school placements and a Ferens Gallery showing.
  • Light of an Ancient City for the Festival of Light.
  •  World War II reminiscence project, We Are Theatre.
  • Read All About It leading to a publication of people’s stories.
  • Ales and Tales, story gathering project for City of York Council resulting in a display of two hundred plus stories.
  • Yorkshire Folklore projects for Analogue.

 

Director for Telling Arts Community Interest Company.

A project with Telling Arts saw us creating an island in text, poetry, story, art, artefact and structures directly from the imaginations of the pupils of School in Nottingham.

 

Corporal Nym and Gloucester in Shakespeare’s Henry V for York Stars.

Branwell and the Brontes dramatized reading production

Oscar Wilde in a dramatized reading production

Dickensian narrator for We Are Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol

Maskerade and Mort by Terry Pratchett for We Are Theatre

Loonie Old Witch in the Footlights Theatre’s production of Robin Hood

Cameo role as Punch in We Are Theatre’s production of Pinocchio

The king in Kingdom of Neversleep, interactive storytelling show

 

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

red hat

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,potionit 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 theregoblet like that there, there. Then that there is in that there like that there and I went like that there, there.that

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.norns blue

We may enter a Yurta in Siberia where the hero the three year old golden boybabe 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.hempenHe is still three at the end of many adventures when he meets his true father the white stone.stoneslogan

In the bamboo lands we may hear a six thousand year old (first ever documented) report of a close encounter of the third kind.bamboo

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.

Step with me now into Hobb and the Normans.

Now be chilled by spirits of the past.  

Gods and Goddesses and their place in the tales. 

They say the Vikings ended before the battle of Battle (known as the battle of Hastings). See how I brought them back.

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.