Celebrating the Impact of The Vikings.
The Follow the Vikings Roadshow is a unique celebration of the cultural and historic impact of the Vikings. The touring show includes specially commissioned performances by contemporary artists from all over Europe including actors, musicians, dancers and film makers to create a stunning visual celebration of European Viking heritage.
Performed live at 11 significant Viking locations over a two-year programme, which began in August 2017, each show is unique; adding a spectacular and complimentary pan-European experience to an already existing Viking events programme.
Working with staff and volunteers from each participating partner, each location has sought out professional and amateur artists and performers, as well as members of the public, both young and old, to be involved in their local event. These groups and individuals are given the exclusive opportunity to work with our Creative Producer, Craig Morrison, and professional choreographer Anna Katrin Granhus who is touring with the production, as well as specialists drawn from the local region including make-up artists, musicians and dance professionals.
These events will, therefore, be more than just a performance by a visiting troupe of artists. They will support the development of new or enhanced career skills for the professional artists and the partners’ staff. They will support the artists in international co-operation and open opportunities to internationalise their careers. This will also offer opportunities for members of the local communities to acquire new skills that can be used to further their careers in whatever artistic field they wish to pursue.
PLEASE BE ADVISED THE FOLLOW THE VIKINGS ROADSHOW IS SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN AGED 12 YEARS AND OVER
Roadshows Coming Soon
7th February, 2019
The event will be held in the hall 'Portið' at the Reykjavik City Art Museum in Reykjavik on Thursday 7th February 2019. There will be two performances in total at 20:00 and 21:30.
The roadshow will be introduced as one of the highlights of the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival. The performance will include Vikings from the Viking group Rimmugýgur, who will perform in English and Icelandic, along with a group of teenaged dancers.
2nd march, 2019
York’s grand finale performance will take place on Saturday 2nd March 2019 at 17.00, 19.00 and 20.30 in the centre of York, which was the capital of northern Viking Britain.
This final event for the Follow the Vikings project will take place at the end of the JORVIK Viking Festival 2019. York will also host the final seminar for the project on Thursday 28th February which will include a special VIP evening where the work of many of the creative performers involved in the project will be showcased. Following the roadshow there will be a VIP reception for Destination Viking Association Partners and key representatives from across Europe.
Ticket prices are: £5 adult / £3 concession
14th - 18th August 2017
Set within a purpose built reconstructed fort in Warsaw, Jomsborg Fort, the first roadshow event was delivered in Polish with a full cast of Polish actors, drawn from the Jomsborg fort itself. The Fortress of Jomsborg acts as a "living museum" and offers many attractions - historical archery, axe throwing, sword fights, coin making and much else and is officially protected and supported by The State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw.
21st - 25th August 2017
Delivered in English and Norwegian, the Avaldsnes event was staged within a large wooden barn (at the entrance) close to the Nordvegen History Centre. Avaldsnes is called Norway’s Oldest Royal Seat because King Harald Fairhair made this place his royal residence after he had unified Norway in 870 AD. Harald Fairhair died around AD 930, but Avaldsnes continued to be a royal seat for Harald’s descendants for almost 500 years. Among these kings were Eric Bloodaxe, Haakon the Good, Olav Tryggvason, St. Olav and Haakon Haakonsson.
9th - 13th October 2017
The Follow the Viking event in Denmark took place on the 13th of October on Culture Night in Denmark, one of Copenhagen's most well-attended cultural events. When the schools begin their autumn holiday the association Kulturnatten creates a festive evening, where the entire cultural life of the city works together to create joy and inspiration. More than 250 museums, theatres, libraries, churches, ministries and parks throughout the city welcomed the public during Copenhagen's biggest annual one-day event.
31st March. 2018
Taking place in Dublin, Ireland, during Easter 2018, the roadshow was part of a wider festival hosted by Dublinia called Vikingfest, celebrating the cultural and historic impact of the Vikings.
Living history demonstrations, weapon displays, coin minting workshops, as well as Viking ships moored and on display in the River Liffey at Wood Quay all formed a part of this exciting event in the historic amphitheatre at Wood Quay, in the heart of what was Viking Dublin.
Opening the event in style were the Troula Drummers from Catoira, Spain, who welcomed the audience into the Wood Quay with rousing drum beats and fire displays. The production also included electrifying displays from the BIMM drummers (British and Irish Music Institute) who closed all three performances of the show. BIMM is the largest and leading provider of music education in Europe, with alumni including James Bay and George Ezra. Dancers were drawn from the local community and make-up provided by degree students from the Make-up School at IADT (Institute of Design and Technology) who used these make up workshops as part of their credits towards their 4-year degree programme, thus creating a wonderful example of skills sharing. The students were led in the workshops by the specialist make-up artist from the TV production ‘The Vikings’.
The total audience figures for Dublin over the two performances was 1,556.
2nd April, 2018
Waterford Treasures was the host for Ireland’s first International Viking Festival taking place in Waterford City, Ireland’s Oldest City. Taking place across the Easter weekend, the 30th of March to the 2nd of April, the Festival culminated in a spectacularly fierce Viking Roadshow on Easter Monday in the ‘Apple Market’ in the centre of the City. Helping launch the event, Troula Drummers from Catoira, Spain, led great processions of people from Waterford through the streets.
The audience to the roadshow was around 1,400 people.
York Archaeological Trust / JORVIK also worked in partnership with Waterford Treasures to deliver outreach sessions at the Medieval Museum on the 19-20th March 2018. The aim of the outreach was to highlight Waterford’s history as a Viking City (“Vadrafjord”) and its links to York through a series of workshop sessions with local school groups. These drew parallels between the two cities, drawing on place-name and geographical evidence, historical and legendary records, and archaeological evidence from both the Coppergate excavation in York, and excavations done in Waterford and the surrounding area.
11 workshops were presented across two days, to groups of local schoolchildren who were mostly 12-13 years old (two groups were aged 14-15 years old). The level of engagement from the children and the teachers was excellent, despite the fact that many had not been recently studying the Viking period.
The two days in Waterford gave the partners the chance to discuss the very different opportunities and challenges presented by both organisation’s themes and audiences. It was a great opportunity to present and promote Viking heritage in an urban setting, delivering a large number of workshops in a short space of time to a new audience.
The audience for the outreach was over 350 children.
2nd - 3rd August 2018
Held as part of the annual Catoira Viking Festival, the Follow the Vikings event was performed on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd August 2018 in the late evening at Torres de Oeste Fortress, which was built a thousand years ago to repel Viking attacks. At this unique and atmospheric venue, the audience was able to experience the spectacular Roadshow at one of the key locations of the Viking presence in the Iberian Peninsula by the River Ulla.
The roadshow was performed in Galician for the local audience by a cast from the Viking world of Norway, Sweden and Poland; supported by local cast and dancers. For this specially translated performance the lead role of Egil Skallagrimsson was taken by the Spanish actor Pablo Rivero. The shows concluded with a spectacular performance by Troula Animación drummers together with Úrsula Theatre who enacted a version of Ragnarök using drumming, fire juggling and stilt walking.
The roadshow delivered some great press and PR and many local and national publications including: La Voz de Galicia (552.000 readers), Faro de Vigo (249.000 readers), Diario de Pontevedra (34.000 readers) and Galicia Confidencial.
The roadshows were performed to an audience of 2,500 people.
Vikings from York Archaeological Trust / JORVIK delivered extremely successful outreach sessions in advance of the roadshow at CPI Progreso school, where they taught a group of children about Viking Age York. The staff presented to a group of 24 young students aged 14 years with the assistance of the Head of English Studies who translated for the group as and when required. Staff concentrated on subjects such as the Coppergate Dig in York and explained that all the artefacts they showed were based on archaeological evidence. Staff handed out replica objects that they had taken and then performed a short play re-enacting the story of Thor losing his hammer, along with a short story detailing the capture of York. Day two involved the same students partaking in workshops covering battle tactics, medicine and skeleton evidence. In addition, students were taught to finger knit whilst others were taught hnefatafl.
31st August, 2018
Vikingagården Gunnes Gård, Sweden
The Swedish version of the Follow the Vikings Roadshow was held on Friday 31st August 2018 following the Gunnes Gård Annual Viking Market, and was performed in English and Swedish
The location for this performance was an atmospheric exterior; located in the park next to Vikingagården, and surrounded by reconstructed Viking Age houses, burial mounds and forest. Despite the poor weather the audience enjoyed a fabulous performance which also incorporated traditional Viking musician Per Runberg, dancers and storytelling by Jerker Fahlström.
The roadshow at Gunnes Gård was performed to 1,800 people, although the weather was extremely poor and without the rain we had expected about 1,000 more people in the audience. and 3,000 people attended the Viking Market also held over that weekend.
Outreach sessions were provided by Vikingagården in collaboration with partners from Bengtskär (Finland) and Sør-Troms Museum (Norway). Sessions were presented to three different schools to a total of about 150 children, who were aged between nine and eleven years.
One school was a Swedish-Finnish school therefore partners from Finland provided these sessions for around 25 participants. Norwegian partners from Harstad presented to three different classes with 80 participants altogether, plus another two classes from another school with 45 participants. All sessions were supported by partners from Gunnersgard. An outreach session was also presented to a group of 16 elderly Finnish participants; our partners from Finland also led this session.
22nd september, 2018
The roadshow in Harstad was performed on the Saturday 22nd September 2018. There were two performances at 17:00 and 19:00 in Harstad Kino.
The event was co-hosted by Sor Troms Museum and Lofoten Viking Museum and the audience was welcomed by a fantastic performance by the choir from Lofoten Viking Museum, singing a new version of Rolandskvadet. The cast for this performance were drawn from Vikings from Norway, Sweden and Poland, who battled, danced and performed in English and Norwegian.
The event was expanded by the presence of a Viking Market in the town. This included a hands-on outreach handling session provided by York Archaeological Trust / JORVIK who also gained some valuable skills sharing with Vikings in Harstad, learning how to make rope and cord using a technique that employed skittles.
The roadshow in Harstad attracted some 700 people.
24th November, 2018
The roadshow took place on Saturday 24th November 2018 with several performances throughout the day and evening.
It was performed in English at Mareel; the UK's most northerly music, cinema and creative industries centre, operated by Shetland Arts Development Agency. Sited right on the edge of the North Sea on the historic Hay’s Dock quayside in Lerwick beside the Shetland Museum and Archives, Mareel offers a stunning setting for performance, production, studying or just relaxing with a coffee enjoying the view and watching the seals and seabirds bobbing just outside the windows.
List of Artists
Craig Morrison. UK
Mieko Shimizu. Japan
Peter Morris. UK
Audio for Rise to Valhalla
Specialist Ancient Viking Musicians:
Gun Bjurberg. Sweden
Per Runberg. Sweden
Corwen Broch. UK
Kate Fletcher. UK
Gullfoss performed by Skvalthr.
(c) Kjell Braaten Music
Specialist Traditional Craftsmen
Tablet Weaver: Anna Madejska. Poland
Jonathan Atteridge. UK
Hartung and Trenz. Germany
Ant Dickinson. Spain
Cecilia Westerberg. Denmark
BJarni Svanur Friosteinsson. Iceland
J.J. Jamieson. Shetland
Palle Malmros. Sweden
Pilot Theatre. UK
Bjorn Jakobsen. Sweden
Ann Kathrin Granhus. Norway
Damian Dibben. UK
Craig Morrison. UK
Please see each location for particulars
Please see each location for particulars