I'm Svend-Erik Engh -

a Danish Storyteller and storytelling coach based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I have been a professional storyteller for more than 30 years.

I have been a teacher and coach since 1994.

Engh is immensely personable, his easy manner making present hurt of wounds decades or centuries’ old.

WJQuinn in a five star review of the show Once Upon a Time There Was a War

Photo, Alice Fernbank

Brand new Viking Saga about a young Norwegian woman sailing to Iceland

Gullrun's saga -

She Built a Boat

Illustration Tea Bendix

In 980 AD, a young woman named Gullrun with golden hair decided to leave Norway and sail to Iceland. Her father wanted her to marry Svein Bergman, a mountain boy, but Gullrun, a sea girl at heart, found no connection with him. Their engagement party only highlighted their differences.


Determined to forge her own path, Gullrun, set her sights on Iceland, the land of the sagas. There was only one obstacle: she needed a boat!  With her crippled mother’s unwavering support, they enlisted the help of skilled boat builders from the village. Together, they spent the entire winter building a boat and weaving a sail.


Gullrun’s Saga is an original story inspired by the traditional Icelandic Sagas.                In Egil’s Saga, there is a poem that goes, “My mother told them to buy me a ship, a Viking ship with beautiful oars.” These words inspired our tale of Gullrun, as well as the 2018 show called Walk the Oars.


Singer- songwriter Hafdis Huld from Iceland, Glasgow musician Neil Sutcliffe and storyteller/maker Svend–Erik Engh from Denmark/Scotland will bring this original tale to life through storytelling, singing and music, blending traditional and original pieces. 

Scottish Storytelling Festival 2024, 31st October 2pm The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.  

Hilmarfestivalen, Steinkjer, Norway 8th November 

Walk the Oars 

Together with Scottish Musician Neil Sutcliffe we tell a story inspired by the Viking’s arrival in Scotland, with traditional Nordic tales and Gaelic and Scots songs woven into the narrative.

You are invited onboard a Viking Longship sailing from Jutland in Denmark to Shetland in Scotland. A young man sets off to finish his fathers work: to build a causeway out to Law Ting Holm and share his culture with the Shetlanders.

I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t know it was going to be this good

– Lorna Shields

Walk the Oars is a treasure, an ancient oasis of delight in the sea of the modern world. The whole thing is engaging and exciting, and rekindles a semi-lost fire of storytelling

Imogen Rowe, edinburghguide.com


Once Upon a Time There Was a War

Once Upon a Time There Was a War
Commissioned by Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2023

Right To Be Human

The harsh reality of war meets the magic of love songs and art, as Danish storyteller Svend-Erik Engh shares stories from real-life soldiers gathered in a decade of research, whilst musician Mairi Campbell sings songs of peace and love, from the canon of Scottish traditional song and her own writings. Danish artist Tea Bendix illustrates words and music, bringing another dimension to the stories.

5 star review in QR

One of the last events of this year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Once Upon a Time There was a War, brought a touch of magical realism to the topic of conflict. Indeed trying to approach ‘war’ directly is usually a losing proposition, the all-encompasing awfulness of the subject defying definition. So in taking a slightly oblique approach, combining the potent talents of Danish storytellerSvend-Erik Engh, award-winning trad musician Mairi Campbell, and Danish live-illustrator Tea Bendix, the show chooses wisely.

A well judged, well balanced show, Once Upon a Time There Was a War, made a lively, poignant and nuanced meditation.

Danish Folktales

Two five stars Waterstones reviews

“I like the selection”

A varied selection of stories, told with heart and presence. Written in such an accessible way that you feel that you easily can retell them yourself if you should like.

Anna Lundquist

“Gorgeous book!”

This is a wee gem of a book - a fascinating mix of tales from a master storyteller, guiding us through the folklore, history and mythology of his country. There's a lovely mix of the humorous and the serious, love and loss, war and peace - something for everyone in this book! You can lose yourself in it for hours, or just flick through on the bus.

Thoroughly recommend!

Neil Sutcliffe

First five star on Amazon (from someone who bought the book on Amazon)

Unique book

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 18, 2024

Verified Purchase

Lovely book with enchanting stories. Of interest to all age groups. I thoroughly enjoyed them myself and have read them to my grandchildren who were captivated by them.

Ann Hansen

A collection of tales that grew out of the sprawling flatlands, the oozing fjords, the dark forests and the waves that crash on the shores of Denmark.

How a Viking ship carried a future king into Roskilde Fjord, how a mermaid’s laughter brought fortunes to her fisherman host, how the people of Lolland survived a flood with waves 3m high and how a princess found her freedom in becoming a prince.

TV 2 Danmark

Filmen Åge takker af om min fars sidste arbejdsdag, vist TV2 Danmark 1991.

VVV - Venligt Vibrerende Vekselvirkning

Venligt Vibrerende Vekselvirkning (V.V.V) handler udelukkende om historiefortælling og var et begreb, som jeg stillede op engang i 1990'erne, da jeg underviste på Borup's Højskole. Jeg skrev det på tavlen som en modsætning til w.w.w., som voksede voldsomt på det tidspunkt. Jeg har siden skrevet flere artikler om begrebet og det er for mig det nærmeste jeg kan komme en beskrivelse af det magiske, der opstår mellem en fortæller og en lytter (eller flere lyttere!).