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.
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.
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.
In this episode I talk to Svend-Erik Engh, a Danish storyteller, about plans to bring a Folkehøjskole ('folk high school') to Scotland. In our conversation, Svend-Erik shares the origins of Folkehøjskole in Denmark, the role of mythology in learning and the impact this form of education has on students and society. There is some master storytelling here as well, as Svend-Erik shares with us the myth of Odin hanging from Yggdrasil, the sacred world tree.
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
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!).