Thursday, February 04, 2010

Egil Skallagrimsson Keeps his Head

Violent feuding, cunning witchcraft and poetic resolution make for a thrilling comedy drama commissioned for this February's JORVIK Viking Festival.

Egil Skallagrimsson Keeps his Head is a first theatrical commission for York Archaeological Trust to mark its anniversary JORVIK Viking Festival. The new comedy drama has been written and will be performed by award winning North Country Theatre on 17th and 18th February as part of the week's celebratory Viking Festival.

The high seas adventure tells the part-historical and part-mythical saga of Egil Skallagrimsson - 10th century Icelandic hard man - and how he falls into the hands of his old Viking enemy Erik Bloodaxe. When Egil and his crew are driven up the Humber into Erik Bloodaxe's hands, their days of travelling, trading and trashing seem numbered. But Egil has more strings to his bow (and his harp) than Erik might imagine, using poetry and smarming to get him off the hook with the bloodthirsty King.

North Country Theatre is a not for profit touring theatre and originator of the Olivier Award Winning West End and Broadway hit version of "The 39 Steps". Four actors will perform the hour-long saga at the National Centre for Early Music in York using clever costume changes and puppetry to depict the main characters and crew. The scenery, using mainly wooden oars, has been built by North Yorkshire stage carpenter, Malcolm Wood. The drama is suitable for ages 10 and over.

Sarah Maltby, director of attractions at JORVIK Viking Centre, said, "This is an entertaining drama using the wit and imagination of the North Country Theatre which promises to be a memorable performance. As a first-time commission for the Trust, we're thrilled with North Country Theatre's creativity and interpretation of the saga and expect that it will be a real hit with the audience."

Performances take place at 14.00pm and 19.15pm on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th February. Evening performance includes musical entertainment and a drinks reception. Tickets cost £6 at 14.00/ £12 at 19.15. Pre-booking essential by calling 01904 557208.