Walk the Oars, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Inspiration taken from the traditional tale by George MacPherson and conversations with storyteller David Campbell
Svend-Erik Engh, Neil Sutcliffe
Running time

Danish storyteller Svend Engh joins forces with Scottish musician Neil Sutcliffe to explore the connection between their ancestors, the Vikings and the Scots, in this beautiful hour of stories, songs and laughter.

Gathering their audience onto a Viking longboat, we begin in Denmark with a young man bound for adventure. He and his Viking men are about to embark on a journey to the Shetland Islands to follow a legacy left by his father. Engh first tells of the boat itself, its size and shape and stature; once the image is there is it hard not to be swept away with them.

On the way across the sea the Vikings share stories and songs to help with the hard work of rowing. Sutcliffe effortlessly guides his audience through evocative call and response song that sets the rhythm of the oars firmly in the mind. Stories are told, songs are sung and the shape of their tale forms around the audience in a little room in the Storytelling centre.

The partnership of these performers and the meeting of two cultures reflects their tales with poetic perfection. The way Engh paints his stories is magical, building a landscape of a simpler time. It is completely authentic with a Danish host speaking Old Norse and a Scottish musician who sings in Gaelic. The pair are wonderful together and their partnership is skilled, keeping their audience quite safe on this Viking adventure.

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.

Until 26th