The Story of The Follow the Vikings Performance

Using the life and times of warrior poet Egill Skallagrimsson as inspiration, this Follow The Vikings roadshow is a contemporary portrayal of Egill’s life, combining his story with Viking myth to shine a light upon the important aspects of Viking Culture.

Through a series of vignettes, inspired by significant historical facts as well as drawing on important aspects of Norse Mythology,  twelve different chapters have been created to reimagine Egill’s story.

Egil’s story, or saga as they say in Norse, was written in Iceland in the 13th century and tells of the life of the 10th-century Icelander, Egill Skalla-Grímsson.

Egill is a huge and complex figure – on the one side, greedy, jealous, volatile and violent; on the other, a brilliant poet, acknowledged as the greatest of the Viking Age.

The saga is built up largely around his surviving verses. These verses tell how Egill’s adventures covered much of the Viking world.

We learn through these that he had a simmering hatred of King Erik Bloodaxe, this comes to a head when he is captured and held prisoner in York, England. However while being held in captivity here, he redeems the wrongs he’s made in his life by composing a poem in praise of his once great enemy.

He eventually dies in Iceland, in high old age, but still unapologetically malicious and confrontational.

Through Egill’s poetry we are able, better than anywhere else, to glimpse into the mind of a real, and very remarkable, individual of the Viking Age; and through the prose we can see how people 250 years later imagined him.