Creation Song Norse Myths Storytelling

I’m happy to admit that my knowledge of Norse mythology is patchy, but becoming more familiar with what was advertised as a fusion of "ballad song, galdr chant and ancient Eddic poetry" seemed like an opportunity worth taking up. However, I found myself quite surprised to witness a spectacle lacking in nearly all aspects of theatrical accomplishment.

Turned what might have been a three-course meal into pottage

The basic set up of Creation Song Norse Myths Storytelling is a one-woman show, where a storyteller of old takes their rapt audience through some of the foundational stories of an ancient culture. Alison Williams-Bailey as our ‘Skald’ is dressed in flowing robes and carries an imposing antler-topped staff, making her initially convincing. At the show’s beginning, she made an impressive entrance, singing and moving slowly through the audience to take her place.

After this though, the problems began. The stories themselves were difficult to follow, with an unrelenting repetition of the phrases "and then", "and so", followed by the introduction of another character and/or another ancillary detail. This detracted from the thrust of the stories and turned what might have been a three-course meal into pottage. At the level of narrative, this rapid conveyor belt of information was largely lost on me and, I fear, lost on the children the show was partly aimed at.

There were problems with execution too. With frequent mistakes in delivery, the performer often backed up and repeated, introduced accidental spoonerisms or glossed over lines they could not remember with clumsy approximations. Perhaps even worse, the performer on occasion utterly broke from character when things didn’t go according to plan, mumbling ‘need to get that right’ or signalling to a member of the audience with a sternly pointed finger that the door to the theatre needed closing.

Admittedly, there were attempts at humour with anachronous mentions of "steam trains", "estate agents" and jokes about the puppets Sooty and Sweep. If all the references were contemporary, then this breaking of historical conceit might have worked to create a knowing counterpoint between the world of the storyteller and our own. But mentioning 80s ITV puppets and locomotives that fell out of use by the 60s left me wondering what world the performer thought their audience was living in. The result of all these issues was that we never got to know who the character of the storyteller was or was meant to be. And, if you can’t believe in the storyteller, it is much harder to believe in the story.

Overall, this show is in desperate need of a writer and director to achieve variety and clarity at the level of narrative, as well as consistency and purpose at the level of performance.

Reviews by Craig Jordan-Baker

Brighton College, Montague Studio


Sweet Dukebox


The Warren: The Burrow

A Song of Plague

Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)



Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Stories from the Norse myths and legends with ballad song, galdr chant and ancient Eddic poetry. This performance tells the story of the Vanir tribe of Norse deities and their influence on creation. It includes a ritual or sacred marriage which was a symbolic representation of the birth of life in the universe. This tradition was sacred to the elder fertility gods with origins in the megalithic era. This is a theatrical storytelling performance and includes song and chant as well as ritual action. This project is supported by an Brighton Fringe bursary.

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets