From the same dynamic duo behind Tougher than the Train, here we have an interactive comedy show for adults with Valhalla Calling. The premise is a simple one - a Viking realises what a barbarian he has been and changes his ways, to not only better himself, but help others along the way. But when his past confronts him, it's down to him to make the decision whether to stay on the path he is on, or embrace his true destiny.
If you love alternative comedy, clowning, Vikings... this one is for you
Elina Oittinen and Sigmund Fosli Lillefjæere created something that was not only comedic, but holistic. Drawing on his experience of meditation and yoga, Lillefjæere creates a very different version of his Viking character Sigund. Unlike the clowning techniques used in Tougher than the Train, in this show we are treated to more audience interaction, props that kept deliberately falling or breaking and a more relaxed character than previously seen. The way he kept challenging the audience's views on spirituality from a Viking's perspective is not only fun and playful, but kept everything simple so he could bounce off everyone's reactions with ease and with a spoilt child-like quality that was charming.
His partner in crime, Ottinen, is the long suffering assistant to Sigund. Her blunt comebacks to Lillefjæere's antics while she despairingly watched from the sidelines with the light and sound technician reminded me of Rowan Atkinson's Blackadder - especially when she calmly and sarcastically throws out some blatantly honest comments to get him to calm down - such as telling him the truth about Vikings actually being farmers and workers of the land, not just the barbarians traditionally depicted. She gives the show balance and backbone when things become interesting - especially when at one point he got us to give him our land as part of a confidence technique. Rather than land, she sets the tone when she throws her trainers at him, encouraging the audience to do the same.
Valhalla Calling was a very strong piece of Finnish Clowning Theatre, despite it being billed as a work in progress. If you love alternative comedy, clowning, Vikings and a holistic way of life, this one is for you.