It started with Vainamoinen, a wise man born old, then came Antero Vipunen, an ill-tempered giant, Aino, beautiful woman, Louhi, hag of the far north….soon the council chamber of Chester Town Hall was peopled with a host of mythical beings and strange creature. and our heads, and imaginations, filled with extraordinary tales of their adventures.
Fire in the North Sky, Epic Tales from Finland, was the Friends’ sponsored event at Chester Literature Festival, a strange choice, I thought, but as it turned out, an inspired one. For this was indeed a wonderful evening of stories, songs and music capturing the essence of ancient Finnish landscapes.
Nick Hennessey was the charismatic storyteller who not only brought life to the words but also, through subtle movement, shape and form to his army of characters. Widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading storytellers, he has been performing these thousand year old tales from Kalevala for 14 years. No wonder he could gather and sweep us all before him on this adventurous journey!
He was joined by three others on a stage atmospherically lit and with a backdrop of panoramic landscapes and portraits from Finland’s past. In traditional dress, surrounded by their range of archaic musical instruments, they made a striking image. . But then the whole of this evening, spent with such talented and charismatic performers, was unforgettable.
See www.adversecamber.org for more details.