Last night we watched A Viking Christmas at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham. We were given complimentary tickets in exchange for telling you about it, and I’m pleased to tell you it’s a fabulous show!
The story follows Lotte, a brave little girl, on her mid-winters adventure as she travels through the ice-covered kingdom of perilous, mystical places and mysterious beings, to the land of high castles and dark places, to the home of the Red Caps and the All-Father.
The story is narrated by Runa the Skald, who helps the magical tale, scattered with mildly political jokes and a good spattering of local knowledge.
Before the show, youngsters are encouraged to forge a Viking shield for protection on the journey ahead. My boys loved making their shields (all materials provided) and James also made a beautiful slice of wood into a Viking Christmas tree ornament with his name written in Norse script. Viking crafts are available in Queen’s Hall library on a drop-in basis until Friday 27th December between 10 am and 2 pm.
A Viking Christmas is a Christmas show which was inspired by the thrilling myths of Northumberland. It was created with a focus on celebrating the very best North East creative talent. Providing meaningful employment for regional creatives, including a wide range of cast and crew was a key goal for the team at Queen’s Hall from the beginning.
The players are all mostly full on Geordie, with Jim Kitson, who plays the All-Father seeming to be born to play the role – he was slightly scary and sometimes funny; mostly wonderful. You might recognise Jim from Vera, but I bet you wouldn’t guess who the All-Father really is at the beginning of the play.
If you are looking for a Christmas show that you haven’t seen before, this could be it – you won’t have the Dame or the pantomime horse, but the laughs and storytelling are brilliant.
As we arrived at the Queen’s Hall we were thrilled to catch sight of some ‘real’ Vikings who are volunteers, dressed up and raising money for Brain Tumor Research.
The exciting new production opened on 13 December and was written by North East playwright Gary Kitching. A Viking Christmas is a magical, mythical tale of the Great Warriors of the Kingdom of Northumbria.
I would say this was a show suitable especially for children aged six plus who will enjoy the hilarious silliness of the Red Hats, and be thrilled by the exciting fighting of the Great Warriors and Lotte! Noah (who is just turned five years old) was a bit scared by the creepy tree troll and crawled onto my knee for a while before the action returned to being magical and funny.
There are no loud bangs, no intrusive smoke or flashing lights, or thumping music. There are lots of laughs to be had, and some of the jokes are totally spot-on for a seven-year-old’s humour level. This morning my boys have been practising “helping each other up” and trying to talk like the Red Hats.
A Viking Christmas is at the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham from Friday 13 December until Saturday 28 December.
Tickets start at just £10.00 and are available from the Queen’s Hall Box Office 01434 652477 or www.queenshall.co.uk/events/viking-christmas