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bardic theater video

Beowulf: The Ethereal Event

Tonight and tomorrow, lovers of spoken word, particularly of epic sagas, can enjoy a live, two-part performance of Beowulf on the East Kingdom’s YouTube channel. This is my first time participating in a live group performance event of this kind. (I have long wanted to, and generally scheduling conflicts and other priorities held sway. I’ll embrace the silver linings of our quarantine year as best I can.)

I’m incredibly excited to be part of an all-star lineup of phenomenal performers from around the Known World, including my teachers, Toki (who’s also directing) and Peregrine, as well as my former Laurel Zsof, my co-champion Grim, his Majesty Tindal of the East, and too many bardic friends to count.

Per the press release:

On November 14 and 15, Beowulf the Ethereal Event will present all of Beowulf, performed live on Zoom. Beowulf the Ethereal Event will feature the talents of 50 performers from 8 kingdoms: East, AEthelmearc, Atlantia, Ealdormere, Meridies, Midrealm, Northshield, and West. The performance being produced by artistic team from Beowulf the Event (East Kingdom, 2011), Beowulf the Roadshow (Pennsic 2011 & 2012), and Njal’s Saga (AEthelmearc, 2017). Beowulf the Ethereal Event will be livestreamed to the East Kingdom’s YouTube channel.

The entire epic will be split into two performances: Saturday night, Nov 14, starting at 7:30 pm; and Sunday afternoon, Nov 15, at 2 pm.

The poem tells the story of the hero Beowulf, who rescues the Danes by killing the monstrous Grendel. He goes on to kill Grendel’s mother, become king, and then—in his old age—must face a dragon. Throughout, he learns lessons about kingship, feud, and the dangers inherent in fighting monsterThe performance will be presented with the natural, organic backgrounds of our homes—bookshelves, workshops, home offices, kitchens, and living rooms. We will tell the story without stage magic, but instead will use the available medium to bring Beowulf into the homes of the audience. While the exact age of Beowulf is not known, the anonymously written poem is the earliest work of full-scale English literature. Beowulf consists of 3,182 lines of poetry. It takes three and a half hours to perform it in its entirety.

Contact Information: Toki Skáldagörvir: tokiredbeard@gmail.com

This is the latest in a series of fantastic live performances by the SCA’s performance community, which have recently included live streams of Henry V (gender-swapped) and Hamlet. This is not an easy time for anyone, but it’s a fascinating time for medievalist performers. Perhaps I’ll see you there.

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