Vikings of East Anglia
After delving into the history of Norfolk and Suffolk in the 17th & 18th centuries with our Holmes and Kable and Thetford Assizes projects, we decided to go back a little further… okay maybe a lot further! The ‘Vikings of East Anglia’ is our latest project (obsession!) and what we have discovered is truly fascinating. Mainly because, everything we think we know about Vikings turns out to actually be rather inaccurate.
Vikings of East Anglia
With word spreading in the local area about our remarkable work on the Holmes and Kable story and Thetford Assizes Court, we were approached by the Breckland Rivers Fen Edge and Landscape Partners. This passionate organization aims to promote the rich history and captivating landscape of East Anglia. Together, we embarked on a collaborative project called ‘River Raiders.’ During the Viking era, the rivers of East Anglia and the Brecks played a significant role in trade, travel, and even pillaging. At that time, Thetford held the prestigious title of being the capital of East Anglia and the sixth-largest conurbation in England!
Our task is to bring the history and landscape to life for the entire community using immersive theatre. Inspired by the highly successful Holmes and Kable project, we divided our efforts into two parts:
Dave Griffiths as Ulf
Firstly, we developed an engaging Key Stage 2 education pack, tailored for year 6 pupils. This pack delves into the story of early trading encounters, peaceful settlements, raids, and eventual invasions and conquests. The PowerPoint pack consists of six lessons, guided by two Scandinavians who accompanied the early Viking traders and amazingly look remarkably well-preserved despite being over 1,272 years old. In lesson 4, pupils receive an exciting surprise visit from our two Scandinavians: Odger and Ulf, who quiz them on their knowledge. The duo also presents a brief segment on Saint Edmund and Sweyn Forkbeard, bringing these influential historical figures to life, particularly their close ties to Thetford.
Secondly, we have crafted a captivating play centered around Vikings in East Anglia. This play was performed during the Dragonfest weekend at West Stow, Grimes Graves, and on the Thetford market square.
Exciting times lie ahead! The education pack has been distributed to schools, and the play had its big debut on Thetford market square, 17th June 2023 5pm. Stay tuned for more performance dates as this project develops, and keep an eye out for Odger and Ulf, who might be seen roaming around town!”
Steve Graves as Odger