Viking: Discover the Legend Performances
- Submitting institution
Brunel University London
- Unit of assessment
- 33 - Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies
- Output identifier
- I - Performance
- Norwich Castle Museum
- Open access status
- Month of first performance
- Year of first performance
- Supplementary information
- Request cross-referral to
- Output has been delayed by COVID-19
- COVID-19 affected output statement
- Forensic science
- Number of additional authors
- Research group(s)
4 - Theatre
- Proposed double-weighted
- Reserve for an output with double weighting
- Additional information
- ‘Viking: Discover the Legend’ is a series of interactive experiences created for the Norwich Castle Museum designed to decolonise the museum space through animating the voices of lesser-known characters and events to complicate and challenge the museum space engagement with history.
The Norwich Castle Museum had commissioned me to design a series of interactive events for the ‘Viking: Discover the Legend; exhibition particularly targeting 18 to 30-year olds, an age group who have proven difficult to attract to the museum’s exhibitions and events. This series included an immersive performance, Shieldmaiden on Viking Warrior Women, a performative tour, ‘A Very Victorian Tour of the Vikings” designed to critically engage audiences with the Victorian Empire building construction of the Vikings that continues in the present, and the creation of an immersive, interactive scavenger hunt, “Plunder Woman.”
In producing this performance-based research, I specifically designed performances to experiment with immersive and interactive methods to both attract new audiences and critically engage museumgoers in challenging understandings of cultural values and societal power dynamics that influence and exploit popular understandings of history.
I created the immersive performance ‘Shieldmaiden’, which intertwines debates surrounding new archaeological evidence of female Viking warriors and Old Norse sagas. The research process involved a performative “decolonising the museum” tour examining the Victorian construction of the Vikings in support of empirical expansion and British national identity, as well as a scavenger hunt including social media and games design techniques into the museum space. This project facilitates research into the use of immersive performance and new technologies to transform expectations of the museum site.
The research findings showed that the use of immersive experience methods proved successful at attracting more diverse publics to the museum. The performances and participatory methods were useful in critically engaging audiences with more complex understandings of history.
- Author contribution statement
- English abstract