|Jóhann Jóhannsson og Lilja Nótt Þórarinsdóttir leika nánast öll hlutverk sýningarinnar.|
A group of students registered on the Medieval Icelandic Studies/Viking and Medieval Norse Studies Programme went to see this production at Harpa Concert Hall in May. The play will be shown daily over the summer – and the students recommend it enthusiastically.
Two of them have written a short review about this experience:
„Icelandic Sagas - The Greatest Hits is a hilarious and engaging play which appeals to newcomer and saga enthusiast alike. If you have never read a saga, this is a great machine-gun introduction to some of the most well-known sagas of Iceland, told in a highly abridged but memorable way. Those familiar with the stories will appreciate the comic spin and raunchy gags thrown in, and will have fun trying to spot which details they change and which ones are ridiculous but true.
The two stars of the show are extremely talented and welcoming, and will blow you away with their command of the English language.
I highly recommend this production to any visitor (or resident!) of Iceland, short-term or long-term – if you see just one production during your time here, make sure this is it."
Hannah Lois Lomas:
„Covering 40 sagas in 75 minutes is no small feat. Especially when your audience is either brand new to the topic and unfamiliar with naming conventions; are scholars of the subject who know the texts in depth, their subtexts and the contexts of their existence; or are even Icelandic themselves and have learned the stories growing up, knowing them to be an essential part of their heritage. How do you make a joke out of this?
The show is a marvel and there's something in there for everyone to grab onto, taking a little piece of Iceland home with them.
In fairness, the matter-of-fact-ness of the sagas can strike you as ridiculous at times, and at other times they are simply outright absurd. This encourages the actors to be over the top, so even what has the potential to be an inside joke can strike a chord with “newbies.” Of course some of the sagas receive more attention than others, especially Brennu-Njáls Saga. This makes sense, since it is identified as the crown jewel of the collection. The outcome could potentially be that this is the only plotline the audience will remember in two days’ time. It’s the one, if any, that you should know (at least according to common Icelandic belief). The pace of the show reflects many of the sagas themselves and leaves you with a sense of curiosity. It also goes some way towards explaining the fluorescent trainers the actors sport as they run up and down the hurdlers’ track between the audience row, occasionally pulling you into the fraccas."
Here is a link to the official website of the production.