Review: Where the Bear Sleeps

Review of storyteller Nick Hennessey’s rendering of the Kalevala, ‘Where the Bear Sleeps’

The Oxford Culture Review

I confess that until last night, I’d never been to a live storytelling event. While I devoured fairy tales, myths, and legends as a child and have retained a love for the fantastic and inexplicable within novels that I now read as an adult, I’d never had the opportunity to indulge in the group experience of watching an oral rendition of these tales. So when a friend persuaded me to watch Nick Hennessey performing tales from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic and possibly my favourite folk epic, I duly bought my ticket and arrived with a sense of mild apprehension that the event could not parallel the mental images I have of the tales from reading them myself. But from the opening verses I was spellbound, lost in Hennessey’s images of the frozen land of Pohjola and its inhabitants.

Nick Hennessey ⓒ One Big Idea Photography Nick Hennessey ⓒ One Big Idea Photography

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