“Viking Hall” planned for Castle car park  

With the organisers of the Shakespearean Rose Theatre eager to return next summer for a repeat performance, it looks like they may have to dislodge Viking invaders first.

The York Council is reporting that they have been approached to provide a Viking themed theatrical experience which would include a Viking Great Hall and courtyard theatre “creating an immersive performance space with a capacity of approximately 100 people per show – with 360-degree sets, live actors, and special effects”.

The installation would also include a Viking themed homestead featuring food and beverage outlets, box office, sheltered and unsheltered seating, entertainment and demonstration stage and the potential for a craft and skills market.

The Council says this would involve the closure of the Castle Car Park to create a new area of “high-quality public realm”. Work on an alternative car park – a multi storey on St Georges Field – has not yet started.

The Rose theatre benefited from one of the warmest and driest summers we have had since the second world war. The test for outdoor attractions always comes with poorer weather. Time will tell what type of events are sustainable near the Castle.

As for the Viking Hall, our predecessors from Scandinavia were famous for their love of the arts. Many a happy evening was spent sitting next to an open fire sipping buttermilk and listening to the harps, lyres and lutes.

They might occasionally drink ale and mead, prompting the following poetic warning

Less good than they say
for the sons of men
is the drinking oft of ale:
for the more they drink,
the less they can think
and keep a watch over their wits.

Beers in those days were much weaker than today.

If the Viking Hall operators hope to get a license for their establishment, no doubt they will restrict sales to Kaliber and the like (No I didn’t think so either)

The Viking Hall would be open between January and May.  January to March is a notoriously quiet time in the York City centre.

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