Theatre Royal, York -until 7th August 2022
Reviewed by Katie Goldsbrough
York Theatre Royal’s community production of The Coppergate Woman begins with the rise of ‘The Coppergate Woman’, played by Kate Hampson, she has been gone for many years and awakens in a glass case in the Jorvik centre. As the Coppergate Woman rises she discovers a world in need of help to help prevent Ragnarök and the end of the world.
The remains of the Coppergate Woman were found between 1976 and 1981 and put on display due to her unusual burial. Writer, Maureen Lennon has used the story of The Coppergate Woman and intertwined it with Norse Mythology.
Through the story we are told Norse Myths which are linked with people in modern times and their troubles. We learn of Fenrir, a great wolf who was bound by the gods after it was thought he would bring an end to Odin. Fenrir’s story is linked with Fern, who has been struggling to leave her house due to having underlying health conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We then meet Sarah, a nurse who has recently lost her mother and has been working none stop due to a fear of breaking down if she gives herself a chance to mourn, her story is linked to Sigyn, the wife of Loki. Loki is imprisoned and Sigyn is forever fated to hold bowl above his head to prevent him being poisoned by the snake which hangs above him.
The final link is Thor who is struggling to walk the path to hell due to fear, an emotion he has never felt before, this is linked to Toms story, Tom is struggling with fear of seeing his brother in hospital, he struggles to find his was inside to visit.
Can these humans come together when Ragnarök arrives to defeat the gods and send them back to where they came and prevent the end of the world.
The Coppergate Woman is well put together, with a choir involved throughout and music mixed with the story telling. It’s an interesting show with mythology cleverly entwined with modern times. The community come together well and it is clear how much effort and enjoyment have gone in to the production and the result is a good one.