Image courtesy
Image courtesy

Sagas of the Icelanders

Delve into themes of love, honour, exile and magic with writer and scholar Kári Gíslason, actor Eloïse Mignon, and musicians Erkki Veltheim and Aviva Endean

The Icelandic sagas date back a thousand years: vivid stories that are redolent of ancient pagan tales yet also strangely modern. Told in spare, swift and poetic prose, the sagas capture a society in negotiation with itself, filled with strong-minded characters who had fled kingly Europe for a new society on the fringes of habitable land. What can we learn from their deep-thinking storytelling today?

Reading resources

Kári Gíslason


Dr Kári Gíslason is a writer and professor of creative writing and literary studies at Queensland University of Technology. He was awarded a doctorate in 2003 for his thesis on medieval Icelandic literature. Kári’s first book, The Promise of Iceland (2011), told the story of return journeys he’s made to his birthplace. His second book was the novel The Ash Burner (2015). He is also the co-author, with Richard Fidler, of Saga Land: The Island of Stories at the Edge of the World (2017), which won the Indie Book Award for Non-Fiction in 2018. His fourth book, The Sorrow Stone (2022), is a historical novel that reimagines the life of one of the most famous women of the medieval Icelandic sagas.

Kári is on twitter at @karigislason.

Eloïse Mignon


Eloïse Mignon has worked as an actor in Australia and France. She has performed with companies including Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Chunky Move, Odéon–Théâtre de l’Europe, Théâtre National de Strasbourg, Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir, in beautiful theatres throughout Europe and Asia. She has done TV and film; co-created performance works for presentation in Ljubljana, Venice, Adelaide and Melbourne; and published essays on theatre, representation and the state in academic and literary journals. Eloïse is currently finishing her PhD at the University of Melbourne, in the School of Culture and Communication, where she teaches casually.

Erkki Veltheim


Photo by Aaron Chua

Erkki Veltheim is a Finnish-Australian composer and performer whose practice spans audiovisual installation, electroacoustic composition, improvisation, notated concert music and pop arrangements. Erkki has collaborated extensively with Gurrumul, Genevieve Lacey, Anthony Pateras, Scott Tinkler and filmmaker Sabina Maselli. He has been commissioned by Adelaide Festival, Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Australian Art Orchestra, Musica nova Helsinki, Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio, RISING, Sydney Symphony and Vivid festival. Erkki is a recipient of the Melbourne Prize for Music Distinguished Musicians Fellowship (2019) and a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship (2013).

Aviva Endean


Photo by Sarah Walker

Aviva Endean is a clarinettist, composer, sound artist and performance-maker dedicated to connecting people with each other and their environment through attentive listening. She regularly works across a range of contexts including experimental and improvised music, new chamber music, theatre works and cross-disciplinary collaborations. Aviva’s work seeks to extend beyond the boundaries of her art form and to reimagine the possibilities of sound. She has collaborated with some of Australia’s most respected arts organisations including the Australian Art Orchestra, Chamber Made, Astra Chamber Music Society and Musica Viva, and was the recipient of the Freedman Classical Fellowship (2015), APRA AMCOS Art Music Award (2020) and the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers House residency (2021).

Aviva is on instagram at @avivaendean.

Brigid Hains


Brigid Hains is the editorial director of Aeon Media. An environmental historian by training, she is driven by a deep curiosity about the natural and human worlds. The Sophia Club is a chance for Brigid to express her love of beauty and the arts, and to share the heartfelt dimensions of her intellectual life.

Event and ticketing details

Date and time

Thursday, 10 August, 2023

7:30PM ‘til late


Full price - $30

Concession - $25


Brunswick Ballroom, 314-316 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Melbourne, 3056

  • Doors open: 6:00pm
  • Performance starts: 7:30pm sharp
  • Access your ticket for the event via the Moshtix confirmation email. Please note: this email may be delivered to your junk or spam folders
  • Food and beverages will be available for purchase from the bar. Food service will halt during the performance, so we recommend arriving early and settling in with something delicious from the Ballroom Menu before the show starts
  • Please note that seating is cabaret-style and unallocated. We warmly encourage you to share tables with fellow Sophia Club attendees
  • This venue has an 18+ age requirement, and valid ID must be shown upon entry
  • The Brunswick Ballroom is wheelchair-accessible and fitted with an Acorn Indoor 180 Curved Stairlift. Please be mindful that wheelchairs must be carried up the stairs – the Brunswick Ballroom staff are more than happy to assist
This is a past event
Thursday, August 10, 2023
Brunswick Ballroom,
314-316 Sydney Road Brunswick Melbourne 3056

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