“I want to burn with the spirit of the times. Yes, the theatre can play an enormous part in the transformation of the whole of existence.” ― Vsevolod Meyerhold
Anglophone stage performances are winning hearts – both internationals and Danes
January 11th, 2016 8:53 am| by Shifa Rahaman
Last year was a stellar year for English-language theatre in Copenhagen and the international community has been spoilt for choice. But now it would appear the Danish culture scene is catching up.
CPHCulture, the cinema and theatre review site, has unveiled its nominations for the best Årets udenlandske stykker – the year’s best foreign theatre performances – and there are a few familiar names on the list.
Significantly, it is the first time that a Danish-language reviewer has included the category.
The Copenhagen Post, in its round-up of 2015’s best English-language theatre trailblazers, tipped its hat to both That Theatre Company’s ‘Marathon’ (both director Ian Burns and lead actor Benjamin Stender) and Why Not Theatre production ‘Secrets’ (both director Jeremy Thomas-Poulsen and lead actress Sue Hansen-Styles).
And both productions have been included on CPHCulture’s list, alongside ‘For enden af kærligheden’, ‘Illusioner’ and ‘Skylight’.
Godot has arrived
That Theatre founder Burns was understandably happy. “Recognition for our efforts warms the cockles in this cold weather,” he told the Copenhagen Post.
“’Marathon’ by Edoardo Erba has written a script that I feel will become as famous as ‘Waiting For Godot’. It is for me a modern day classic that was a joy to work on with Benjamin Stender and Rasmus Mortensen. Of course we are delighted as a company to get nominated.”
An eye on the prize
Why Not Theatre founder Sue Hansen-Styles was equally delighted.
“Of course I’m thrilled that our latest production ‘Secrets’ has been nominated by CPHCulture as one of the five best foreign language plays in 2015!” she told the Copenhagen Post.
“Recognition for the team’s hard work is always appreciated but particularly for us, playing professional theatre in English in Denmark.”
As for what this means for English-language theatre in general, she laughed and added she’s still keeping her eye on the main prize: an Årets Reumert to be exact.
“Whether this glut of nominations is an indication of a general rise in interest in theatre in English in Denmark, I wouldn’t like to say. When one of us professional British actors from the English language theatres gets nominated for a Reumert, then I will believe it! However, having said that, since 2011, we have been able to attract more and more Danish reviewers from the major newspapers to see our productions, and that in itself makes me feel very fortunate but mostly very proud.”
The winner will be announced on January 16.