Top five English-language theater pioneers: Corona could not hold them back!

Top five English-language theater pioneers: Corona could not hold them back!

Cinema ticket sales skyrocketed in 2021, despite restrictions making almost half of the year absent: from January 1 to May 6 and May 18-31. December to be exact!

And the same effect was even more noticeable in the theaters, where audiences reacted uneasily to recurring shows like the latest Crazy Christmas Cabaret episode ‘Tell Me About It!’ in Tivoli and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Mechanical, sorry Botanical Garden in August.

After all, it had been a long break to be separated from old friends, and besides, it is bad etiquette to shout on the cinema screen about how much one has missed the Fast and Furious series.

2022 already looks good
CPH POST was pleased to see that all the main actors are still struggling in form: from Why Not Theater Production, with such a acclaimed production of ‘Happy Days’, and That Theater Company returning with their original play ‘The Visit’ – had it really been less than two years since it was first built?

And it’s encouraging to see that there will be no hesitation in 2022. The theater will present ‘Rup-A-Dub-Dub’, another new play by Irish playwright Fergal O’Byrne, from March 16, while London Toast founder Vivienne McKee will adorn us with ‘Shirley Valentine’ from April 21st.

It’s already an awful lot to look forward to, but it’s not a crime to look back. In many ways, 2021 was another fantastic year for English-language theater in Copenhagen, and here are our top five pioneers.


1 Tanja Mastilo
If this is not groundbreaking, then what is it? In 2021, the Serbian playwright Tanja Mastilo won a prestigious Reumert – Denmark’s best theater award. Mastilo beat the best of Danish to claim the award ‘Playwright of the Year’ for her screenplay for ‘The Cheyenne Are Leaving’, which was staged in late 2020 by Why Not Theater Company, where she is a resident playwright. “Tanja Mastilo’s psychological chamber play on English vapors of disturbing, intense presence,” applauded the jury. “Raw and poetic lines grow into a refugee nightmare that peels back the skin of civilization to reveal a bleeding humanity below. Brilliant!” Mastilo may not be the first person known to the English-speaking audience to win a Reumert, but as a Serb who emigrated to Denmark in the 1990s to escape the Yugoslav wars, she is the most unlikely. Benjamin Stender, who won Best Newcomer for ‘The Woman in Black’ (Det Teater) in 2013, is a Danish actor. While British teaser Barry McKenna, who was part of the team that won the ‘Big Little Show’ award for ‘Flame’s Muse’ in 2008, was already an established director. Mastilo arrived in Denmark without anything. And now she has a Reumert. She has beaten a damn trail that others can follow.

2 Rebecca Langley Jensen
The maid may all too often be the third wheel in August Strindberg’s ‘Miss Julie’, but in Michael Omoke’s interwar adaptation, which takes place among colonial Kenya’s Happy Valley sect of hedonistic aristocrats, Rebecca Langley Jensen took center stage. According to our reviewer Lena Hunter “her well-executed stoicism acted as a canvas against which the play’s colorful arch unfolded”. And that was not her only success, for her play ‘Shameless’, in which she also appeared, was one of the highlights of Afro to the Future, a presentation of eight new writings by black playwrights at Teater Grob in June.

3 Chris Vincent
We had not heard of the Danish actor Chris Vincent before, but he is active in English-speaking theater circles all over Europe, and as an IT boy in ‘Berghain’ he delivered the performance of CPH Queer Theater Festival in August. This was a performance that our reviewer Lena Hunter urged the audience to “Embrace it. Go in your leather, bring a collar and a leash, put on a strap-on! Or whatever. Berghain does not hold back, and that neither should you. ” And it was the dynamic stage presence of Vincent, the play’s party boy, that made the audience anticipate every movement and word. Vincent, who was diagnosed with HIV at an early age, combines acting with activism, and dares passers-by to hug him. what we call a groundbreaking.

4 Kevin Kiernan Molloy
This talented Australian actor reached our top five back in 2018 after impressing in ‘The Art of Falling’ and he has continued the same way ever since, with 2021 no exception. Missing from the After Hours production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream due to corona last year, our reviewer Lena Hunter found him “breathtaking” as Bottom, “oscillating between guy and camp with thick overtones of narcissism and cutting humor, and added” Even though he acts, it seems as if he is dancing. ” For Crazy Christmas Cabaret, he presented a “showcase of the world’s language, sexuality and psychosis”, his funniest moment coming during the 1980s diva tribute that stretches out in the jersey of Olivia Newton John’s ‘Physical’. And he even had time to call in a segment to the Why Not Theater Company web series ‘Delete This!’ during corona-hit February, when the Aussie was stranded down under (lucky bugger). Bottom line: this guy never calls it quits.

5 Kate Barker-Froyland
The American made a mark long before she moved to Denmark, her husband’s home country for 12 years. In 2014, she directed the Hollywood romcom ‘Song One’ starring Anne Hathaway, an actress she clicked with while working as an assistant at The Devil wears Prada. Barker-Froyland then set the main body to fit Hathaway as it originally was with a 19-year-old in mind. Last autumn, with the support of the Copenhagen Theater District, she presented another adaptation, Chekhov’s stories. Does that mean she will soon launch a CTC actress for star status? That would be part of the story.

Source: The Nordic Page




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