Battle of Britain II: Viv vs Ian. Two big names from English-language theater nominated for the same lifetime achievement award

Last year was a momentous one for Ian Burns as it not only marked 25th anniversary of his group That Theater Companybut it also brought his biggest haul of CPH Culture nominations ever, including a nod that sounds tailor-made for him.

The ‘Year’s Honor Award 2022’, the biggest honor awarded annually by the theater reviewer, recognizes those who have made a “lifelong contribution to Danish theater as well as a very special contribution in 2022”.

It is a perfect fit for Burns in recognition of a landmark year in which That Theater staged two critically acclaimed plays: ‘Rub-A-Dub-Dub’ and ‘Fly Me to the Moon’.

However, he faces stiff competition from one of his own: a Brit who has been celebrating his own special anniversary.

Crazy strong case for Viv
Vivienne McKee has already won a CPH Culture Award 2021-22 for the very performance for which she is nominated again: as the title character in Willy Russell’s classic play ‘Shirley Valentine’.

When Burns moved to in 1990, it wasn’t long before, like many English-language actors new to these shores, he found work on McKee’s long-running ‘Crazy Christmas Cabaret’ show (its current run runs until January 14 ), which she had started well over a decade earlier – 2002 was its 40th anniversary year.

Burns appeared in three of the shows before striking out on his own and forming That Theater in 1997.

But now their paths are melting again, although the odds of one of them winning are small, as eight big Danish names from the theater world have also been selected.

Second time lucky for Dawn Wall?
The Burns stable have certainly had a fantastic year and on February 1st they will be hoping to win That Theatre’s first ever CPH Culture award.

Across 25 different categories, That Theater has picked up five nominations, including a Best Actress for Dawn Wall for her performance in ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ – the second time she has been shortlisted by CPH Culture.

This time five years ago she was nominated for Best Breakthrough for her star turn in another That Theater production, ‘Educating Rita’ (another Willy Russell play!).

Nominated for that award this time is her co-actor Alexandra Jespersen for Best Breakthrough, while both ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and Rub-A-Dub-Dub’ are nominated for the year’s best play, originally written in a language other than Danish .

The latter will be a delight for That Theatre-resident playwright Fergal O’Byrne because the Irishman wrote it and it’s his second CPH Culture nomination for writing it.

Source: The Nordic Page


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