It has been an exceptional year for the English-language theater in Copenhagen, not least thanks to two very significant landmarks: the ruby jubilee of Crazy Christmas Cabaret and the silver jubilee of the creation of That Theater Company.
It is therefore fitting that their founders, Vivienne McKee and Ian Burns respectively, have been nominated for CPH Culture’s 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award alongside eight other nominees. February 1 will reveal all.
McKee, who in September won the theater review site’s 2021-22 best actress award for ‘Shirley Valentine’, is probably the slight favorite, although Burns is nominated for two plays: ‘Rub-A-Dub-Dub’ and ‘Fly’ Me to the Moon’, both of which received nominations for Best Play originally written in a language other than Danish.
In addition, Dawn Wall and Alexandra Jespersen have both received well-deserved acting nominations for the latter – in the categories Best Actress and Best Breakthrough.
Needless to say, all four would have been worthy inclusions on our list of the best English-language theater stalwarts of 2022, but on the whole, we’re trying to pick previously unknown, or at least unknown, names on the theater scene.
But even if these five are not as well-established as the founders of anniversary-celebrating theater institutions, who knows what the next 25 years, or even 40, will bring.
Theater personality of the year
5 Rachel Kador
There is no doubt that CPH Musical Theater is a team effort. Born of members of the Copenhagen Theater Circle, it is a logical progression. Let’s face it: most thespians have lovely singing voices – their dull tones accentuated the big parts back in their school days, and the habit stuck. Name me an actor who can’t interrupt a song…besides David Soul. The result for Copenhagen is that fans of English-language musicals now have a haven where they can wallow in the company of show-stopping tunes sung with true passion. Hats off to Rachel Kador and the rest of her team.
4 Anant Atul Visaria
Once in a while we are privileged to witness raw talent before its inevitable ruin: a bit like when Paul Potts took the first tentative step into the Simon Cowell universe before he got his teeth fixed. Some artists spend the rest of their lives looking for that formula, while we are left with just the memories. Anant Atul Visaria stole the show in the CTC production of ‘The Queen’s New Border’ with a magical performance that transposed the audience. Whether it was his brief interlude on cricket or musings on Brexit, it was as if Dick van Dyke was singing ‘Rockabye Mountain’ on stage. Also worth mentioning, Kathryn Dorgan luxuriated in finding her own pace and took us into another world every time she spoke.
3 Joseph Sherlock
As an established theater director in Denmark, Sherlock had already had plenty of success, including the HIT Copenhagen performance ‘Harry Brown’, before the pandemic started. Like many, it knocked the steam out of his sails, but he came back fighting in 2022 with a well-received ‘Coriolanus’, the first production staged by his theater company Copenhagen’s Shakespeare Kompagni. It performed the Shakespeare play in both English and Danish, and the domestic media’s recognition of this madness was immediate. But don’t let the name fool you, as other playwrights are fair game – in June the troupe performed a James Joyce short story at the Bloomsday Family Picnic. With talents like Kevin Kieran Molloy, Jessica O’Hara Baker and Sarah Dahl Hasselgren on board, watch this space in 2023!
2 Russell Collins
If we had to name a trailblazer from the 2010s, Russell Collins would probably be right up there with Vivienne McKee and Ian Burns for the undeniable contribution he has made – not only to English-language theatre, but to Danish culture in general. When he and his wife Christina Anthony founded the SceneKunst musical theater school in 2008, they must have questioned why Denmark did not already have an answer to the Sylvia Young Theater School, the British establishment that has produced remarkable singers and actors since the 1970s. by the truck. The Danish musical theater scene’s debt to SceneKunst, which today has 22 schools, is already incalculable, and in 2022 he enjoyed his greatest triumph: an autumn series of the musical ‘Bugsy Malone’, which charmed everyone who saw it. As our reviewer exclaimed: “Crazy amazing costumes. Boldly authentic props. Sass levels up to nine, Evita style. It is no exaggeration to say that the majority of Denmark’s young musical theater talents are SceneKunst graduates. Give it another decade and they’ll have a monopoly.”
1 Alun Thomas
For the second year in a row, we name a writer as the number one English-language theater pioneer. Thomas not only wrote the screenplay for the successful Copenhagen Theater Circle play ‘The Queen’s New Frontier’, but the Irishman also took the lead role – a magnificent effort all round. He was helped by strong support – not least from Anant Atul Visaria and Kathryn Dorgan (see number 4), but also the ever-reliable John Kelleher.
Source: The Nordic Page