New Nordics Voices Showcase | Readings
New Nordic Voices is a new translation programme that finds and translates plays from emerging Nordic playwrights Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland into English. For 4 months the playwrights have worked with their translators to bring these new plays to the UK, in a Showcase Week of contemporary Nordic drama 29 March – 2 April 2021.
The readings are the main showcase event, with all 5 plays being presented in 20-minute extracts directed and performed by UK-based artists.
Join us as we celebrate international plays and collaborations, and explore the new voices of the Nordic region.
Denmark – ‘Apocalypse’
by Marie Bjørn, translated by Kim Dambæk
Iceland – ‘Stuffed’
by Gígja Sara Björnsson, translated by Brian FitzGibbon
Finland – ‘Hornblende’
by Arda Yildirim, translated by Eva Buchwald
- BREAK -
Norway – ’Ring Ring Ring’
by Daria Glenter, translated by Charlotte Barslund
Sweden – ‘Real Knows Real’
by Alexander Salzberger, translated by Marie Parker Shaw
The readings will be live streamed through Youtube, where you can share your thoughts with other audience members throughout. All texts will be available to read alongside the performance for accessibility.
The readings will be followed by a public Networking Zoom 15:30-17:00 BST, where you can meet the playwrights and creative teams, ask questions and discuss Nordic drama
written by Marie Bjørn, translated by Kim Dambæk
Apocalypse is a play about the end of the world. It is told from the future and written in a form where it dictates the story of the audience who once witnessed a play called Apocalypse.
Apocalypse is a story about the last lovers in the world, who desperately wanted a child, but had to flee from their home because of demonstrations, fear and riots.
Apocalypse is written in seven chapters in a poetic, rhythmic language. Its form was inspired by apocalyptic religious tales of how the world will end. Thematically it circles around the fear of losing: A lover, a friend, a child, our planet, or hope as a phenomenon.
written by Gígja Sara Björnsson, translated by Brian FitzGibbon
A typical Icelandic home; a mother, a father, a teenage son, an adult daughter and her newborn baby. They are a very regular family, leading very regular lives, well mostly. Omar spends his day playing video games, Daisy as a lawyer, Henrietta manages the house and Buck, well Buck just brought home a very peculiar gift, a stuffed cat. As the play unfolds, we peek into the emotional turmoil that lives in each character, but we also begin to see the very strange effect the new gift has on the family. The cat brings out the animal in each family member: Henrietta the mother hen, Daisy the milking cow, Omar the depressed messy pig. Only Buck remains the sole survivor of this mystical feline inspired transformation. ‘Stuffed’ explores the animal within our most human traits, what it means to be a “happy family”, and if we truly are what we eat.
written by Arda Yildirim, translated by Eva Buchwald
Amalia has no feeling of purpose but mundane wandering. The feeling of nothingness has made her create an obsession called Max. He keeps her somewhat sane.
Amalia’s wonders, what is our purpose on this planet? Who are we to judge? And why are other people so irritatingly stupid and ignorant?
Amalia believes emotions can be transmitted, and it keeps her away from normal social behaviours – she is afraid her anxiousness will spread. She wants to reset everything, and her friends worry she might harm herself, just as her father did. After Max hits her in the gut, she finds herself in a place where she doesn’t know whether to kill herself or to continue living with the pain of loneliness. Amalia’s monologue asks what is the role of others in our lives, and what keeps us going.
Ring Ring Ring
written by Daria Glenter, translated by Charlotte Barslund
It is dark, cold and lonely. Whom should we pray to - The shining lights, the kitschy gifts, the snowfall or the sellers?
It is Christmas, it is time for redemption, it is time for forgiveness, it is time to come together and share the warmth. Carry on the traditions. For the good of us all.
Or so we think.
Loneliness meets religious doubt, meets sexual frustrations, familial trouble, a capitalised holiday and a total absence of contact with one’s emotions. A disoriented longing for warmth, and a panicked flight when that warmth is found.
RING RING RING is a play that attempts to ask questions, to answer them and to find a foothold in a world in dissolution.
Real Knows Real
written by Alexander Salzberger
translated by Marie Parker Shaw
After the #MeToo movement shakes the creative industries to the core, Amir, a celebrated actor-turned-writer living a comfortable middle-class life, decides to go back to the estate where he grew up to make a documentary film about class and toxic masculinity. When he meets his old friends, Amir is forced to confront all of the traumatic memories from his teenage years, and unexpectedly finds himself the subject of the documentary instead of the artist behind it. He is left to grapple with questions about privilege, and with which parts of his life and identity he is willing to exploit for the sake of lending an air of authenticity and credibility to his art. The play, itself not autobiographical but inspired by the playwright’s own background, asks us to interrogate our ideas about lived experience and the authentic voice, and which artists we place those demands on.