The panellists and cast have been announced for the New Nordics Festival at Jacksons Lane, which brings together five days of the best new plays from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, as well as free talks and workshops with Nordic industry professionals.
The plays will be performed live and made available to stream internationally, while the panels will be live online events. Creating a cultural exchange with its mix of Nordic and UK-based cast and creatives, the festival will enrich the UK theatre scene with an innovative showcase of new talent. As Nordic theatre is rarely produced in the UK, it is a chance for each country to bring its own theatrical style in an impactful and unmissable way.
The first talk, entitled Nordic Drama – Why is it here to stay? will take place on Wednesday 13th October. Hailing from Sweden, Adam J.K Potrykus, the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Stockholm Fringe Festival and Nordic Fringe Network, and Literary Agent Sara Israelson, are joined by Danish Dramaturg Sandra Theresa Buch. The acclaimed trio will discuss theatre and performance in the Nordic countries today, and how it can enrich the international performing arts scene.
Sustainability in Nordic Theatre is the second talk of the festival. On Friday 15th October, industry experts will discuss how an artist can incorporate sustainable practices into their performances, and how working sustainably can enrich a performance. The panellists include Abigael Winsvold, the Co-Founder of Norwegian performing arts company Acting for Climate, Swedish Performance Designer Annika Bromberg, and Jacob Teglgaard, from Danish organisation Sustainable Performing Arts Now, a platform for the sustainable transformation of the theatre industry.
On 16th October, there will be a workshop all about the key challenges to staging Nordic plays in English. Working with Nordic translation will be run by East London-based theatre company, Foreign Affairs. Professional Translator William Gregory joins Foreign Affairs’ Danish Co-Founder Trine Garrett to facilitate the workshop, discussing issues such as the non-translatable Danish term Hygge.
On the festival’s opening night, Martin Donaghy (Still, Traverse Theatre; The Panopticon, National Theatre of Scotland; The Secret Agent, BBC) will star in Refuge by Icelandic writer Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson. Bathsheba Piepe (Doctor Faustus, RSC; Shakespeare Live!, RST/BBC) will perform the second play of the festival, The Woman Who Turned Into a Tree by Swedish playwright Lisa Langseth. The Faroe Islands’ contribution to the festival is Searching for Being by Katarina G. Nolsøe, a series of vivid poems performed by Remi Fadare (Marvellous, New Vic).
Norwegian writer Kristofer Grønskag’s play Counting to Zero will be performed by Rachel Fletcher-Hudson (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Festival Shakespeare Company), Daisy Moore (Poldark, BBC), Louie Keen (As Waters Rise, The Almeida; Bricks, The Old Vic) and Theo Toksvig-Stewart (Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, Guildford Shakespeare Company; Eastenders, BBC).
The fourth day of the festival will see Michael Jenn (The Trial, National Theatre; Cyrano de Bergerac, RSC; Doctor Who; Cinderella) and Duncan Duff (A Quiet Passion; Wild Target) in Garage by Finnish playwright Mika Myllyaho. Nicki Hobday (Trainers, Gate Theatre) and Rebecca Crankshaw (Paradise, National Theatre; Coronation Street) will star in the last play in the festival, No Planet B by Danish writer Vivian Nielsen.
New Nordics Festival Director, Camilla Gürtler comments, The festival is about showcasing new plays from the Nordic countries but it is also about exploring Nordic ideas, what’s new in the performing arts there, and what we can take away from it in the UK. We have therefore programmed a series of online talks and an in-person workshop with theatre company Foreign Affairs and translator William Gregory at Jacksons Lane, to explore what Nordic drama is with Nordic artists and organisations. Leading up to the production of No Planet B on the last day of the festival, we also present a talk on Sustainability in Nordic Performance, sharing practical action points and ideas for working more sustainably in the performing arts sector. Together with the shows in the festival, we hope this programme will inspire artists and audiences to seek out more Nordic theatre, to work more internationally, but also to explore how we can meet sustainability goals while doing so.