Season Scandinavia by Empty Deck

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 17th September 2015
  • Nordophile was interested to learn more about a project on Kickstarter which caught our attention, with the two words Season Scandinavia. We spoke to the director Kay Michael, who has excited us even more, as this project will no doubt feed many Nordophile’s Nordic passion. The reasoning behind the venture from what we could see was […]

    Nordophile was interested to learn more about a project on Kickstarter which caught our attention, with the two words Season Scandinavia.

    We spoke to the director Kay Michael, who has excited us even more, as this project will no doubt feed many Nordophile’s Nordic passion.

    The reasoning behind the venture from what we could see was that Nordic film and TV drama accompanied with Nordic literature was now a firm favourite in most homes, but what was the next step? Even though there is no sign of the interest in Nordic drama both on screen and book form faltering, anytime soon, what if Scandinavian playwrights and their works were brought to our stages?

    Empty Deck presents the most exciting unknown contemporary Scandinavian plays in co-production with The Other Room Theatre, Cardiff.

    Empty Deck is a new theatre collective that collaborates with playwrights and artists from all over the world, bringing the best of international new writing to the UK stage for the first time.



    We may have spent too many nighttime hours watching The Killing or The Bridge, or immersed in the brooding novels of Karl Ove Knausgaard and Stieg Larsson… and we got thinking: Where’s the theatrical equivalent to all this Nordic Noir?

    Beyond Jon Fosse’s work, little is known of contemporary Scandinavian playwrights. Over the last 12 months Empty Deck has been developing Ibsen Award winner Arne Lygre’s Then Silence for its English-language world premiere, and that development has led us to discover other exciting, award-winning Scandinavian playwrights, both up-and-coming and established, whose work deserves a wider and English audience.

    Thanks to International Performing Rights Ltd and Theatre Colombine Agency we have now selected plays from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway that we shall be presenting readings of across three venues in Cardiff between October – November.


    By Christian Lollike The Other Room, Cardiff 

    October 30th, 19.30PM



    “The world is a goddamn hairs breadth away from falling apart. Everyone knows it. Everyone fucking knows it, but no one…no one is doing anything.”

    Cosmic Fear or The Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia charts our growing concerns and paralysis over the impact of climate change on the planet. LA is filled with traffic jams under heavy smog, trees are drifting under floods in Bangladesh and in China incinerators are burning holes in the ozone layer. Brad Pitt fears the future. Brad is a man of action and he’s not here to entertain but to make a difference. Brad embarks on the great universal love project: to Save Planet Earth

    Christian Lollike is an award-winning Danish director, adaptor and playwright educated at The Danish National School of Playwriting at Aarhus Theatre (1997 – 2001). He is one of the most performed Danish playwrights abroad and is known for his critical plays all written in an anti-naturalistic and open form. In 2009, he received a Reumert award as playwright of the year. 

    This play, by Danish Christian Lollike, grabbed our attention in particular and we’d like to do more than just a rehearsed reading of it. We’re asking for your support to enable one week’s Research & Development and performance sharing of this play during our residency at The Other Room, Cardiff’s pub theatre.

    Cosmic Fear is about three peoples’ paralysis in the face of climate change. Not knowing what to do they all imagine themselves to be Brad Pitt, using his status as Hollywood hero to make a blockbuster film campaigning for a new global consciousness of universal love, with the mission of saving Planet Earth.

    It’s silly. And it’s scary. But it is an ever-relevant play, which asks pertinent questions of our responsibility as individuals towards the care of the planet, humanity and the future. It reaches into our genuine concerns, fears, confusion, denial and anger about the devastating effects of climate change on the world.


                                                         Photography: Richard Davenport


    Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, and the team is only as good as the collaborators with whom we work.

    As part of our residency at The Other Room Theatre, all venue and marketing costs are covered. However we want to employ the most exciting Cardiff-based creatives to work with us for the week. To excavate the ongoing issues of climate change and look at how we can present this text through both theatrical and digital means, we want to engage:

    • 3 actors
    • One video designer 
    • One dramaturge 

    It’s important to us that artists are respected and paid properly for their hard work and creativity, in line with the Independent Theatre Council recommended rates of pay. Your support will enable us to do just that.


                                                         Photography: Ettiene Leung


    The Team

    Kay is a freelance theatre director, who trained at Drama Centre London and read English & Theatre Studies at Warwick University. She is a founding member of award-winning Curious Directive with whom she has devised, performed and directed. In 2014 she was Trainee Director at Paines Plough.


                                                         Photography: Hannah Lovell


    Fern has worked between Italy, Australia and Wales for the last 7 years. Most recently she worked at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, on forming their strategic producing plan and new vision under their new artistic director.



    Born in Romania, Denisa’s training has included 5 years of Architecture and Design, 8 years of Drawing and Painting, 3 years of Sculpture and 6 years of Art History. At Central Saint Martins she developed her practice through both devised and design-led projects.



    Sara is a post-graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance and has collaborated with Kay since the early days of curious directive.



    Empty Deck

    Empty Deck is an international collective who tell stories that cross artistic forms and geographical borders.

    Collaborating with contemporary playwrights and artists from all over the world, we strive to make invigorating theatre that is physically bold, emotionally stirring, and relevant. We want to make work that is both local and global in its reach.
    Empty Deck aims to:
    • Deliver narratives that uncover experiences of the world that we live in now;
    • Challenge the relationship between the audience and spectacle, exploring the audience’s complicity within a shared space;
    • Interrogate the relationship between theatrical form and content in inventive, exciting and illuminating ways.Help us spread the word by posting our Kickstarter campaign on your facebook &/or twitter page and mention us on any social media platform you use.

    Like us on Facebook:

    And follow us on Twitter:

    Head to the Kickstarter page

    Featured image by Richard Davenport

    Thank you to empty deck for text & use of photos


    Bora Bora

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 11th August 2015
  • bora-bora-efteraar-2015

    Nordophile on its discovery of the arts in the Nordics is excited to present Bora Bora, a production house of dance and visual theatre. Based in Aarhus Denmark, this is definitely a cultural experience which any Nordophile can enjoy without fear of a language barrier, because the presentation is different to regular theatre and is […]

    Nordophile on its discovery of the arts in the Nordics is excited to present Bora Bora, a production house of dance and visual theatre. Based in Aarhus Denmark, this is definitely a cultural experience which any Nordophile can enjoy without fear of a language barrier, because the presentation is different to regular theatre and is not done solely through dialogue but a very visual exploration of performing arts, which makes it perfect for an international audience (like expatriates in Aarhus). Bora Bora is key in promoting international exchange, with encouraging and obtaining foreign acts to their stage as well as sending the performances they help co-produce out into the world – all the while trying to help emerging artists. Bora Bora presents, produces and co-produces national and international performances, organizes festivals, conducts artistic experiments and initiates residencies and workshops.




    Bora Bora as a house does not have its own dance company – as many other dance theaters have. They work with select groups, though, and co-produce their shows – among other things providing them much needed space to rehearse.

    They are involved with some international groups, but also have a handful of local groups connected. Among them the company Don*Gnu Physical Theatre – who will present their latest premiere “M.I.S. – All Night Long” this October. A good chance to see some uniquely Danish dance theater. Through exchanges with partners in different networks across Europe, Bora Bora wants to show the audience the newest and freshest in visual performing arts. They work together with partners to internationalise production possibilities for a wide range of artists locally and nationally. Facilitating contact between the Aarhus audience and European artists, and between the artists in general.




    Festivals are an important part of Bora Bora. Through festivals – like artist residencies –  the audience meets artists from different countries, exchange views, experiences and sometimes begin long-lasting cooperations.

    There are some amazing productions coming up which we recommend you see. Aarhus as a city is a cultural hub and is worth combining your Nordic travel with this theatre that is raw and impassioned about producing and promoting visual theatre.




    Sometimes words are not enough when it comes to the arts, so hereare some videos for you to hear & see a small glimpse into what Bora bora is really all about!


    Upcoming events


    Detour 16-17 Sept

    Detour is an urban dance festival with b-boying, house and hip hop poetry – dedicated to promoting and enhancing the quality of urban dance and its great choreographic potential in Denmark.

    The last three years the festival has been a great success in Copenhagen, where it has challenged both the audience and the Danish dance environment in their perception of urban dance and choreography. Now the festival comes to Aarhus for the first time.

    Detour festival is a celebration of the whole urban dance environment and is dedicated to further accelerate the meeting of urban dance and new audiences across cultures.

    The festival is for all ages, so come and join in when the year’s most extensive urban dance festival kicks off! Get carried away by the good mood when some of the best dancers on the urban dance take the stage. There is room for both clapping and cheering, be captivated and get up from the seats when the dancers interpret the classic hip hop in new ways that reach far beyond the stage.

    The festival includes short features from a mixture of the most renowned national and international choreographers on the urban dance scene.

    Featured artists on the programme:
    Tentical Tribe (CAN)
    CJM’s (FRA)
    Rico Coker (DK)
    Sara Jordan (DK)
    Anna Eileen & Marie Paldrup (DK)




    Reptile Youth 3rd Oct

    Mercedes-Benz presents a unique concert with Reptile Youth with stage design and visuals by the American artist Abby Portner.

    This cooperation was first presented at CPH:PIX and later at SPOT Festival. This evening you will experience a fully developed version of this collaboration between Reptile Youth and Abby Portner with a full live band set-up. The band will perform the songs from the EP “Away” plus older material. For the concert, Abby Portner is building an entirely unique stage design with video as well. For many years she has worked closely with Animal Collective as well as worked with John Cale and Jim Henson Studios.

    Bora Bora presents this concert in cooperation with Fonden Voxhall.




    Lost Memories 7-8 Oct

    Shaken, disoriented and without memory Mr. H arrives at a psychiatric emergency ward. The space, sounds and doors evoke glimpses of memories and the staff transforms into people from his past. Infinitely slowly he recalls: A woman is lost in the darkness.

    LOST MEMORIES recreates the feeling of inner chaos from a man who has lost his beloved to suicide, and the paralyzing despair that hits you when you see another human disintegrate. The performance shows in retrospect and in a backward manner the traumatic events which led to Mr. H’s amnesia.

    LOST MEMORIES is a tale of losing yourself when you lose someone else. About rediscovering yourselves and live in a moving narrative with dance, video, words and music.

    LOST MEMORIES is supported by the Danish Arts Council, Augustinus Fonden, Wilhelm Hansen Fonden, Denmark’ National Bank’s Anniversary Foundation of 1968, Konsul Georg og hustru Emma Jorcks fond and Copenhagen Performing Arts Committee.

    LOST MEMORIES on tour is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation Project Funding Committee for the Performing Arts.




    DON*GNU 29 Oct-3 Nov

    M.I.S. ALL NIGHT LONG is a slapstick dance performance which kicks the balls in orbit and bang the heads together in pursuit of the cursed self-understanding.

    In the final part of the trilogy about MEN SANDALS which is about the man’s identity in modern society DON*GNU digs down in the subconscious. Four totally different dancing men stretch themselves to the breaking point and throw themselves against their self-inflated walled-up self. They explore the man‘s unexpected paths and hidden energies in his labyrinthine search for meaning and pathos.

    What are these mechanisms we start when we as men look inward to find the answer? And how do we meet those mechanisms again, when we look outwards and are confronted with ourselves? How do we act in this inferno of unintended consequences with guilt and remorse at one end and desperate rescue operations in the other?

    Supported by Danish Arts Foundation, Aarhus Municipality, Aarhus Municipality’s Cultural Development Fund



    Bora Bora is supported by The Performing Arts Committee of the Danish Arts Council and The Municipality of Aarhus.

    We thank Lars Kjær Dideriksen who was only too happy to speak with us about Bora Bora

    Nordophiles should head to the site for the full programme with info and video trailers