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.

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    Head to the Kickstarter page

    Featured image by Richard Davenport

    Thank you to empty deck for text & use of photos