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Celebrating Nordic Culture in the UK
*Stop Press – Cancelled for health and safety reasons due to Covid19 restrictions*
It’s over thirty years since the opening of the first Ikea store in Warrington, Cheshire, marking the beginning of the popularisation of Nordic culture in the UK. At the same time, Icelandic singer Bjork entered the music scene weaving a legacy of primaeval intensity and opening the doors of our imagination to that land of fire and ice. In the decades following we’ve enjoyed Danish hygge, seen Finnish heavy metal band Lordi win the Eurovision song contest and become a nation of Scandi-noirists. There’s also been a healthy influx of Scandi nationals setting up home in the Capital and bringing their Nordic cool to London’s everyday scene.
This week, however, sees the breaking of new ground with the first-ever New Nordics Festival – a four-day celebration at The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick, where six plays, each written by a playwright from a different Nordic country, will be performed from 18th until 21st March.
Cut the Cord is a London-based theatre company which focuses on exploring social change on stage and on international collaborations in the UK, particularly the Nordic region. Lead by Festival Director, Camilla Gürtler, and through a rigorous selection process, six playwrights from six different Nordic countries – Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands – are bringing their work to the festival collaborating with six UK based directors.
Performed for one night only, the works by a mixture of upcoming and high-profile Nordic theatre writers (including Netflix writer/director Lisa Langseth), cover themes embracing key Scandinavian values and drivers: gender equality, environmental awareness and social engagement. Each piece provides a glimpse of the countries they come from and as well as darkness there is much humour and passion on offer in these tales of fir trees, You-tube channels, garages, loneliness, dead cows, railway tracks and of course, (from Matthias Tryggvi Haraldson, of Hatari, Iceland’s 2019 Eurovision entry)… IKEA.
The New Nordics Festival runs from Wednesday 18th -Saturday 21st March
It’s at The Yard Theatre, Queen’s Yard, Hackney Wick, London, E9 5EN.