News: New Nordics Festival brings Nordic theatre and culture to UK audiences

Shining a light on Nordic theatre makers and culture, New Nordics Festival brings together five days of the best new plays from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands – both live and digital. Presented by Cut the Cord, the festival works with emerging UK-based theatre-makers to explore what Nordic theatre is and how it can enrich UK theatre. Each day of the festival will see a play from a Nordic country as well as Q&As with the Nordic playwrights and artistic teams. The festival also includes workshops, online talks and discussions.

New Nordics Festival Director, Camilla Gürtler comments, The aim is to bring contemporary Nordic voices to the UK in a way that supports exchange and more long-term collaborations between British and Nordic artists. We think it’s time to shine a light on the rich dramatic culture in the Nordic Region and promote contemporary Nordic playwrights in the UK. The project is an opportunity for artists, theatres and audiences in the UK to be inspired by Nordic ways of writing, working and collaborating, and for the Nordic artists involved to be inspired by their UK counterparts and make more connections.

New Nordics Festival includes work from six Nordic countries offering insights into both their theatre, artists and culture. Nordic theatre is rarely produced in the UK and is unknown to most emerging artists so the Festival aims to present the Nordic countries as a place for innovative new theatre as well as film, design and quality of life. Each country will bring its own theatrical culture and style in an impactful and unmissable way through these new premieres.

The festival will showcase the following works:

Refuge by Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson – ICELAND (12th October 2021)

This one-man play explores loneliness and Western angst, mass produced furniture, and much much more. IKEA employee Laurence prepares to give a presentation to new recruits. But behind the scenes, he is in the midst of a crisis following a brutal breakup and the death of his mother, and IKEA becomes his only safe haven. Locking himself in the store overnight, his reflections turn to guilt, environmentalism, mortality, spiders, and the imaginary security guard that appears from nowhere.

The Woman Who Turned into a Tree by Lisa Langseth – SWEDEN (13th October 2021)

In the absence of anything meaningful in her life, Daphne worships her own appearance and social status, defining herself through class, money and men. But when Daphne is forced to move out of her box-sized city centre room, she has to relocate to a cheaper alternative in the not-so-cool outskirts of town. Her new flat sports a fir tree by the window… that begins to talk to her. The Woman Who Turned Into a Tree is a one-woman play about the destructive obsession with other people’s opinions and materialism, loneliness and class.

Searching for Being by Katarina G. Nolsøe– FAROE ISLANDS (14th October 2021)

A nightmare of a fairy-tale, Searching for Being embodies a woman’s struggle with depression through a series of vivid poems. We join her on a journey through the dark, examining a universal issue many of us face on a daily basis. Exploring the musical and poetical tradition of the Faroe Islands, Searching for Being is a staged reading based on real events, featuring live music.

Counting to Zero by Kristofer Grønskag – NORWAY (14th October 2021)

Counting to Zero is a figurative bomb. It begins with scene ten and counts down to zero. A stalker. A train track. The untimely death of a cow. How are they linked? A group of young people search for something that really means something, that demands a risk – something real and valuable. They all want to be seen by someone. But by who, and why does it really matter?

Counting to Zero is a staged reading of exciting and funny mosaic events, examining the need to be seen in today’s world.

Garage by Mika Myllyaho – FINLAND (15th October 2021)

An ex-headteacher and a garage owner start a YouTube channel to try and save the garage from bankruptcy. Before Jack retires he wants one last attempt at saving his life’s work, and Olly sees a chance to distract himself from his failed marriage. The channel starts with the two men offering advice on how to fix tools, cars and parts, but it soon becomes riddled with controversial and unedited reflections on society and class which draw in a much bigger online audience than anticipated. Garage is a dark comedy full of heart, exploring how two very different people can sustain a friendship.

No Planet B by Vivian Nielsen – DENMARK (16th October 2021)

Two women lead a performance lecture on climate change to brazenly inform us about the current situation of our planet. They embark on a frantic journey to solve the crisis once and for all. Listing the facts and statistics of what is happening to our planet – and expressing their concerns for their children, families and jobs – they try to find a solution here and now, with you, the audience. But as the information becomes more and more overwhelming, and the solutions seem further and further away, the two women spiral into absurdity in search for a plan(net) B. No Planet B is a dark comedy about the state of the climate crisis and where we as individuals fit into it all.

The inaugural 2020 festival had to be cancelled the day before opening due to Covid-19. To ensure the work and discoveries were still shared and experienced by the public, the festival organisers conducted interviews, created workshops, and made behind-the scenes materials available online. This year’s festival will showcase the works that were intended to be performed last year both performed live and with each performance being filmed in real-time and streamed, making it more accessible to a larger (and Nordic-based) audience.

To book tickets visit

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