As if relocating to a new country, starting a family, and opening a theatre school empire wasn’t enough work on their plates, Russell Collins and his wife Christina Anthony are also co-producing and starring in this four-man play.
The Beach is set in a deserted coastal hotel and tells the story of two disillusioned couples on romantic getaways who meet for the first time. Through their interactions they are forced to examine their own loneliness and the humdrum notion of their existence. Despite this painful confrontation, they return year after year, pulled back by the freedom isolation can create.
The play is a collaboration with the Nordic Theatre Company and Rear View. The Nordic Theatre Company was formed about ten years ago in London by Anthony and Marie Parker- Shaw, who is a successful Swedish theatre director. Collins was pleased to work with them.
“The company has produced many great plays in the UK over the years and has a great reputation there,” he reveals.
“The play will be co-produced with Rear View, which is a new production company that Christina and I have set up here in Denmark.”
The Beach was originally written in Danish by Peter Asmussen, famed for writing Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves, but it has been translated by David Duchin and will be performed in English. The working relationship with Asmussen is not new.
“Christina translated a play for Peter Asmussen when we lived in London so we knew of his work,” Collins continues.
“But it’s a great play that is funny, interesting and tragic all at the same time. I thought it would be a different challenge after my last play, Ghosts. It’s well written and offers a great insight into modern Danish society”.
The Beach will be Collins professional directorial debut in Copenhagen: “I directed and produced Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen a couple of years ago back in London, and I have had a few film roles but no theatre here until now.”
The couple have built a solid reputation around their performing arts schools, Scene Kunst Skoler, and plan to do the same with their production company.
“We have recently created Rear View and we intend to produce plays on a regular basis from now on,” enthuses Collins. “We love acting and directing, and although Scene Kunst Skoler brings us great joy and fulfillment, we want to work professionally as well. The plan is to put on plays in both English and Danish and try and make our mark on the theatre scene here in Copenhagen.”
With a cast of only four people, it’s a very small production, meaning there is a lot more work for each individual. “On a big production you pretty much have someone to do everything for you,” says Collins.
“Whereas on a smaller production, we pretty much do everything ourselves. You also have more creative control, which I think makes it more enjoyable and inspiring.”
Krudttønden, Cph Ø; starts Tue, ends 12 April, performances Mon-Sat 20:00, Sun 16:00; tickets: 165kr, concessions for group, under-25s and OAPs, www.billetten.dk; 100 mins