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An Actor's Life | Yes or No?


A resident here since 1990, Ian Burns is the artistic director at That Theatre Company and very possibly Copenhagen's best known English language actor thanks to roles as diverse as Casanova, Shakespeare and Tony Hancock.

June 8, 2014
07:03

by Ian Burns



A masterclass in photoshopping – a big forehead makes you more trustworthy apparently

The European elections have shown us what might happen in the general election if we don’t all get off our sofas and use our vote.

I didn’t get a voting card and, by all accounts, I wasn’t the only Brit living here who didn’t.

Was this a sinister part of a deliberate ploy or just a bureaucratic blunder?

I can assure you that I would not have voted for our friends of the Dansk Folkeparti. 

Nasty nationalists 
Are we just territorial beasts no matter how civilised and tolerant we think we are? When push comes to shove, we always circle the wagons to protect our own.

I doubt if all the bike thefts in Copenhagen are down to Romanian or Polish organised criminal gangs, but many of us allow ourselves to think and believe just that.

The clear message though is that the nationalists are back: “We never went away my gangly foreign friend, and remember you are accepted here because you’re white and sometimes make us laugh.”

I hope that this slide or avalanche to the ultra-unacceptable is a protest vote against the established political parties, warning them that people are tired, nay angry, with their double-standards and cronyism. 

The days of politicians actually believing in what they say has probably gone – now we’re going to have to accept alliances and deals between parties with opposing ideologies as the norm. 

Do we have reasons to be concerned, fellow non-Danes? Keeping a wee pile of cash under the mattress could be an idea if things go pear-shaped.

Didgeridoos and don’ts
Rolf Harris has lost the plot. Acceptable to be a bit doolally at 83, I suppose, but to give impromptu performances in court of his greatest hits as he faces charges of sexual wrong-doing seems a bit eccentric, even for an Aussie.

It hides the fact that he has ruined some people’s lives. 

I’m not the judge in what could turn out to be a witch-hunt, but at least Harris is getting a chance to defend himself unlike the poor Pakistani woman who was stoned to death by members of her own family for not marrying a person they wanted her to!

What a terrible way to end one’s days.

When No means Yes please
My next theatre production (June 11-21, Hofteatret, that-theatre.com) deals with the subject of unrequited love and social etiquette in a funny and musical way.

A judge finds a ‘suitable’ husband for his daughter, but she and her lover concoct a cunning plan to prevent this with their clever use of the word “No!" – the name of Johan Ludvig Heiberg’s 1840 play that has been translated into English by Michael Meyer. 

This comic opera is a Danish pearl that I’m trying to shine some light on and which of course has a happy ending.

As for the rise of the right-wing in some parts of Europe, it’s a case of wait and see. Have to say that it would be pleasing to wipe the smug smiles off their faces.




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#danishcraftsmanship

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Io l'ho provato, eccezionale!!

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