An Actor’s Life: Tis the season to be … – The Post

An Actor’s Life: Tis the season to be …

That Theatre’s winter production ‘A Number’ is coming to the stage in late February (photo: That Theatre Group)
December 24th, 2017 6:46 am| by Ian Burns

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, tis the season to be …

I’d like to be able to continue that carol and say “jolly”, but I know that for too many people this Christmas, it is going to be a miserable period of survival.

Policy breeds poverty
Whether it’s the ever-growing number of foreign homeless people on the streets of major cities like Copenhagen and Aarhus, or the thousands of Danish children living in the homes of alcoholics, which recent studies suggest makes them twice as likely to commit suicide in later life and eight times more likely to experience domestic violence, Christmas can be anything but jolly.

Too often the poison of poverty forced upon our weakest members of society is perpetuated by the myth of trickle-down economics and a basic lack of empathy. Right-wing policies that punish the poor and disabled are a heinous act of cruelty to be pursuing while the rich get richer.

Brexit: come what may
The wealth gap is forever growing in Denmark, but it’s still a long way behind the likes of the UK and US. With Brexit around the corner, if it does happen, it’s worth asking whether it will widen more – and whether the fat-cat tax-evaders have been hiding something up their sleeve all along.

I’m hoping the embarrassment suffered by Theresa May at the hands of government support party DUP will mean Brexit might not happen at all. Wouldn’t it be a relief? At a stroke, no more desperate Brits applying for dual citizenship.

I haven’t gone down that path yet, but I’ve considered it. If it all goes pear-shaped and Little Britain storms off in a huff muttering “No-deal!” and then splits up, I hope my Scottish roots might be a blessing.

I’m proud to be Scottish but sadly can’t say the same about being British. It’s depressing to watch the country implode in such division blaming Johnny Foreigner for all its ills. I doubt whether even the news of a royal wedding with a divorced, non-white, colonial cousin will help to unite us.

Orange is the new thwack
Europe’s strengthening of ties with Trump’s USA is also a wrong move I feel history will judge harshly. Every day he writes another stupid tweet and by his actions isolates his country from the sane world.

My New Year wish is that a stray golf ball does its job and removes this dangerous fool. Or, that his long list of impeachable offences becomes a reality and that we see him behind bars.

Prison orange would suit him after all. He’d look like one of the Teletubbies, just not as cuddly. His vocabulary is on the same level. He must be up there for the award for the most detestable man to have ever lived. Frightening what a protest vote can lead to, eh?

A rum affair
Then again, one nearly dislodged Theresa, but then came the DUP. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. Still, her days must be numbered too (talking of which, That Theatre’s winter production is ‘A Number’ by Caryl Churchill, running from February 21 to March 25 – see that-theatre.com for details).

That’s a thought that has just cheered me up – as has my cup of hot chocolate with a wee dash of rum in it. Necessary winter ‘hygge’ as it gets dark at 15:15 these days. Ye gods! We will come through these dark times together and hopefully enjoy a brighter future in 2018. On that optimistic note, I’ll sign off.

Ian Burns


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.