Ladies in red are dancing with catastrophe

“Smash hits on acid” is how the young British playwright Bysshe Coffey describes his latest drama, Catastrophic Sex Music, opening soon at Bådteatret. And by all accounts, it’s not one for the faint-hearted, promising a heady rush of drink and drug-fuelled debauchery. “Get the children out – get them out now,” was the stern warning issued by a stage manager when Catastrophic Sex Music took to the stage at the Latitude Festival in Suffolk, England. You heard it here first, folks: this play contains strong language and graphic sexual references.

Written in the style of an epic poem, the drama unfolds on a hot summer’s night, with two female friends (Maria Lohmann and Clare Humphrey) looking for action. They find it when they crash a wild party, not realising that their lives will never be the same again. The grand finale is apparently inspired by the true story of a New York university professor and the shocking events that befell him in Central Park. Guided by the poetic narrative of the two-person cast, the audience is led into a surreal, dreamlike world of sex, drugs and bohemian philosophy, all over the course of 40 minutes.  

The play has already performed at various theatres throughout the UK, but will make its first appearance on the Scandinavian stage, presented by the newly-formed FASTER PUSSYCAT company, which is the brainchild of Liverpool-born theatre director Janice Dunn and Copenhagen-actress Maria Lohmann. The theatrical duo, observing the dearth of foreign drama in the original language on Danish stages, have combined their talents to bring the best in new British writing to Copenhagen audiences.

And Catastrophic Sex Music fits their mantra perfectly. Hailed as “a new piece written for a new generation of theatre goers for those who like their brain to be challenged” by the Colchester Times, the gritty piece has been praised by audiences as “beautiful” and “punk”. It is already considered an underground hit among London’s hip young thespians, and with good reason.

Catastrophic Sex Music is not just any old piece of experimental theatre attempting to get down with the youth – it comes straight from the inner workings of a 19-year-young mind. Coffey, now 22 and studying a master’s degree in philosophy at Cambridge, wrote the play four years ago in an attempt to find, according to the play’s promotional material, “a new and relevant language for theatre”. Describing his work as “the uncensored thoughts of the bladder of my mind”, it seems that Coffey is less concerned with following precedents than with pursuing a new kind of contemporary theatre.

But while much is made of the drama being aimed at the youth, the appeal of many of its themes is as universal as the audience wishes it to be. “It is a very singular play,” director Janice Dunn told InOut. “It is funny one minute, grotesque the next, and ultimately quite moving. It is not naturalistic, or the ‘well-made play’, but of course that doesn’t mean anyone over 35 will hate it.” With a style that can loosely be described as James Joyce meets Quentin Tarantino, with a dash of Shakespearean poetry thrown in for good measure, the appeal is sure to be far-reaching.

FASTER PUSSYCAT’s maiden voyage takes place in the unique and intimate surroundings of Bådteatret, as part of the U-Boat (U-Båd) experimental season of performances. The boat setting, with its tapering form and the gentle creak of ropes in the background, seems to be the perfect foil for a play as original and intriguing as Catastrophic Sex Music. So if you’d like to abandon yourself to an evening of wild hedonism (and remember it all the next day), come aboard for what promises to be a very intriguing and eye-opening piece of theatre.

FASTER PUSSYCAT presents Catastrophic Sex Music
Bådteatret, Nyhavn 16, Cph K; starts Thu (Sep 19), ends Sep 27, performances Mon-Fri at 20:00, Sat 17:00, Sep 24 & 26 at 12:00; Tickets: 80kr, concessions: 50kr, groups (10 or more) 30kr;

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.