Top five English-language actors 2014

Saluting the Anglophone stars who lit up the stage this year

English-language theatre has moved on leaps and bounds in the last four years, not least thanks to a thriving amateur scene that continues to benefit as more and more internationals move here.

In the first decade of the millennium, the Copenhagen Theatre Circle put on nine plays. So far, midway through the second, it has staged 15.

Meanwhile, alongside That Theatre, Why Not Theatre is becoming a force to be reckoned with. 

Both presented plays at June’s Cph Stage where there were 137 performances accessible to non-Danish speakers (compared to 25 in the inaugural festival in 2013), of which 81 were in English.  

Without further ado, here are our top five acting performances in 2015.

5=. Mario Paganini in ‘Beyond Therapy’

Mr Elastic Face was up to his old tricks, giving another hilarious performance in this farce about shrinks. 

5=. Martin Popplewell in ‘The Fast Show – Stood up’ 

Portraying upwards of 15 different characters, Martin underlined his all-round comic acting ability with a masterclass in timing, mimicry and facial acrobatics. 

4. Ian Burns in ‘No!’ 

Ian stole the show as a bellringer from Grenå in this translation of Johan Ludvig Heiberg’s Golden Age comic operetta. Every time he spoke, the passion in his eyes took you on an odyssey of campanology that he joyously brought to the music as well. Comically and physically, I have never seen him give a better performance.

3. Sue Hansen-Styles in ‘Wit’

Sue shaved her head to take on the role of a professor dying of cancer before our eyes in a hospital. She brought a directness and forcefulness that was simply spell-binding. 

2. Sira Stampe in ‘Act of Carnage’

Sira was the standout in this brilliant ensemble piece as carnage descends on a living room in the suburbs. Wonderfully aloof, her repressed feelings came to the fore as well as some incredibly convincing projectile vomiting. Top marks for that. 

1. Simon Kent in ‘Bully Boy’

Simon invested angst and high-energy into a young British soldier under investigation for misconduct in this exploration of how PTDS affects veterans. We watched open-mouthed as his northern bravado gave way to a drooling shell of a man. It changed our perception of war veterans forever.