Inside this Month: Putting the flu, pneumonia and leprosy behind us

From Pygmalion to The Tiger Lillies perform Hamlet to Cabaret: a wondrous month of performance beckons

I’ve had flu three times in the last 18 years: 1997, 2004 and 2011 (the last time I took a day off work). They say the average is once every five years, but it looks like mine is seven. What are the odds on 2018?

It’s the poor buggers who get it every year that I feel sorry for. And they’re so brave! When I get flu, I’m flat-out for a week, but this lot are back after a day, courageously returning and bringing their germs.

And it’s not just flu. Their propensity for seeing off pneumonia and other poorly translated conditions is remarkable: “Yes, I had leprosy, but it’s passed now.” In fact, to play the tiresome ‘You know when you’ve been in Denmark too long’ game, it’s when you diagnose yourself with a life-threatening illness without the
slightest sense of self-parody.

Dismembered body parts
Flu brings out my inner lunatic. I have a reoccurring dream from which I wake up convinced I’m going to die, after which I go to the toilet to make sure there isn’t a dismembered torso floating in it. That’s some pretty dark shit … no not literally, I’m delusional, not hallucinating.

Which brings me very neatly to Body Parts, a children’s play about dismembered torsos floating in toilets and malingerers with leprosy. Or at least it involves children’s stories morphing into a twisted dreamlike reality in the darkness of the bedroom. The bed-wetting is optional.

Best way to scare the kids
Still, it sounds pretty tame compared to the permanent scarring I want to inflict on my children. My seven-year-old daughter’s least favourite ‘farlig bog’, a book guaranteed to give her palpitations when it’s waved in her misbehaving direction, is Heinrich Hoffman’s Struwwelpeter – cautionary tales for naughty children with more than its fair share of dismemberments.

The 1845 masterpiece (I heartily recommend the Frankfurt museum dedicated to its memory) was adapted to stage as a musical in 1998 by a team including the cult band the Tiger Lillies, and this month they’re returning to Republique theatre with the equally macabre The Tiger Lillies perform Hamlet.

I watched the worldwide premiere of this sinful Hamlet in March 2012 and cannot endorse it enough. While the first half was a bit clunky, the second half was sustained perfection as the British band’s haunting melodies were more than matched by Danish artistic endeavour.

Spoilt for choice on stage
Speaking to, Lillies lead singer and accordion player Martyn Jacques describes his ringmaster role as a “Joel-Grey-esque character”, so who knows, maybe he’ll be tempted by the KGL production of Cabaret. KGL assures us all the songs are in English. And quite frankly, who cares about the plot when you’ve got characters as brilliant as Sally Bowles and the Master of Ceremonies?

If it has to be English through and through, then Pygmalion, the CTC spring production of the George Bernard Shaw classic, will get you in the mood for St George’s Day on April 23. Given his body of work, Jens Blegaa is perfectly cast as Henry Higgins.

Taking off outdoors too
Likewise, microbreweries Mikkeller and Chicago’s 3Floyds sound like a match made in heaven. Don’t miss their Warpigs Brewpub opening party where 1,000 litres of beer and Texan-style smoky barbecue will be handed out in Kødbyen. And there will also be bargains aplenty at up-and-coming designer and bicycle flea markets.

Talking of double acts, Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy are surely honorary guests at Nørrebro’s 48 timer festival (April 24-26) – although it doesn’t mean they’re going to show up. And they’re more than welcome at CPH:PIX (April 9-22), as long as they don’t make us watch Prince of Tides or The Golden Child.

Penance for watching either could be participation in The Burnout, one of those bloody, muddy obstacle races you’ve probably seen on Facebook, or a trip around Vesterbro with former drug addict Martin to see how the other half lives.

All in all, there’s plenty to do, providing you avoid the flu.