CPH STAGE: Dim the lights, raise the curtain …

A warm welcome from Pia Allerslev, the chair of CPH STAGE

All Copenhagen’s a stage!

Welcome to 12 days of theatre and performance art from Denmark and abroad.

The theatre is the art of the present moment and of grand emotions. It entertains and unites us by providing experiences for all to share. It also recreates and reflects our times and our society – warts and all – challenging audiences to think, argue and take a view. With this in mind diversity and inclusion in the dramatic arts will be in the limelight at this year’s CPH STAGE.

With more than 120 productions across Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, CPH STAGE is presenting its biggest program ever. They will be accompanied by talks, discussions, readings, open rehearsals and much more besides.

CHP STAGE makes it easy to go to the theatre. With this, you can navigate your way around the entire festival by genre, language and accessibility. Alternatively, just be inspired by our highlights, our audience guides and Reumert prize nominees.

Have a great festival!

Q: Pia, many people know you through your role as deputy mayor for children and youth. What made you decide to accept the post as chairperson of CPH STAGE?
When CPH Stage started back in 2013, I was mayor for culture and leisure in Copenhagen and was very involved in the first thoughts from the four founding theatres. So it was very natural for me to say YES – and I must say I was extremely honoured that they asked me to be the chairperson.

The festival has had a great impact on the way we see theatres and plays in Copenhagen and Denmark, and the board and the leader of the festival, Morten Krogh, has a lot of very interesting thought on how to things to the next natural level – and I am thrilled to be part of that, together with a fantastic board and all the great people working for the festival – and of course all our dedicated volunteers.

Q: How do you think the festival fits in with the cultural profile of Copenhagen?
When it first started 5 years ago, everyone said “Why haven’t we had this before in Copenhagen?” It fits perfectly – both on a cultural level, in bringing the best plays to everyone – but also on an international level by bringing plays to all our non-Danish-speaking inhabitants, so they also have a chance to experience great theatre.

This can either be through some of the more than 50 shows in English or non-verbal performances, or through our app, which enables you to see the translation on your phone during the play. It really is a fantastic initiative so all our expats and others can enjoy theatre in Copenhagen.

Q: The theatre is seen by some as something for old-age pensioners. What do you think can be done to enthuse young audiences and bring them into the fold?
We are trying to bring the theatre and the plays to the audience by also performing them on our centrally placed squares and other new venues, e.g. our libraries. But we’re also making a lot of “noise”, so everyone will know that theatre is for all.

Q: Do you personally have any relationship with the theatre – either through performing or being taken to plays as a child – or did you discover the theatre later in life?
I started enjoying the theatre when I moved to Copenhagen at the age of 20. But as mayor for culture and leisure, I went to the theatre several times a month. Today I don’t go quite as often as I would like, but I’m looking forward to having a perfect excuse to see lots of plays during the 12 days of the Festival.

Q: There is a very full program and I know it is hard to single things out, but can you give our readers four or five personal recommendations?
It’s an impossible task to have to recommend some of the plays, but I have tried my best.

Firstly, the Opening Performance – ‘The Blind Poet’ by Jan Lauwers will set the scene and the standard for the whole Festival. This event is also in English

Another play, that I am looking forward to is ‘Status’, that I didn’t have time to see when it played in Copenhagen, but now I have the chance – and I can even use the app, so it will be translated!

There are numerous plays with free entrance – and one of them is ‘Ouverture’ from Batida Theater Group – a very interesting group that always surprises me.

Another great thing this year will be all the outdoor venues – with great plays as well. The weather will of course be perfect – so I hope to see many of you at our squares around the city as well.

It’s very easy to use our webpage (cphstage.dk/en) to look up the plays you want to see – and also easy to see which are suitable for not-Danish-speakers.