CPH POST 2018 TOP 5: Top theatre trailblazers

Another strong year for English-language theatre has concluded in Copenhagen – and notably there were more candidates than ever to choose from for this list of trailblazers.

Down the Rabbit Hole and Manusarts are still going strong despite their unexpected eviction from the House of International Theatre at Huset – next up is Harold Pinter’s ‘The Lover’ from January 30 – while another newish group, Leftfield Theatre, are upping the ante this coming year with a program packed with promise, starting with a trio of taboo plays in March.

Factor in steady hands Copenhagen Theatre Circle (‘Treasure Island’ from January 23; ‘An Inspector Calls’ from April 3), Why Not Theatre Company (‘Mairead’ from February 15), That Theatre Company (‘Art’ from February 20) and London Toast Theatre (‘Oh Baby – It’s Cole’ from May 15) and 2019 is shaping up to be busier than ever.

5 Zimba: Comedies are supposed to make you howl with laughter, not laugh at howling, but Zimba, on the arm of owner Dina Rosenmeier in the HIT late-winter production of ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’, stole the show with an impromptu yowl following the revelation that an off-stage character was gay. It was the kind of magical moment that only live theatre can deliver. Is that the rin tin tin of future canine stardom beckoning?

4 SceneKunst: With so many anniversaries to choose from, it was difficult narrowing them down to two, but in the end TTC, some 20 years and nearly 40 plays old, just missed out … to a dog. Musical theatre school SceneKunst, which turned 10, instead got the nod thanks to the breakout performance of seven-year-old Ella Daisy Anthony-Collins, the daughter of its founders, in the TV2 historical drama ‘Håbet’, which screened in December.

3 Kevin Kiernan-Molloy: In the WNTC spring production of ‘The Art of Falling’ – CPH Culture’s 2017-18 Best Foreign Play no less – Australian actor Kevin Kiernan-Molloy pulled off the feat of making all six of his roles so memorable (including an inspired turn as Jackie O) it was effortless recalling the exact order. Could the same even be said about Alec Guinness’s eight-character turn in ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’? Next up for the Aussie is ‘Mairead’ in February.

2 Hinrik Kanneworff: In Leftfield Theatre’s ambitious summer production of ‘Queers’, this young Icelandic actor stole the show with his coming-of-age monologue, expertly mastering a Nottingham accent whilst transporting the audience to a different era. Giving him a close run was his compatriot Atli Benedikt, a fellow student at CISPA. Both are expected to audition for Leftfield’s 2019 season.

1 Copenhagen Theatre Circle: The CTC turned 50 this year – and in some style, staging two of its most impressive productions in years. Favourite son Jens Blegaa returned to direct ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in April, reaching the heights he achieved with ‘With the Importance of Being Earnest’ in 2013, but he hadn’t reckoned on ‘Cabaret’ ‘bowling’ everybody over in October, with Kristian Husted stunning as the Emcee. We can’t wait for the next anniversary.