Indulge in Weltschmerz … even if you’re not a Dane

★★★★☆☆

(photo: Dennis Westerberg)
April 1st, 2022 5:07 pm| by Maria Dubin
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There’s still time to catch a performance of ‘Jolly Weltschmerz’ before the conclusion of its run at Riddersalen in Frederiksberg, a venue mostly known as an excellent children’s theatre, which has now expanded its repertoire to include adult suitable performances too.

Suitable for non-Danes?
The big question is whether a non-Danish speaking person could enjoy this Danish cabaret spiced with English and German paraphrasing?

Perhaps not the full context, but the setting of the cafe theatre, bar and stage is visually intriguing and absolutely a treat to behold on an evening out. 

Top tips
Come early for the pre-talks on Tuesdays from 18:00 where different writers read from their work and the cabaret´s creator, Mette K Madsen, gives a small talk about what we can expect in the cabaret.

Order the signature drink, ‘Grønne Ridder’ (green knight), a cocktail mainly consisting of absinthe and champagne, bring it into the theatre and take your place at one of the small tables. Mingle and soak up the mood and flavours.

1920s cabaret
The atmosphere is 1920s cabaret, and in the hands of brilliant percussionist/conductor Thomas Dinesen, who carries you though the changing moods, you won’t fall out of rhythm.

Dorte Holbek’s scenography, existing of vertical rubber bands, is pure eye candy – especially in the first act when they are used to their full potential concerning both movement and light.

Sometimes better unsaid
‘Smørhul’ is a recurrent window throughout the show – elegantly interwoven with lovely absurdness. One of the characters simply continuously says in a monotone voice: “Livet er et skib (life is a ship), livet er et skib.”

It’s a shame, therefore, that they choose to explain why life is a ship – better to leave it to the imagination, as it brings a myriad of images to mind and stays mysterious without further ado.

Life is a cabaret after all
Riddersalen Artist Cabaret is helping to keep the tradition of cabaret alive and kicking in Copenhagen, celebrating and challenging life in all its melancholic grandeur. We need cabaret more than ever! 

I am already looking forward to the next one.

Jolly Weltschmertz


Riddersalen Artist  Cabaret, Allégade 7-9, Frederiksberg; ongoing, ends April 9, performances Tue-Sat 20:00; tickets 185-285kr

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