Killing the Danes / The Evil was a double-bill of shows presented by London Toast Theatre, the English Theatre of Copenhagen. Inspired by the popularity of Scandinavian noir, it offered two very different productions.
First up was The Evil, an adaptation of a novel by the Swedish writer Jan Guillou. It starred Danish actor Claes K. Bang, who has appeared in The Bridge and Borgen. Bang performed the piece, a supposedly autobiographical account of Guillou’s life as a child at home and school, as a monologue and delivered a compelling performance that was dramatic and deeply unsettling. The narrator as a child responds to violent treatment with yet more violence, leading to closure of a kind but also demonstrating a complex moral point.
Killing the Danes couldn’t have been more different. It was a light-hearted, comedic look at the Nordic noir phenomenon performed by Vivienne McKee, a longstanding resident of Denmark. McKee shared her own interesting perspective on the Danish character in an informative talk, complete with sketches and what was, apparently, the genuine original ‘Lund Sweater’, worn by Sofie Gråbøl in The Killing. Overall a fun, varied production.