If you’re looking to discover something new this spring, why not head to Jacksons Lane in north London? Their Nordic Exposure season is giving us an insight into what our friends across the North Sea have to say.
You’ll get to experience the very best in circus, theatre and family shows from the Nordic countries, right in the heart of North London. They’re welcoming artists from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands to share beautiful, thrilling and often emotional work.
So, what can you enjoy at Nordic Exposure shows? Well, there’s a bit of everything, from spellbinding magic shows to an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience. There’s a huge range of shows, transcending language and geography. All provide an insight into peculiarly Nordic humour, sensibilities and views of the world. Topics range from toxic masculinity to couples counselling and the adrenaline of performing high above a stage. There’s also some utterly charming family shows too. These include astonishing acrobatic performances, visually gorgeous storytelling and a trip to Moominvalley!
Quirky events to see at the Nordic Exposure showcase
Throughout the Nordic Exposure season, Jacksons Lane will be exhibiting drone photography. These showcase Ice Holes, photographed by award-winning Finnish photojournalist Sami Kero. It’s free to view it and it’s on display until 1st April.
Fancy seeing what it’s like to be a circus performer? Hold On by Fheel Concepts (Finland, Sweden, Norway) is giving you the chance. Don a virtual reality headset and see through the eyes of an aerial circus performer in this immersive experience. Thrilling visuals combine with evocative scents and interactions to take you into the unique and extraordinary world of aerial circus artists. Feel the fragility of the moment when you look down and find yourself suspended ten meters above the ground. Based on artist Corinne Linder’s life experiences, it offers you the opportunity to discover the danger, the adrenaline and the joy. Hold On is suitable for ages 8+ and is on 19th and 20th March with ten shows per day.
Powerful dance and theatre shows
On 23rd March, contemporary dance company H2DANCE revives their critically acclaimed piece, Duet. An autobiographical work performed by Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard (choreographers from Sweden and Norway respectively), Duet is a modern classic, still as powerfully emotional as when it was first created. After over a decade together, and fearing they were on the brink of a breakup, Hanna and Heidi decided to undergo couples therapy. This piece of contemporary dance is based on their ongoing examination of their relationship, its power struggles and compromises.
On 24th April is Them by Spindrift Theatre. Four women from Iceland and Finland explore how toxic masculinity shapes gender roles, narrows our horizons and makes people behave against their better nature. Bringing to light the taboos of masculinity. From Nordic theatre company Spindrift Theatre, Them is a devised theatre piece based on more than 40 interviews with men from different backgrounds. Collated since 2016, the interviews were held with men from Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK, USA, Australia, Chile and France. They discuss their relationship to their gender and biological sex, their childhood and role models, their emotional life and dreams, their sexuality and fears. This powerful theatre piece is suitable for ages 12+.
Screenings at Nodic Exposure
Films from the Faroe Islands, curated by Marita Dalsgaard shows on 8th and 9th April. The Faroe Islands is renowned for its rich and diverse film industry, and to celebrate this Jacksons Lane will showcase two unique nights from Faroese auteurs and directors. There’ll be a mix of short films, animation and independent features to discover.
111 Góðir Agar (111 Good Days) is Trygvi Danielsen’s astonishing film revolving around two men, and two lost souls, who continue to meet by chance under multifaceted circumstances, until they find that a greater power unites them. Darkly funny, this is a stunning exploration of male friendship. It screens on 8th April and is suitable for ages 12+.
Also on 8th April is Sum Einglar Vit Falla Dansk (Falling Angels), a Faroese romantic drama directed by Maria Winther Olsen. Starring Maria Winther Olsen and Elin Mørkøre Dalberg, this tale of desire and forbidden love won the acclaimed Iris Prize. It tells the coming-of-age story of Julia, a young Christian girl living in the Faroe Islands with her pious parents. It’s suitable for ages 15+.
Julian’s Ladder on 9th April is about a 10-year-old orphaned boy. He tries to escape a dystopian city on the verge of collapse with his new-found friend, Tun Tun. It’s a beautifully animated film from director Atli Brix Kamban and writer Anton Breum. This screening is suitable for ages 8+.
Also on 9th April, Jacksons Lane are screening two episodes of surreal existentialist Faroese TV show Spurningar Um at Vera Menniskja (Six Questions About Being a Human Being). The show was made for children but adults will also love this off-the-wall exploration of the big questions in life.
Shows for all ages to enjoy
On 20th March go on a storytelling adventure for kids and their grown-ups with Tweet, tweet! Ćwir, ćwir! Tíst, tíst! by Ewa Marcinek and Nanna Gunnars. This interactive and accessible performance invites audiences to move, make noise and have fun. Told in English, Icelandic, Polish and bird song, it uses the tale of migrating birds to speak about the power of a journey. Having the courage to follow one’s dreams, persisting in achieving one’s goals, and being open and receptive with the world.
Then, on 24th April, be entertained by the Norvil & Josephine Magic Show (Norway). Norvil and Josephine are a comedy, magic and variety act unlike any other. This is theatrical escapism at its best. Here we have the traditional imposing magician and doting assistant… But magic is never what meets the eye! The classic Vaudeville magic act is about to be turned on its head, with comical gender bending twists and turns. In this show-within-a-show, it’s time for the magician to find new dreams while the assistant calls the shots! This double act is comprised of Magic Circle magician Christopher Howell and Guinness World Record holder acrobat and dancer Desireé Kongerød.
Something for the little ones
Take your little ones along to see Mischief & Mystery in Moominvalley by Get Lost and Found (Finland) on 30th April and 1st May. Go on an unforgettable journey to Moominvalley, where everyone is welcome, nature thrives and adventures are plentiful. It’s based on the much-loved novels by Tove Jansson, and created in consultation with Sophia Jansson, Tove’s niece. This show is full of magical puppetry, an ingenious pop-up book set, original music and interactive storytelling. Join in a snowball fight, toast marshmallows and go sea-swimming as you explore nature, the value of friendship and the acceptance of difference together. This imaginative show is aimed at ages 3 to 7 years.
Or go on a fascinating journey into the world of shapes and creativity with Piste, piste, piste by Portmanteau (Finland, Sweden) on 26th March. A blank white stage transforms into an imaginative universe with the use of old overhead projectors. Inspired by the children’s book Três pontinhos (three little dots), the performance sensitively builds up around a journey of two characters that one day discover three little dots… It uses movement, illusion, circus skills and handmade images as performers Luis Sartori do Vale and Mira Ravald play with the transformation of dots into lines. This dynamic and poetic visual show is suitable for ages 4+.
If you like the sound of this, why not check out some of our other theatre suggestions, here!
When: On until 1st May 2022
Where: Jacksons Lane, 269a Archway Road, London N6 5AA
£: Tickets cost £10 and under
More info: jacksonslane.org.uk