adapted by David Eldridge from the Dogme film by Thomas Vinterberg, Mogens Rukov and Bo Hr. Hansen, 24-28 February 2009

Family and friends gather to celebrate Helge's 60th birthday. Rocked by the recent death of his twin sister Linda, Christian, the eldest son, raises the first toast. His shocking exposure of a dark family secret deals a staggering blow to their middle-class veneer of respectability, tolerance and discretion.

Like a greek tragedy, no character is left unaffected, no reaction predictable; all that is left is the very human response to an unspeakable crime.

"David Eldridge's adaptation of Danish director Thomas Vinterberg's 1998 film, which premiered at the Almeida … has happily lost little of its power to shock and enthral"
Stage Reviews, September 2004


Photos by Nick Chronnell, www.nickchronnell.com

Cast List

HELGE - Craig Karpel
ELSE - Maggie Robson
CHRISTIAN - Panny Skrivanos
HELENE - Georgina Thompson
MICHAEL - Andy Marchant
METTE - Sarah Noll
HELMUT - Luke Simonds
POUL - Will Harrison-Wallace
GRANDFATHER - Bernie Doohan
GBATOKAI - Paul Watson
LARS - Mark Macey
PIA - Hannah Rousell
KIM - Mark Harrop

Director: Anne-Marie Leigh
Designer: Bronia Kupczyk
Producer: Rebecca Smith


"The brilliance of Festen is that it completely undercuts and exposes our dependency on social niceties.... The success of Anne-Marie Leigh’s production of Festen at the Bridewell owes much to the simple elegance of Bronia Kupczyk’s set design. As Christian, Panny Skrivanos is a tall, brooding figure, though not an unkind one. He is...well-matched by Craig Karpel as Helge, a small, wiry man with a big smile and enormous charisma. The scene in which he calmly lists his son’s childhood crimes and history of mental instability is chilling both in its blitheness and the utter sincerity of Karpel’s delivery."
Extra Extra

Festen, adapted by David Eldridge from the Dogme film by Thomas Vinterberg, Mogens Rukov and Bo Hr. Hansen
The Bridewell Theatre
Bride Lane Fleet Street
London, EC4Y 8EQ

24-28 February 2009