Iceland’s first and only professional theatre festival, Lókal, will take place in Reykjavík for the second time at the start of September (note: the Act Alone festival in Ísafjörður, while being an international theatre fest, only caters to monologues). The festival brings Icelandic artists to the stage with cutting edge performances, as well as acts from all over the world. The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma, New York City players and Vivarium Studios will be taking the atage at the festival, to name a few. There are many other interesting theatre companies participating. Last year’s theme was to present the most interesting things happening in the theatres of Europe and the US. This time around, the festival will focus on local performers who have been pushing the limits of the theatre lately, taking it to unknown frontiers.
Off Target (Utan Gátta), by local playwright Sigurður Pálsson, is one of festival’s highlights. Dealing with the human condition and the apparent addiction we all have to drama, unhappiness and pain, the show won several Icelandic prizes at the Icelandic Theatre Awards in 2009, including best play and best production.
Off Target has been showing since 2008 at the National Theatre and will raise its curtain on September 4th for Lókal.
Several amateur acts and underground theatre companies will also take part in the festivities. The Professional Amateurs, for example, are a group of artists that have taken an interest in pushing the boundaries of theatre, making it a reflective medium for both audience and performers to enjoy. They will be staging three plays at this year’s Lókal; An Eternal Piece on War and Peace, An Eternal Piece on the Art of Manipulation and An Eternal Piece on Relativity. Their vision is to make the act an open dialogue between the performers and the audience.
Although the theme of this year’s festival is the local scene, some foreign artists will also grace us with their presence. On the fifth and sixth, Pat Kinevane’s show Forgotten will be performed at Batteríið. This performance is an 80-minute collage of dance and Irish storytelling, and is performed by the Irish theatre company Fishamble. Fishamble has been going strong for 20 years, and this act has become an international hit as they have toured through the UK, Ireland, France and the US.
This festival is a sure hit for all those who appreciate the art of theatre and the evolution of its form, with performances of the highest calibre and richly innovative acts on offer for everyone.
The festival will show pieces at several theatres situated around Reykjavík. It will start on Thursday the 3rd of September and run until the 6th.
For more information, visit www.lokal.is.