From Iceland — Creating Their Own Space: Soulflow Brings Women And Queer Comedy Nights To Gaukurinn

Creating Their Own Space: Soulflow Brings Women And Queer Comedy Nights To Gaukurinn

Published July 4, 2019

Creating Their Own Space: Soulflow Brings Women And Queer Comedy Nights To Gaukurinn
Felix Robertson
Photo by
Patrik Ontkovic

At Soulflow Comedy, a new show happening every Monday night at Gaukurinn, everyone is included. The weekly event, which will showcase exclusively women and queer performers, is causing a shockwave in the Reykajvík comedy scene. “Comedy can feel really intimidating,” says Kimi Tayler, one of the organisers. “What we all want is a space where people can feel like they’ll be supported.”

The core of our souls

“Soulflow came from our hearts, deep from the core of our souls,” says Krúz Estée, another one of the organisers, lounging on a couch at the venue. Katrín Björk, the third organiser, nods. “We’re always trying to encourage more women and queer people to be a part of the comedy scene here,” she chimes in. “And when Gaukurinn, which is a really friendly and progressive place, approached us, it seemed like a good platform.”

It may seem surprising that nothing like this has ever been done before in Reykjavík, but Kimi Tayler emphasises that, in many ways, the comedy scene here is not as diverse as you’d expect it to be. “I came here five years ago after doing comedy in London and, when I was starting out I was shocked at how limited it was,” she says. “I met comedian Jono Duffy, and he was presenting himself as the only gay comedian in Iceland. I couldn’t believe that was the case, but it really was. That’s partly because Iceland’s comedy scene is so young of course—it’s moving at a pace, but there’s still a way to go.”

New talent, safe spaces

Apart from providing a welcoming space for women and queer comedians, Soulflow also aims to help amateur comedians get onstage. “It can be a bit intimidating to get into comedy here,” explains Katrín. “There are a lot of comedy shows where everyone’s been doing it for a very long time and there’s not much visibility for people trying it out for the first time, so as an audience member you start to think it’s impossible. It’s going to be one of our main aims to help a lot of people to try it out.”

Soulflow comedy, which starts on July 15th, will certainly provide plenty of opportunities for new comedians. In the first half, there will be improv games where the stage will open up to anyone in the audience who desires to show their stuff. Seasoned comedians will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns from the newbies. “When you’re starting out, you want a safe space,” says Kimi. “If we can create something like that, it would be really special, and it’s what we would have wanted when we were starting out.”

Soulflow, interview, Reykjavík

A diverse form

In the long term, the group is interested in moving beyond the traditional stand-up comedy you’ll usually find in Reykjavík. “Comedy is such a diverse form,” explains Kimi. “But it can sometimes get stuck as just being stand-up comedy. We’ve got an opportunity here to really diversify and bring in many more kinds of comedy, such as musical comedy, or character or sketch comedy.”

“It’s Reykjavík in 2019, and there are still no women or queer shows. It’s about time we had some visibility.”

This diversity is reflected in the very make-up of the group. “I’m a weird one! I haven’t ever done stand-up,” laughs Krúz. “However, I do something called freestyle rap and do rap battles and a lot of quick-witted bullshit. This is a passion project for me in a way, because I love this place and love the concept so much.”

Every kind of response

The comedy scene in Reykjavík is still small and with Soulflow Comedy now taking the prime Monday night slot at Gaukurinn, there’s still a question of whether or not they may get some less than positive responses. Katrín laughs when asked about this. “I hope we get every kind of response!” she says. “We want to open up a lot more doors and windows,” says Krúz reflectively. “It’s Reykjavík in 2019, and there are still no women or queer shows, and considering there is comedy available every evening here, it’s about time there was some visibility for us.”

See Soulflow at Gaukurinn every Monday night from July 15th

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