Poetry Brothel Reykjavík
Producer & Performer
Rauða skáldahúsið, or Poetry Brothel Reykjavík, has been taking place regularly in IÐNÓ in downtown Reykjavík from May 2017.
Poetry Brothels can be found around the world, with the first one taking place in New York City in 2007. In them, audience members can purchase private readings with poets, as well as enjoy live entertainment in the form of music, circus, burlesque and more.
Reykjavík’s Poetry Brothel generally has a cast of about 20-30 people. There are around 10 poets each night, plus one star poet. There is a resident house witch, that does tarot reading. There are sketch artists and body painters, and various burlesque, circus and cabaret performers.
Each performance has a specific theme and performances take place every 3-4 months.
I organise and produce each event, in collaboration with Meg Matich and Jessica LoMonaco. My role is mainly to take care of marketing, book the entertainment (burlesque, circus, music) and plan the running order of each event, and together with Jessica we collaborate on the set design. I also perform as the host, Madame Karítas, at each event.
Madame of Entertainment (Madame Karítas): Nanna Gunnars
Madame of Poetry (Nastasia Filipovna): Meg Matich
Madame of Beauty (Paige Truesong): Jessica LoMonaco
Rotating cast of 20-30 performers
18 May 2017: Kristín Ómarsdóttir
29 July 2017: Kristín Eiríksdóttir
10 November 2017: Kött Grá Pjé
29 March 2018: Sjón
21 June 2018: Hallgrímur Helgason & Cornelia Travnicek
8 July 2018: The Café Review Book Launch, several star poets: Einar Már Guðmundsson, Gerður Kristný, Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson and Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir
22 November 2018: Linda Vilhjálmsdóttir
8 March 2019: TBC
Reykjavík Fringe Festival
Annual Arts Festival
Reykjavík Fringe Festival took place for the first time in the summer of 2018, from the 4th until the 8th of July. The festival focuses on local talent and Nordic performances, but is open to global acts.
In February 2018 I was thinking it was a shame that Reykjavík Fringe that was supposed to take place the previous year didn’t happen. I was looking for places to take a show to. And then I thought to myself ‘Why don’t I just run a Fringe festival in Reykjavík myself?’ I got in touch with the team that was behind the idea a year earlier, and they agreed to letting me take over the festival.
Luckily I immediately got a fantastic team to work with, and four months later the first Reykjavík Fringe festival took place, now an annual event.
All sectors of art are welcome at the Reykjavík Fringe Festival, including but not limited to theatre, dance, circus, stand-up comedy, cabaret, music, installations, new media, drag, site-specific works, physical theatre, children’s shows, outdoor performances, promenades, film, exhibitions, workshops, magic, clowning.
Reykjavik Fringe Festival is a part of the Nordic Fringe Network, a collaboration between a number of Fringe festivals across the Nordic countries.
Festival Director: Nanna Gunnars
Production Manager: Jessica LoMonaco
Planning and CFO: Sindri Þór Sigríðarson
Media (in English):
A Party Full of Art
Fringe Theater Flourishing in Iceland: An Interview with RVK Fringe Festival Director Nanna Gunnars
Rose Bruford College Graduate Launches Inaugural Reykjavik Fringe Festival
Media (in Icelandic):
Stefnumót við heppinn áhorfanda
Fjöllistahátíð haldin í fyrsta sinn á Íslandi – Komdu í opnunarpartý á morgun
Fjörugt á Reykjavík Fringe Festival
Jaðarvettvangur fyrir öðruvísi list
The digital board game Sumer was released on Nintendo Switch on the 6th of April 2018.
In the game itself, strategic planning and swift platforming meet. As nobles vying for power in the ancient civilisation of Sumer, players harvest resources and bid in real-time auctions in a contest to worship the almighty goddess Inanna.
Nanna did voice-over in the ancient language Sumerian for the goddess Inanna, a few female nobles and a couple of goats.
Kassinn / The Box VR
Virtual Reality Theatre installation
Imagine one day, you wake up inside an invisible box, unable to escape. Kassinn is an engaging, but playful, interactive theatre performance with a live actor in virtual reality. Will you trust this mysterious stranger? Or listen to the voice in your head, trying to get you out?
Kassinn, or The Box, was a short play I wrote for Uppsprettan in Tjarnarbíó in 2016. In 2017 this play was transformed into a piece of virtual reality theatre, The Box VR.
In it, one audience at a time is ‘trapped’ inside a box, both physically and virtually. In order to escape the box, the audience member needs to get help from an outsider, performed by an actor/actress in a motion capture suit on the outside of the box. The performer is transformed into a virtual character within the virtual world, with all its movements happening in real time.
The audience member and the performer can both hear each other and speak to each other throughout the performance, meaning the play is semi-scripted and semi-improvised.
By making the performance take place in the virtual world, it’s possibly to create anything, and do swift changes from normality to a completely different environment – there are no limits.
The play was developed for a longer run at Reykjavík Fringe in July 2018, with an added character of a voice inside your head, in contrast to the character outside the box. That voiceover is done by me, as I was unable to perform live during the RVK Fringe. That version was invited to the Stockholm Fringe Festival in September 2018, and the show has more international dates planned for 2019!
This is a Huldufugl production, an events company I run with creative technologist Owen Hindley.
Performers: Nanna Gunnars, Ástþór Ágústsson
VR Design and direction: Owen Hindley
Music: Iris Thorarins
Sound: Ragnar Hrafnkelsson
Concept Development: Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson
Additional 3D design, build: Jacob Andersson
First version had support from PuppIT and sponsorship from Landsbankinn.
WINNER: Innovation in Performance, Stockholm International Fringe Festival 2018
NOMINATED: GRAND PRIX, Stockholm International Fringe Festival 2018
You Once Said Yes
One-on-One Promenade Theatre
What happens if you just keep saying ‘Yes’ to everyday encounters? That’s what this award-winning one-on-one promenade piece through the streets of Edinburgh explored on the Fringe festival in 2011.
I saw an open call for performers in my university e-mail one day in my second year. The UK based theatre company Look Left, Look Right was looking for performers for a new show that they would be taking to Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Eager to get one foot in the door in UK’s world of theatre I applied, and remarkably got the part of the lost backpacker Frida, one of a number of people audiences would encounter on this ‘slippery, snake-like structure’ of a show (quote: Lyn Gardner).
One audience member at a time would arrive at the Underbelly venue, where they would be greeted by a stewardess instructing them to say YES to whoever they’d encounter on their travel and equipped them with a backpack that included convenient objects for their journey. They’d then almost immediately encounter Frida, who enlisted their help in finding her hostel, in numerous languages, before being picked up by a bank robber. And on the story went.
This was my first experience of a Fringe festival, and what an experience! Ingenious script, wonderful cast members and I completely fell for Edinburgh and the Fringe. It also sparked my love for one-on-one theatre, as well as promenades. Seven years later I started the Fringe festival in Reykjavík, great things happen when you do say YES!
Company: Look Left, Look Right
Director: Mimi Poskitt
Writers: Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Katie Lyons
Designer: Amelia Jane Hankin
WINNER: Edinburgh Fringe First Award 2011
WINNER: Total Theatre Award 2011
ÍRiiS is an electronic musician and vocalist from Iceland. For her music video Nornin (The Witch) she assembled a team of performers and models to perform in Iceland’s unspoiled nature, merging people’s naked bodies with the raw nature.
Music by ÍRiiS.
Music video by Kristina Petrošiutė.