The Hidden People [Working Title]

Theatre & Circus
Performer, Creator & Producer

The Hidden People is a work in progress that’s a collaboration between Huldufugl and the British circus duet Hikapee.

The show will combine Icelandic folklore of the hidden people with aerial circus, physical theatre and creative technology.

The creation of the show started in late 2018, when Hikapee came to Iceland for a 2 week research and development phase. Huldufugl went to the UK in February 2019 and performed a 40 minute work-in-progress sharing at Jacksons Lane Theatre on 1st of March 2019. The second research and development phase is currently taking place, both in the UK and in Finland and will end in January 2020.

This performance has had support from:
Arts Council England
Jacksons Lane Theatre
101 Outdoor Arts
The Finnish Institute
Robin Boot Photography

Funding dependant, the performance should be ready to tour at the end of 2020.

Iceland and UK, 2020.

Kassinn / A Box In The Desert

Virtual Reality Theatre installation
Performer & Producer

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, (English title “A Box In The Desert”), 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.

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. Initially that voiceover was done by me, as I was unable to perform live during the RVK Fringe. In its current version, Ástþór Ágústsson and I take turns in performing in the show. This version was invited to the Stockholm Fringe Festival in September 2018, and subsequently went on to tour around Europe and USA in 2019, selling out wherever it went and winning numerous awards.

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.

Behind the scenes at STOFF 2018
Kassinn at Menningarnótt 2017 (first iteration)

WINNER: Best Interactive Narrative Experience, Raindance Film Festival 2019
WINNER: Outstanding USA Premiere, San Diego Fringe Festival 2019
WINNER: Most Amazing Game Award, A Maze Festival, Berlin 2019
WINNER: Innovation in Performance, Stockholm International Fringe Festival 2018
NOMINATED: GRAND PRIX, Stockholm International Fringe Festival 2018

RVK Fringe, Stockholm Fringe, 2018.
A Maze, Brighton Fringe, Jacksons Lane Theatre, private performances in LA, San Diego Fringe, RVK Fringe, Raindance Film Festival, 2019.

Reykjavík Fringe Festival

Annual Arts Festival
Festival Director

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

“Reykjavik Fringe, a bit like the much-missed Forest Fringe used to be in Edinburgh, gives people a supportive framework to make work that’s porous and freeform and uncategorisable.” – Exeunt Magazine

Media (in English):
Encounters with Reykjavik Fringe
A Party Full of Art
Reykjavík Fringe Festival: Open That Mother Fringing Curtain
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):

Leiklistarveisla á jaðrinum
Hundrað verk frá 25 löndum á Reykjavík Fringe
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

Reykjavík, from 2018.

Rauða skáldahúsið

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

Previous performances:
18 May 2017
– featuring Kristín Ómarsdóttir
29 July 2017 (Wild Nights!)
– featuring Kristín Eiríksdóttir
10 November 2017 (Masquerade)
– featuring Kött Grá Pjé
29 March 2018 (Seven Deadly Sins)
– featuring Sjón
21 June 2018 (A Midsummer’s Night Dream)
– featuring Hallgrímur Helgason & Cornelia Travnicek
8 July 2018 (The Golden Age): The Café Review Book Launch
– featuring Einar Már Guðmundsson, Gerður Kristný, Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson and Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir
22 November 2018 (Masquerade)
– featuring Linda Vilhjálmsdóttir
8 March 2019 (The Witching Hour)
– featuring Elísabet Kristín Jökulsdóttir & translator Max Savage
25 April 2019 (Salon)
– Pop-up event in Gröndalshús in collaboration with Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature
4 July 2019 (Inferno)
– featuring Francesca Cricelli

Í Rauða skáldahúsinu getur allt gerst
Ærsl og usl í Rauða skáldahúsinu
Reykjavík’s First “Poetry Brothel” Opens Its Doors

The Maze of Yggdrasil

Public Art Installation

In 2016 Huldufugl moved to Reykjavík from London, and almost immediately got started on what’s still to date our largest project.

For Culture Night 2016 Huldufugl built a 370 square metre labyrinth out of shipping pallets in a parking lot in Grandi, filled with installations by a number of artists and collaborators.
The maze stood for one month and also hosted several live installations, including roaming dancers, walkabout brass orchestra, LED hula hoop performance, live music by ÍRiiS, Bláskjár, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir and Svavar Knútur, a Japanese tea ceremony and a movie screening.

We put emphasis on awaking all of people’s senses, touching, smelling, tasting, hearing and seeing, and each room was loosely connected to the worlds in the Nordic mythology, with Yggdrasill, the tree of life, standing tall in the midst of the maze.

Íris Thorarins made 3 original soundscapes that mixed with each other and were played on loop within the maze. Above is a video accompanying the Yggdrasil soundtrack, played in the heart of the maze. Additionally she made tracks for Hel (Hell) and Paradís (Paradise).

The maze had free entry, and on opening day 1500 guests walked through it. Judging from our guestbook at least another 1500 people came in the following month, including many repeat customers, so more than 3000 people enjoyed the installation.

Additionally we invited school children and high school students to visit the structure and learn about it.

I built the whole structure along with my partner Owen Hindley, and created the installations in 5 rooms out of 12, along with overseeing what other installations were in place.

Reykjavík, 2016.

HEIMA by Huldufugl

Immersive Event

Huldufugl’s first performance was called HEIMA and took place in Deptford Cinema in London, just a few months before we moved to Iceland. Sigur Rós made one tweet about the event and it immediately sold out.

This was an homage to Iceland, offering the screening of the Icelandic documentary HEIMA by Sigur Rós, live music by MIMRA and ÍRiiS, photography by Nick Miners of Icelandic landscape, artwork by Ella Rósinkrans, homemade Icelandic delicacies and recordings of Icelandic nature by Hafdís Bjarnadóttir along with many more small Icelandic touches.

A DIY version of a Secret Cinema event.
The event was supported by The Icelandic Embassy in England and Nick Miners photography.

Deptford Cinema, London, 12 March 2016.