Banging Denmark at Harbour Theatre

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Posted 2023-08-13 by grooverfollow

Fri 15 Sep 2023 - Sun 01 Oct 2023

Banging Denmark features Natalia Myslinska, left, Luke Osborne, Grace Edwards, Ryan Emery and Injeong Hwang. Picture: Michael McAllan

A modern romantic comedy about sex, the internet and social democracy goes online at Harbour Theatre this September. Written by former Q&A panellist Van Badham and directed by Dr Melissa Merchant, Banging Denmark is a swinging satire on men who claim to understand the female mind – and the online culture that inspires them.

Feminist PhD candidate and blogger Ishtar Madigan writes about misogyny and video games while Jake Newhouse is a pick-up artist podcaster. When Jake falls for a woman who doesn’t respond to his usual moves, he hires Ishtar to help him get a date.

Grace Edwards plays feminist PhD candidate and blogger Ishtar Madigan in Banging Denmark. Picture: Michael McAllan

Banging Denmark is a very timely, and funny, play about actions and their consequences, shining a light on what happens beyond the online world,” Melissa said. “It’s a fast-paced script with multiple locations and, as one scene flows into the next, there are no opportunities for blackouts or scene changes.

“This means the set must be designed to accommodate an office, library, park, street and two living rooms on a stage that isn’t terribly big. Using clever design and lighting, matched with the actors’ performances, will make it work.”

Banging Denmark director Dr Melissa Merchant.

Involved in theatre since 1995, Melissa has worked with Heritage, Kwinana, Harbour, Melville, Blak Yak, Roleystone, Old Mill, KADS, Garrick and Marloo Theatres, The Revellers, Murdoch University and the Graduate Dramatic Society. She received the best actress award for her role in Insignificance in 2006 at the annual Garrick Theatre awards, as well as scoring best actress nominations for No Names… No Pack Drill in 2015 and When Dad Married Fury in 2022.

In 2006, Melissa directed a stage adaptation of the TV show Coupling, winner of best ensemble cast at the South West Drama Festival – and her play Never Ever was named best original script at the same festival in 2015.

Grace Edwards, centre, Ishtar Madigan with Injeong Hwang, left, as Anne Toft and Ryan Emery as Jake Newhouse in Banging Denmark. Picture: Michael McAllan

“The appeal of Banging Denmark comes from the fact the characters are recognisable and relatable,” she said. “Van Badham has written five unique characters more complex than those found in a typical romantic comedy and the cast are bringing them to life in ways that will resonate with an audience. That said, the play is also very, very funny.”

First Nations actor, writer and comedian Nakkiah Lui describes Banging Denmark thus: "Van Badham may have one of the biggest and quickest minds in Australia, but it’s her huge heart that takes the stage. Not unlike Van, Banging Denmark is a play that speaks its mind with edge, wit and heart. By the end of it, you can’t help but feel enraged, endeared and ultimately, empowered. Van Badham has created the ultimate political rom-com, a battle of the sexes that’s an entertaining aphrodisiac.”

Best friends Dr Denyse Kim {Natalia Myslinska, left} and Toby Bello {Luke Osborne}, in Banging Denmark. Picture: Michael McAllan

Discussing Banging Denmark on the Sydney Theatre Company website, Van Badham said: “Expect a jolly shameless good time. Banging Denmark is a comedy about five people making desperate – and desperately bad – decisions about their sexual lives. The whole thing’s a dirty ploy to make an audience laugh out loud as a crescendo of emotional wreckage results.

“I spend way, way too much time on the internet, and have developed regrettable nuance in my understanding of the currents and communities' modern misogyny. So, in a way, the play’s some kind of a love letter from me to every anonymous jerk, douchebag and dumbass who’s ever given me or other feminists any s*** on the internet.”

Banging Denmark features Ryan Emery as pick-up artist podcaster Jake Newhouse. Picture: Michael McAllan

Banging Denmark plays at 7.30pm September 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29 and 30 with 2pm matinees September 17 and 24 and October 1. Tickets are $25.50, $23.50 concession and $20.50 students – book at or call TAZTix on 9255 3336. Note: the production features strong language and adult themes. Harbour Theatre is located at 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park.


261963 - 2023-08-12 07:46:22


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