How to become Icelandic in 60 minutes is a one man show in English that will be running in Harpa this summer. It’s a comedy show that tells you all that you need to know about Icelanders in order to properly blend in. It’s written and performed by Bjarni Haukur Þórsson who has a couple of hugely successful one-man shows under his belt and is no stranger to having to fill up a whole stage by himself. I acquired a couple of tickets through work and decided to invite my American friend Anne along to for the ride.
As the name suggests it’s a one hour show and it takes place in Kaldalón, the smallest of the Harpa halls. The set is really simple but nice and I really enjoyed the graphics that supported Bjarni Haukur’s ramblings. Like I mentioned, it is a comedy show and a pretty funny one at that but I did think the first half was a bit better than what followed. At one point the Finnish lady sitting next to me had to remove her glasses to wipe away tears of laughter and there was a French girl in one of the rows behind me that just couldn’t contain herself and squeaked and squealed pretty much the whole time.
Earlier in the day I had been at a BBQ with some friends and when I told them I had to leave to go see this show they asked me to tell them later whether it was accurate or not. I have to say that he was on point in most things although I didn’t quite understand some of the things that were said about the way Icelandic people walk. I also kind of take offense when Icelanders are called rude, which he did, because I don’t think it’s a question of being rude but different customs in different countries. I put the whole Icelanders are so rude in the same old dogma pile as all Icelandic women are sluts and I kind of wished he would have left that one out.
I would also like to warn those who are not into stereotypes that this is not the show for you. The show dances on the line of simply being offensive but somehow manages to stay on the right side of it for the most parts. Lets just say it’s not entirely PC.
How to become Icelandic in 60 minutes is available on different dates three times a week at 7pm untill August 29th. You can visit Harpa’s website for more info on dates and tickets. The price is 3900 ISK (24 Euros) and Kolabrautin offers a special theater menu before the show. They say on their website that some material in the show is not suitable for children under the age of 13 and I have to agree.
All in all I thought it was a pretty good show, especially considering that it’s geared towards tourists and I’m not exactly the target group. The first half was really funny and then it went a bit downhill but by the end it picked up again. I like the concept, the visuals and much of the of the material so I was pretty happy. There are many worse things you could spend your time and money on.