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  • Writer's pictureNeill Kovacic-Clarke


🎭 Banging Denmark 

📍 Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London, SW10 9ED

🗓 Thursday 25th April 2024



BANGING DENMARK by Van Badham is playing at London's Finborough Theatre and is a darkly comic look at the modern world and shows us that even people with completely opposing ideologies can find common ground and friendship.

As the story opens we meet chauvinistic 'seduction machine' Jake who is hosting his podcast where the listening audience seem to be misogynist incels and Jake's outdated beliefs on women are on full show. Ishtar on the other hand is a scholar and feminist who would rather "fuck the photocopier" than engage with someone like Jake.

Their lives weave together when online trolls go after Ishtar for calling out Jake's mysogony and she is successfully sued for defamation and ends up living in her office and washing with wet wipes as she loses everything. They never meet in person though until Jake strikes out with Anne, a Danish national who works in his local library, after his usual 'game' fails to impress her. He turns to Ishtar for her advice, thus giving us the central plotline.

One thing which is instantly apparent with this production is the great creativity in both the set design and the direction. Katy Mo and Leah Kelly have essentially split the stage into two with Jake's flat on one side and Ishtar's office on the other. It's really interesting to see the similarities in their living conditions as well as the differences. In the centre is Anna's workspace and Sally Woodcock's direction successfully utilises the space with wondrous competency.

Badham's script is fully engaging and is full of twists and turns that brings the audience willingly along for the ride. Alongside the central story we have Ishtar's friends Denyse and Toby. We discover Toby's unrequited love for Denyse who is more drawn to Jake. There's another more surprising romantic connection which plays out which creates great drama for all involved.

There is something really real and relatable about each character and everything feels deep with them. Jake's bravado is obviously a way of masking his insecurity and Anne's seduction technique being an almost mirror image of Jake's makes a subtle but definite remark about today's society.

This is a real ensemble piece of theatre and has a fantastic cast. Tom Kay beautifully portrays each nuance of Jake's character and Rebecca Blackstone skillfully takes Ishtar to the edge of obserdity without ever crossing the line and losing the realism.

Maja Simonsen, Jodie Tyack and James Jip are all phenomenal in their roles, each keeping their characters grounded and are a pure joy to watch.

BANGING DENMARK is an absolute triumph, excelling on every level and proving that you don't need to be in a West End theatre to experience world class entertainment. As with any theatrical production it is the central story that matters and the glorious writing here matched with an incredibly talented cast and topped off with a fantastic technical team is a wonder to witness.

There's still plenty of time to catch BANGING DENMARK on its run. It is playing at Finborough Theatre until Saturday 11th May. Book your tickets here.

If you want a play that's fast, fresh and funny then you can't go wrong with BANGING DENMARK.

Neill Kovacic-Clarke

All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest, fair and free from influence. Theatre is subjective and it is important to remember that all views expressed are just those of one reviewer.

My ticket for this performance of Banging Denmark was gifted by Finborough Theatre who invited me to watch the show in exchange for my honest review. The fact that my ticket was gifted played no part in the content of my review or the star rating given.


Tom Kay as Jake Newhouse; Maja Simonsen as Anne Toft; Rebecca Blackstone as Ishtar Madigan; Jodie Tyack as Dr. Denyse Kim; James Jip as Toby Bello

RUNNING TIME (approx):

1 hour 40 minutes, with no interval


Occasional bad language


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