The Southampton University Theatre Group production Festen, an adaption of Thomas Vinterburg’s cult film is due to open tonight at the Annex Theatre.
The Scandinavian play deals with issues such as strained familial bonds, difficulty with accepting identity and class and racial attitudes. It focuses on the elderly patriach Helge, the owner of a successful local hotel who gathers his family to celebrate his sixtieth birthday. However, underlying issues regarding the suicide of his eldest daughter Linda threaten to spill over and dark secrets from the past slowly unravel as the occasion turns from celebration to devastation.
Assistant Director Olivia Krauze commented on Festen, saying the show was: ‘An absolute pleasure’ to direct, ‘due to the sheer talent and level of commitment from all of the cast members who threw themselves straight into the more sensitive content, as well as the crazy song and dance filled parts of the piece.’ She continued to add, ‘Festen‘s got that shock factor, it’s moving as well as funny in parts and full of memorable characters – what more could you want?’
She also briefly divulged some plot details, ‘On a deeper level, it’s a play about façade which I think resonates with a young audiences. We live in a society where image is everything – this, too, is the case for the Hansen family. Though obviously, the truths revealed at their dinner party are a little more… dramatic.’