After spending the day climbing glaciers or descending into volcanoes you’re probably too pumped to go to straight to bed, am I right? Here’s a list of what to see and check out in Reykjavik after dark.
But what can you do in a foreign city where you don’t know anybody and don’t even speak the language? Lucky for you Reykjavík is a vibrant city full of cultural events suited for non-Icelandic speakers. Here are a few of our favourite (cultural) things:
The Icelandic Cabaret and Burlesque scene had been virtually non-existent until the arrival of Reykjavik Kabarett. With a core group of seven Icelandic performers, the collective performs acts inspired by burlesque, circus, magic, comedy, or just pure outrageous fun. They are usually joined by various international guest artists, most of whom perform in the Slipper Room in New York. Prepare to leave your inhibitions by the door as you will be variously serenaded by a sexy (in his mind) aging lothario, stunned by Miss Encircled’s skill with a hula-hoop and surprised by the mixed feelings a comedic strip-tease can stir up in you. The show makes for a fun, rambunctious evening, not suited for children under 20 years old. The air of casual fun, mixed with awe-inducing performances (the MC’s goofy stage demeanour initially disguises the fact that he’s an accomplished magician.) makes for a fantastic experience. Reykjavik Kabarett will be performing in Rósenberg bar every Thursday in June and is a great way to cap off your day.
Billed as the “Only Queer Variety Show in Iceland” Drag-súgur is a relatively new addition to the Reykjavik cultural scene. Founded by two young Icelandic men who felt the queer art scene in Iceland needed to become more visible, Drag-súgur’s outrageously fun shows have become an extremely popular way for locals and visitors alike to spend their evening. So far they’ve had a monthly show at legendary bar Gaukurinn where fabulous drag queens and stunning drag kings strut their stuff, dancing, lip-syncing or even performing original music and theatre pieces. This summer they plan on doing more frequent shows as well as a planning an extravagant hoopla for the Reykjavík Pride in August.
Icelandic Sagas – The Greatest Hits
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Icelandic Sagas, those tales of Vikings and farmers that settled this Nordic island. Maybe you’ve even been on a tour to explore the settings of the Sagas or visited the Settlement Centre in Reykjavik. If you’re still feeling unclear about all these sonur’s and dóttir’s and their exploits, this 75 minute theatre performance is the perfect way to get a more intimate and humorous look at the legendary tales. Performed several times a week in the Harpa Concert Hall by two up-for-it actors, the show mixes storytelling with some (light) audience participation to ensure you’ll come out of there feeling like Leif the Lucky after he discovered America (before he lost it again).
How to become Icelandic in 60 Minutes
The title says it all really. This stand-up routine/nationality seminar will teach you everything you need to know about being Icelandic. You’ll get lessons in the Icelandic language, Icelandic movement and Icelandic cuisine, as well as learning about the everyday problems facing the average Icelander, like how you can never own an umbrella for more than five minutes at a time and how to pronounce the name of that volcano (you know the one). Sure there are a lot of stereotypes in the show but if you’ve spent any time in the company of Icelandic people you’ll know there is always a grain of truth to the type. Great fun for the whole family.