On Sunday 1 July 2018, 2012 Rose Bruford College BA (Hons) European Theatre Arts graduate Nanna Gunnars will host the launch of the inaugural Reykjavik Fringe Festival (RVK Fringe), a festival she has founded to provide opportunities for Icelandic and International artists to showcase their work.
Running from 4–8 July, and sponsored by the City of Reykjavík, Hlemmur Square, Fisherman and Omnom, the festival sees 11 venues host over 50 international performers and companies, including performers from the UK, USA, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Israel, Brazil and Iceland. The RVK Fringe features a diverse range of work including theatre, cabaret & variety, stand-up comedy, live music, poetry, installations, gallery exhibitions, film screenings, dance performances and workshops.
Iceland is known for its beautiful nature, but there's also a very rich cultural scene within the country, especially in its capital Reykjavík. This festival enables travellers and locals alike to enjoy the cultural scene to its fullest, with most performances taking place in English.
Nanna, who is also involved in several of the performances, says;
"I am really excited to help upcoming performers in Iceland showcase their work, and to bring in international acts to expand the local art scene. RVK Fringe is also part of a larger network of festivals, the Nordic Fringe Network, so festival directors from Norway, Sweden and Finland will also be attending the festival, as well as former Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London City Festival director Paul Gudgin. The festival will be a great place for performers and producers to network."
Other Rose Bruford College graduates performing at the festival include Ingimar Bjarni (2014 BA (Hons) American Theatre Arts graduate) who is both working as a stage manager and performing at the Poetry Brothel Reykjavík, Ingunn Lára (2014 BA (Hons) American Theatre Arts graduate) who will be giving her lecture at Epic Fails, New York-based actor and artist Sóla Eva (2013 BA (Hons) European Theatre Arts graduate) who will present an exhibition of her drawings, titled Orð; and the theatre company Rokkur Friggjar (featuring several Rose Bruford College graduates) will be performing their latest theatre piece Forget-Me-Nots before taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Reflecting on her time at Rose Bruford College, Nanna acknowledges the influence BA (Hons) European Theatre Arts programme has had on her career;
"Studying BA (Hons) European Theatre Arts was really useful for me as it taught me how to create my own opportunities. With this festival, I'm making a platform for my own work, as well as helping dozens of other local and international artists showcase their work. I've somehow ended up in a producing role and a festival director, but I'll always want to keep one foot on the stage itself as well."
Rose Bruford College has a long association with Iceland and Icelandic students, and several graduates have gone to enjoy great success in Iceland – including poet Eyrún Ósk Jónsdóttir (Winner of the Tómas Guðmundsson award 2016), Kari Vidarsson (founder of hostel and cultural space The Freezer) and Reykjavík Dance Festival co-Director Alexander Roberts.
Entry fees to each show will be kept to a minimum, and several performances have free entry. A festival pass (valid for all performances) costs £69 pounds (9,900 ISK).