2020 - Shortlisted
Van Badham’s eye for detail and her spot-on dialogue come to vicious life in BANGING DENMARK. Part buddy story, part rom-com, the play features feminist academic Ishtar Madigan flail, grovel, eyebrow-raise, critique with knife-sharp precision, as she undertakes the most impossible mission: helping her pick-up-artist enemy get the woman of his dreams. The premise is wildly engaging and its execution is rewarding with its unexpected turns and satisfying conclusion.
Ishtar is a protagonist rarely seen on stage. It’s a huge credit to Badham that she has transformed what could have been a frumpy curmudgeonly cat lady into something that goes way beyond the two-dimensional. The characters around her – from her geek crew, to her nemesis, to her accidental love interest – are equally interesting. The play also offers humanity and compassion in bucket-loads. This is one for nerds, for women who’ve been negged, and for men who’ve done the negging.