In a toss up between seeing Of Monsters and Men perform live at a free thank you concert in Hljómskálagarðurinn park by the Reykjavík Pond and learning how to become Icelandic in 60 minutes at Harpa, we decided to see the one man act written and performed by Bjarni Haukur Þórsson. The comedy show tells you all that you need to know about Icelanders in order to properly blend in.
I didn’t quite understand some of the things that were said about the way Icelandic people walk and I’m not sure why there is a stereotype that Icelanders are rude (the locals were all friendly no matter where we travelled in the country). Different people, different customs — doesn’t make sense to compare apples with oranges, does it?
Although based heavily on stereotypes of Iceland (which I knew nothing about prior to our visit), I found the show to be insightful, educational and also funny. Not to mention, a great plug for why people ought to visit Iceland (or more a reminder of why we chose to visit in the first place). There is no doubt that Iceland is a beautiful country, and as I’ve said before an underrated place to visit. But to Icelanders it’s not just a travel destination — it’s home. Having to survive in a not always gentle climate, with the constant threat of volcanoes erupting in their backyard, I think the phrase Þetta reddast (translated as ‘things will somehow work out’) pretty much sums up the Icelandic approach to life.
I wish we could’ve seen both Of Monsters and Men and the show but in the end I came away with more ‘knowledge’ of Icelandic culture and people than I would’ve just playing tourist without any cultural perspective. The show runs through
29 August 2012 22 September 2012 and they’ve also added a few more shows in December. More information on dates and tickets can be found on Harpa’s website. I highly recommend seeing this — we had a good laugh as did the rest of the audience, which also included some local Icelanders.
Warning: If you’re easily offended and cannot appreciate the humour in stereotypes this show is not for you.