Vordingborgs Internationale


Egnsteatret – from Italy to Denmark – from site specific to human specific

1960: Nullo Facchini, born 5 October 1960 in Bologna.

1980: Travels to Denmark to visit Eugenio Barba and sign up to work in his experimental Odin Theatre in Holstebro. But they were on tour in South America, so Facchini went back to Italy.

1981: Instructs an amateur group from which he continues to work with five of the members and form teatro Cantabile.

1982: Teatro Cantabile ends and Nullo Facchini is hired as an instructor assistant with the professional company Teatro Nucleo.

1983: Invited by Nucleo’s leader to travel to Germany and Denmark to teach, and here he mocks seven talented performers, and together with them he founders Egnsteatret, and they move back to Italy for a while.

1984: Egnsteatret settles in Denmark and performs with strong physical expressions in Copenhagen.

1985: School of Stage Arts – SOSA – is established as a course to train actors who will work at Egnsteatret. SOSA is a physically oriented acting education, started against the background of Egnsteatret’s and the Danish theatre world’s growing need for performers who master the art of both the movement and the voice as well as the ability to relate creatively and creatively to the space around them.

1987: Nullo Facchini organises a festival of international performing arts in Copenhagen: WAVES Festival.

1990: Vordingborg Municipality is looking for a regional theatre and mocks the skilled company with the very physical and experimental performances. Before the end of the year, Egnsteatret has a regional theatre contract that ensures an economic basis four years ahead.

1991: School of Stage Arts is established in Bakkebølle near Vordingborg, as a three-year performance education. Egnsteatret’s artistic director, Nullo Facchini, is the principal of the school, and the school’s teaching is largely based on guest instruction provided by professional performing arts professionals, whom Facchini selects from the international performing arts environment, in order to keep the education alive and up-to-date. The training is based more on the development of the individual characteristics of each student than on a defined curriculum. The school closes in 1991 as a result of financial cuts, but Egnsteatret continues with teaching activities in the form of longer workshops and masterclasses for Danish and international professional performers. These courses always end with open views of the participants’ work for the public.

1991: Nullo Facchini establishes the performing arts festival WAVES Festival in Vordingborg, and it has been held every two years ever since with Facchini as curator. International festival with performing artists from all over the world, who over the course of six days fill the whole of Vordingborg with performances both outdoors and indoors. August 2021 is the 16th time Egnsteatret presents Waves Festival.

1990-2020: Nullo Facchini produces and directs more than 45 performances, several of which tour Denmark and abroad. Several of them are set to and receive awards. See Performances 1990 to 2000: Egnsteatret produces a number of site-specific performances on a large scale, which are produced for widely different locations in Denmark and abroad, especially Germany.

Hell from 1992 is the first site specific show that really strikes at both audiences and reviewers. It is inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, and it is shown both in Vordingborg, Copenhagen, on Lolland and at Kronborg in Elsinore. This performance, together with the comedy Brevet from 1992, triggers the Danish Theatre Critics’ Initiative Prize for Egnsteatret in 1993.

In 2000, the last of the major site-specific performances Loreley – Ein Mythos in Bildern – is displayed at the World’s Fair in Hanover. At the sight of the enormous set design far out in the exhibition area’s lake during the premiere, Nullo Facchini suddenly felt that his performing arts had come too far from the audience, and this is where the idea for humane performance was conceived, to be realized three years later in the Venus Labyrinth.

2003-2020: Nullo Facchini develops a new way of thinking about theatre: human specific performance. In 2003, he and Egnsteatret premiered the show Venus Labyrinth, which led this relationship to the extreme, because here the actor and performer met each other 1 to 1 in a room alone, and the performer were part of the performance as himself. No roles were played, rather a piece of framework reality, in which both parties gave something of themselves in each of the interactive situations that the show consisted of. It was built up like a journey through the female brain. Nullo Facchini gave his new theatrical form the term human specific performance, because it was the approach to the individual specifically that was the whole focal point of the staging. After the Venus Labyrinth, a large number of humane performances – including Life Live!, The Paradox of Happiness, Word Between Spaces – followed, all of which were shown in unconventional places, while the Venus Labyrinth continued to tour.

In 2016, it was set up at the Gatchina Palace in St. Petersburg with local Russian performers under great and very positive attention from Russian media.

In 2018, Egnsteatret achieved the highest honor in Danish theatre with the performance Hidden Number, which received Reumert of the Year 2018 for Best Performance. Hidden Number is built up as a journey to unknown places in the city, where the audience is led around in large American cars in groups of four. The grand jury wrote, among other things, in his motivation: “… sensibilities were brought to light in optimal contact between the cast and the audience. Theatre with logistical profits and flapping love. Here, a space was created to let the emotions run freely. A challenge – and a gift.”

2017: Egnsteatret – Sensory Work for Children and Adolescents is established under the direction of Siri Facchini Haff. Sensory Work is the unifying term for Egnsteatret’s activities for children, young people and families, and with this effort the theater wants to create deep, thoughtful and sensuous spaces where participants feel themselves. Sensory Work receives the support of the Ministry of Culture and Education for a four-year project, World-Class Project, which is a major collaboration with municipal schools in Vordingborg, which are offered courses with professional performing artists.
Sensory Work is behind three audience-involving performances that have been shown for school classes in Vordingborg and have since toured the country: Traces of Animals (age 6-10 years), On the Bottom of Darkness (ages 10-14) and In the Embrace of Silence (7-13 years).

2017: Egnsteatret establishes a 9-day workshop for professional performers and others interested in performing arts and human interaction: Creating Transformative Encounters. International Intensive Workshop in Participatory and Human Specific Performance. The workshop is then held once a year in Vordingborg with up to 10 participants receiving a diploma at the end of the course.

2019: The Danish Arts Foundation’s Project Support Committee evaluation report is published. It emphasises: “The theatre has a dedicated and strong management, a competent and committed staff, a very high level of activity, very relevant side activities that complement the theatre’s artistic activities. Unique regional theatre profile with artistic high level and ambition, distinctive and clear artistic vision. The theatre is development-oriented and represents a contemporary relevant content. Large international network, collaboration, tours, co-productions and artistic exchange.”

2020: January: premiere of The Lamb of God, everything we love, everything we fear – created freely after Milo Raus Lam Gods (NTGent 2918). Egnsteatret was given permission by Belgian theatre director Milo Rau to create a Danish version of this citizen-involved performance, which recreates Ghent’s world-famous altarpiece with living citizens who are part of the show as himself with personal narratives that are a contemporary version of the altarpiece’s motifs. In Egnsteatret’ setup, it was citizens from Vordingborg and the surrounding area – and a flock of sheep – who went on stage three consecutive evenings and shared touching tales of their own lives in a framework that encompasses the entire history of mankind.

2020: Egnsteatret has its 30th anniversary as regional theatre in Vordingborg Municipality, and it is also the year when another four-year regional theatre contract with the municipality is signed, thus securing the financial basis for the theatre’s continued artistic activities up to and including 2024.

In August 2020, Egnsteatret will be recognized outside Europe for its special theatrical methods, as Nullo Facchini is honored by the 27th edition of CIFET – Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre. With the honor came among others: “We would love to celebrate your work and your journey and spread the word throughout the Arab region about your specific style and approach.”

The story behind the name Nullo Facchini:
“In 1981 I formed a small theatre group in my hometown of Ferrara, Italy. I was just 20. We were invited by the professional theatre Teatro Nucleo to attend the annual carnival in Venice with our first performance. While we were in the queue for sign-ups, we saw that one had to fill in the name of the Company, and we hadn’t speculated for a second, so we didn’t have a name. We had to get that in a hurry. Our performance was feature with singing, which we performed in different places in the city. Suddenly we were there, and then we were gone again, to show up somewhere new. A dynamic performance that met new audiences all the time. “Cantabile!” exclaimed one of the group with the Italian word for ‘songable’. And that’s how it turned out. Our name was Teatro Cantabile. Later, the group was disbanded, and in 1983 I formed a new company. When Teatro Cantabile had received good reviews – and we in the new group wanted to re-enact some of the first performances – the new group became Egnsteatret.”

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