Krudttønden

As you are probably aware, the theatre that has been the home for many CTC’ers for so many years was the location of a fatal attack on Saturday 14th February. A man opened fire on a debate about Art, Blasphemy and the Freedom of Expression, presumably targeting the cartoonist Lars Vilks and the French Ambassador. For us in the CTC it is doubly shocking, since we all know Krudttønden so well. I myself first performed there more than 20 years ago, and have been back so many times since that the stage feels as comfortable as an old shoe. Seeing the pictures of the glass doors that I know so well, riddled with bullet holes, plastered across the Internet, across the front pages of newspapers all over the world, is simply heartbreaking.

In these days my thoughts, and I suspect those of many of you who read this, go to the people who attended the debate and the families of those wounded and killed at Krudttønden and the later equally senseless attack at the Synagogue in Krystalgade. I also think especially of the employees at Krudttønden and Kultur Østerbro, many of whom we know well and have met and worked with many times. Luckily it seems that none of them were physically hurt in the attack, but there is no doubt that this must be a horrendous experience for them. Let’s hope for them all that they get the help they need to process what has happened, and let’s keep our eyes open for opportunities to help them, too.

The attack also feels much too close for comfort, because our good friends from That Theatre Co. were at Krudttønden Saturday morning, getting started on their show Shakespeare’s Women that was set to open Wednesday 18 February. They had left before the debate meeting and the subsequent attack took place, but it must still be terrifying to have been so close to being there when it happened. We send our thoughts to them as well, and hope their show can eventually go on as planned.

It is well worth noting that on Monday 16 February more than 30,000 people gathered near Krudttønden to show their support and respect for the victims. It was a beautiful and hopeful moment that shows that for every single misguided lunatic there are tens of thousands of people willing to take a stand against violence and terrorism.

I don’t have much else to say about this – at least not much that our member Andrew Blackwell hasn’t said much better in this essay – except one thing. This was a senseless act of violence, perpetrated it seems by a confused, violent youth, who could find nothing better to do with his life than to kill and destroy. In contrast, when I think of Krudttønden, I think of all the times I have come there with good friends and colleagues to create something – a show, an entertainment, a good time for everyone, a breather from the pressure of the real world, hopefully sometimes something that provided food for thought. Our little theatre society is a wonderful patchwork of people from many cultures and different backgrounds, and the best answer we have, when the forces of chaos and hate come knocking, is to go on creating, and helping each other fulfill some of our dreams in the process. It is our way of making the best of our time on this planet, of making sense of what happens here, and of bringing light and beauty into a world that sometimes seems too dark for comfort. When Krudttønden hopefully opens again, we will be there once more to do just that.

Jens Blegaa

Chairman