Welcome to Lars Kaaber's homepage in English.

Regretfully, this attempt to comprise the basics into one page is a bit messy. Webmastering is not as easy as I thought. To contact me, scroll down to bottom.

To read excerpts from "Staging Shakespeare's Hamlet" - click the title.

For my Rome Guide in English- click the title.

Me, slouching at Christ Church College, Oxford where I studied in the summer of 1983. For ten minutes. A guide book. But I think that the picture has an air of ... well, of Brideshead Revisited or something.

Here is my CV:

(Born Oct. 25th, 1959)

MA from the University of Copenhagen: English in 1988, Film science in 1988, and Drama in 1999.

Ph.D. from Copenhagen University 2007 based on the dissertation "Staging Shakespeare's Hamlet" (published at Edwin Mellen Press 2006). The committee: Professor Charles Lock (chair); Professor John Kerrigan, Fellow of St. John's College, University of Cambridge; Dr. Jean Chothia, Fellow of Selwyn College, University of Cambridge.

Received the first prize in The Danish Actor's Guild Script Contest 2002 for the Play "Helene i live" (Helene Live)

Received the2nd prize in the DramaRama Script Contest 2003 for the play "Something Most Wonderful".

Member of the Board of Film and Theatre Education (The Danish Ministry of Culture) 2001 - 2006.

ReceivedFrederiksborg County's Theatre Award 2000.

Film and Television

Translation of Thomas Vinterberg: "The Hunt", Zentropa, 2010

Translation of Per Fly: "The Balkans", Zentropa, 2010

Translation of Lars von Trier's "Melancholia", Zentropa, 2010.

Translation of Lars von Trier's "Antichrist", Zentropa, 2008.

Translation of Karin Westerlund's "God, Smell and Her", Zentropa, 2008.

Translation of Anders Thomas Jensen & Kristian Levring: "Fear Me Not", Zentropa, 2008.

Translation of Anders Thomas Jensen's "Julius", Zentropa, 2007.

Shakespeare consultant and co-writer on Dogme 4, "The King is Alive" (Written by Anders Thomas Jensen, directed by Kristian Levring 2000). While waiting for a dubious rescue, a group of tourists stranded in the Kalahari agree to rehearse Shakespeare's "King Lear" - as one of them remembers it. My task was to corrupt the Bard's beautiful play and see to it that it was not remembered too correctly in the film!

The King is alive

Dogme adaptation of  Ibsen's "A Doll's House"(with Anders Thomas Jensen, for Suzanne Bier)

"Gaia's Children"– documentary on deformed people (awarded a 'Robert') (Assistant producer to Bente Milton, Milton Media, 1998)

"Men of Honour" – documentary on Anders Lassen, VC and Axel von dem Bussche. (Assistant producer to Bente Milton, Milton Media, 1995)

"October ’43" – documentary on the Danish Jews during the German occupation in WWII. (Assistant producer to Bente Milton, Milton Media, 1995)

Step-outline on Anders Bodelsen's "The Open Door" (M&M Production, 2000)

Co-writer on Anders Thomas Jensen's "Nøglebørn" (Instr. Kenneth Kainz, filmskolen 1998)

English translation of: "Vanillepigen" for Lasse Spang Olsen. (1998)

Producer of "Real Film" – interview with Gavin Millar about his film "DreamChild" (1989)


"In Character" -on method acting in drama education (Drama, 2006).

Staging Shakespeare's Hamlet - A Director's Interpreting Text through Performance" Edwin Mellen Press 2005. (to read excerpt, click the title; to read reviews, click here).

"Bogen om Hamlet" – a run-through of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy (November 2001, Hernovs Forlag)

"Kærlighedens komedier"("The Airy Nothing") – men and women in the works of William Shakespeare.(Hernovs Forlag 2000

(above) The covers of the two Shakespeare books: The first cover shows my godchild, Valdemar, dressed up as Cupid, (with Andersen's "The Ugly Duckling" fresh in his young memory, he resented my idea of the torn-off swan's wings!). The other cover shows my father's skull. (A spare one, though,  which he once bought in an antique shop in Copenhagen).

Disney' New Litter - On Disney's films from "The Little Mermaid" to "The Lion King".(Article, Berlingske Tidende 16/11 1994)

Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"(Article, Berlingske Tidende 30/01 1993)

Forster on Film– lengthy article on the film versions of five E.M.Forster novels. (David Lean's "Passage to India, Mechant & Ivory's "Room with a View", "Maurice" and "Howards End" and Sturridge's "Where Angels Fear to Tread"- Kosmorama, 1992)

"Hamlet and the Old Mole"– article on Shakespeares "Hamlet".(Article, Berlingske Tidende 24/9 1991). 

"Disney and the American Renaissance" – Disney viewed in terms of American cultural history or: "How Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville and Twain have manifested themselves in Disney's films". (Kosmorama 1989)

Five Interviews on Shakespeare with Annelise Schønnemann on Denmark's Radio (DR).

Theatre, Director and Playwright 

"We Die Once a Day" (2010) - a play about the death of the Romantic theatre tradition at the Royal Danish Theatre in 1855.


”Luv” by Murray Schisgal (2010) - Jonas Jensen, Rasms Ferdinandsen and Rie Sørensen.
"Something Most Wonderful" (2009) - a play about Herman Bang's direction of Gabrielle Réjane in Ibsen's A Doll's House in Paris, 1894.
On the run from a police raid on homosexuals in Denmark, Danish director Herman Bang, penniless and distraught, takes upon him to direct the Queen of French Boulevard Theatre, Gabrielle Réjane, as Nora in A Doll's House. The rehearsal turns both star and director inside out.
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 Photo: Simon Bennebjerg and Lærke Nørgaard
"Ragnarok" (2009) - Svend Forkbeard's ruthless reprimitivization of Denmark and sacking of England around the year 1000. Svend is the one with horns, of course, and the valkyrie Alvilde is goading the men into battle and bloodshed with a rip-roaring song.

"Over the Top" (2008) - all we need to know about "the Great War," as it was called back when nobody suspected that an even greater war would soon follow.

"The Whipped Cream Front" (2007) - The German occupation of Denmark and the Danish obsession with the Germans.

Shakespeare's "Much Ado about Nothing" (2007)

"The Battle of Copenhagen" (2006)

Molière's "The Misanthrope" (Dramaterne, 2006)

Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (2006) 

(above) Célimène beset with buffoons, messrs Clitandre & Acaste, in Dramaternes semi-dressed rendition of "The Misanthrope" (Henrik Engholm Jacobseb, Anna Schulin-Zeuthen and Rune Rohlin); Danish resistance fighter Axel is being inhumanely tortured by the Gestapo with birthday cake and singing in "The Whipped Cream Front" (Benjamin Gower-Poole, Jesper and Ulf Jensen, 2007), the soldiers of WWI celebrate the Christmas of 1914 in the trenches under a starry sky in "Over the Top" (2008), and Demetrius and Lysander fight for Hermia or for Helena or whoever in Dramaternes version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Magnus Erck, Mikkel Følsgaard, Heidi Keller and Anna Schulin-Zeuthen).

"The Golden Age" - a comedy about the pinnacle of Danish history and its generally admired, but grossly unlikeable geniuses.

"East Street" - a comedy about the Prohibition. 2004.

(above) Al Capone (Markus Schulin-Zeuthen) has a quiet moment contemplating his choice of career in "East Street" (2004), an excessively disagreeable Hans Christian Andersen (Jacob Herschend) is ruining a jolly trip to Rome for his young student companions in "The Golden Age" (2005) and an ill-fated Katrine Classen expires in the long-awaited embrace of naval hero Peder Willemoes (Frederik Klavsen and Anne Ruge in "The Battle of Copenhagen", 2006).

"Refugee" - four monologues about civilians in war time, based on eyewitness reports from World War II, Israel and Palestine. Gilleleje 2004.

"Armour and All"- a comedy about the crusades.

"Me and My Existence" - an existentialistic cabaret with Martin Ammitsbøl and Esben Dalgaard at Esrum Monastery 2003. Music: Kristian Rymkier. Songs: Sara Grabow.

Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" (Esrum Monastery and Copenhagen, 2002) My favourite Shakespeare comedy - and morbid to a fault. The show is listed in this section (with me as the author) because I changed the beautiful blank verse into prose for this production - but Shakespeare received credit as well. 

(left): Measure for Measure 2008; Anne Ruge, Helle Kristiansen & Jonas Jensen.


(left) Measure for Measure poster (photo: Stefan Frederiksen). Yes, there's a naked lady on the poster, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. As Shakespeare knew, too: sex sells. 
(right) Poster for "Armour and all".
"Helene i live" (Helene Alive) - A well-meaning and progressive talk show hostess makes a complete mess of her relations with a young immigrant. A one act drama about integration - or the lack it.

Composed and directed a Shakespearean rap at the Alzheimer Support Concert i Tivoli Concert Hall, April 2, 2001. Great fun to do, but hardly RSC material.

"Elizabeth B." (author) - a drama about the 16th century Hungarian mass murderess Elizabeth Bathory.

"Something Most Wonderful" ("Det vidunderligste") (author) - a drama about Herman Bang's direction of Gabrielle Réjane in Ibsen's "A Doll's House", Paris, 1894.

"Philomela" (author/translator/director) – a jazz cabaret based on the writings of Søren Kierkegaard, infused with music by Cole Porter and George Gerschwin.(Esrum Monastery, 2001)

"Christian the Second" (author/director) - a comedy on the life and times of Christian II. 2003.

"Renaissance" (author/director)- a comedy on the life and times of Tycho Brahe, the 16th century Danish astronomer. Eventually, The Danish King sent this scientific genius into exile, and then proceeded to build the Round Tower of Copenhagen, a suitable observatory. There's Denmark in a nutshell. 2002.

"Berserk" (author/director) – a musical comedy based on the Icelandic Sagas. (Helsinge 2001) An excellent opportunity to take violence off the streets and put it where it belongs - in the 11th century.

(above) The crucial moment in one or other of the Icelandic sagas: the deceitful Ravn is caught in the act of marrying Gunløg's beloved Helga, but is about to be duly slain along with the rest of his family, and Gunløg, too, for that matter, whereupon Helga's icelandic heart will break. In this comedy, only the audience survived. And barely, at that.
”Thousand Years in Hørsholm" (author/director) – local festival play, the Riding Court of Hørsholm 2000. Isak Dinesen was resurrected to narrate the show.

"The Romantics" (author/director) – a double monologue with Lord Byron and Mary Shelley in the haunted summer of 1816 (Esrum Monastery, 1999) The costumes were designed by Britt Jørgensen (apprentice to Academy Award-winning Ulla-Britt Söderlund). Chili Turell described Rasmus Christensen's wonderful underscoring of the play in these poetic terms: "Like cobwebs hanging from the ceiling of an old, deserted villa".

(right) During rehearsals on "The Romantics". Judging from the actors' reaction , I must have said something funny to make Lord Byron and Mary Shelley laugh, for the play itself was a sombre session, all about sudden death, curses and miscarriages.  Myself on the left, Morten Bo Koch as Byron (isn't there an almost uncanny resemblance?) and Kira Li Chirholm as Mary Shelley.

(above) The poster photo for "The Romantics", modelled on Edvard Munch's "The Vampire", and a press photo of Kira, Anna and Morten in "Will, Cole & Cupid."
"Will, Cole & Cupid" – cabaret with Cole Porter songs and Shakespearean sonnets. The two old masters really worked well together. The cabaret was all about the mindless misery of love. There's a reason why the only word that rhymes with "Cupid" is  - well, "stupid".

The poster of "Will, Cole & Cupid". (Kira, Anna and Morten). Notice how the cigarette smoke curls into a delicate treble clef. It took Kira less than half an hour to get that right, and she doesn't even smoke.

Musical arrangement with GUT and Allan Mortensen in the Circus Building, Copenhagen, at the premiere of Bente Milton's "The Fifth Gate".

"Holberg" (author/director) – a satirical play on the 18th century Danish playwright Ludvig Holberg. I thought it was high time to lampoon this national trophee. The most original thing he ever wrote was his signature - everything else was stolen from Shakespeare, Moliére or Plautus. Helsinge 1999.

"A Knight Real and True" (author/director) – marionette comedy, San Francisco, 1999. With dolls made by the ingenious Italian artist, Marco Centin.

"Margrete the First" (author/director) – dramatic monologue on Margrete I, Ruler of Denmark in the 14th century. A formidable lady: She unified Scandinavia, burned her son at the stake and put her lover on the rack. (With Chili Turéll. Costumes designed by Britt Jørgensen. Music by Rasmus Christensen). My longest running play; Opened at Esrum Monastery 1998, toured 1998-2001; theatre festival in Nice 2000 and the Danish Church in Paris 2001. Special performance at Elsinore Castle and a royal performance at Frederiksberg Castle. Closed in 2001.

(right) Chili Turell as Margrete the First. The show ran for three years and the poor woman had to say my 10,500 words I don't know how many times. She very rarely missed a beat. Brava.

"The Birth of Burlesque" (author/director) – musical comedy on the origin of the Roman farce. Helsinge, 1998.

(left) "The Birth of Burlesque" - Empress Popeia instructs her daughter in the facts of life. Do as the Romans did, and you will live to regret it. (Kira Li Chirholm and Nina Samuelsen)
"Brother Rus" (author/director) – medieval comedy about the renaissance, written for the reopening of Esrum Monastery in 1998. Britt Jørgensen designed the costumes. According to the legend, Rus was the Devil's apprentice who infiltrated a monastery and corrupted the monks with wine and lady companions. Which is to say: he put some life into the place. So we made him appear as the hero. One local parson complained in the newspaper that the show was blasphemous (upon which we doubled our audience), whereas another man of the cloth asked my permission to use the rap lyrics for his bible classes. The church never ceases to amaze me.  

(left) Brother Rus, 1998: The show included an 18 minute rap on the Bible (all of it!), as performed by a band of postmodern, medieval monks. The Old and New Testament swept across the stage like a lightning.  In the twinkling of an eye and at the stroke of a gong, for instance, a chaotic stage was transformed into this tableau of Da Vinci's The Last Supper. That earned a well-deserved applause every night.  (photo kindly provided by Ole Schelde)
"The Battle of Copenhagen" (author/director) – musical comedy on Copenhagen during the Napoleonic Wars (1801-1807), and on the political blunder that led to Denmark's loss of Norway and national bankruptcy. Helsinge 1997.

"Whodunit" (author/director) – musical travesty on Agatha Christie. Helsinge 1996. I have never been able to figure out a single one of Mrs. Christie's plots. In this show, I took revenge.

"1819" (author/director) – musical comedy on the Industrial Revolution in England, Helsinge 1995. A delightful episode in history that ends at St. Petersfield, 1819, with 35 corpses on stage. Always leave 'em laughing ...

"The Iliad" (author/director) – musical comedy on Homer's classic. GUT, Remisen i Gilleleje, 1994-95.

"Old Danish" (author/director) – Medieval play performed in the ruins of Asserbo, 1994.

"Columbus" (author/director) – musical comedy on Christopher Columbus. As will appear from the date, we were one year too late to celebrate the discovery of The New World, but then again - we weren't very kind to Columbus in this show. GUT, Remisen i Gilleleje, 1993.


"Dreamchild" - a flawless gem of a movie, but jinxed, all the same. With an ingenious script by the late Dennis Potter and a truly inspired direction by Gavin Millar, along with topnotch performances from Coral Browne and Ian Holm, it still failed to be marketed properly. When I made a documentary on this strange melange of artistic success and financial failure, I too foolishly forgot to market the film - and went broke. That was my personal Wall St. Crash of 1989. I survived, and the misfortune did not spoil the film for me.

Theatre, director:

Rossini's "Otello", Grand Opera. A cast of international singers, such as a Dutch Othello (Harald Quaaden), a Greek Desdemona (Inga Balabanova), an Italian Emilia (Carla Regina), a Mexican Roderigo (Ricardo Bernal) and an Australian conductor. Paul Terracini (Nakskov, København og Næstved, 2000). My, what voices those singers had! Unplugged, too. My ears are still ringing.

Rossini's "Otello" - the grand finale of Act I: "Incerta l'anima" - 'the wavering soul staggers and groans' . Mental disturbance has never sounded more appealing. Carla Regina, Ricardo Bernal, Harald Quaaden, Inga Balabanova and - in the pit - Paul Terracini.
Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (GUT, Remisen in Gilleleje, 2000). I set the play in New York during the Prohibition. One puristic philistine of a reviewer had this headline: "As Lars Kaaber Likes It". And I did.

In our production of "As You Like It", Orlando (Morten Bo Koch) saw through Rosalinde's (Kira Li Chirholm)  pitiful drag act at once . Of course he did.

Oliver (Peter Falk) needs a few hard knocks from Fate to see the errors of his wicked ways. (Costumes by Britt Jørgensen)


Molière's "The Misanthrope" (GUT, Esrum Monastery and Krudttønden, Copenhagen 2000). I thought it was high time to present Moliére's old comedy as a comedy instead of always viewing the story through the eyes of the droopy and lugubrious Alceste. After all, he is a crackpot, isn't he?

"The Misanthrope". Alceste (Morten Bo Koch) and Celimene (Kira Li Chirholm)
Costumes: Britt Jørgensen

Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" (GUT, Remisen in Gilleleje, 1999) Our production was set in a late 50s playground, and I particularly cherish the memory of Olivia trying to ford the sandbox in high heels.

"Twelfth Night". Left: Blissfully unaware of her own lesbian proclivities, Olivia falls for Viola's alter ego, whereas Orsino (right) is greatly worried that he is falling for a guy - who happens to be girl in drag. Phew! (Anna Panduro, Brian Scanni, Kira Li Chirholm and Morten Bo Koch) (Costumes: Britt Jørgensen)

"Canterbury Tales" – musical farce based on the juiciest of Chaucer's old tales (KUA, 1998). I wasn't the author, but I had the honour of praising Chaucer with the lyrics for the final chorus. They ran: "He had dubious rhymes and he never could spell, but he managed OK with the tales he would tell / When old England was young and her knights were bedazed / By the fairest of maidens who ever were chased - He delivered his lines, did that old Geoffrey C. - And a nation was robbed of its vir-gi-ni-tee". I'm sure Chaucer would have appreciated that.

Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale" (GUT, Remisen in Gilleleje,1998) The French theatre director Arianne Mnouschkine once said: "Shakespeare takes us to the far-off country that is our own selves" To honour this lucid notion of something nearby and yet alien to human existence, Britt Jørgensen and I arranged for all the costumes in this production to suggest insects. In other words, they all looked like bugs. I don't think anybody noticed, though, and the actors, regular darlings that they were, never objected. "Brave new world that has such creatures in it".

Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale" Brian Scanni (Florizel) and Anna Panduro (Time) "I now take upon me, in the name of Time, to use my wings".


(right) Paulina (Kira Li Chirholm) shows Leontes (Morten Bo Koch) the 'statue' of his dead wife. "No settled senses of the world can match the pleasure of that madness!"
(middle) Queen Hermione (Karoline Munksnæs) and Perdita (Sara Grabow).
Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" (Thorvaldsen Theatre, Falkoner Theatre 1997) I refuse to believe that such a thing as a complete, authorized version of this play exists. Every time you come across it, the score has omitted some songs and replaced them with others. Following suit, I took the liberty of smuggling in "Easy to Love" - my favourite Cole Porter.

"Nøddebo Præstegård", Traditional Danish Christmas Play. Espergærde 1996. The play is a delightful piece of plotless rubbish. One of my colleagues once cast it with American exchange students, playing in Danish. None of the actors knew what they were saying. Well, I've never figured out what the play was about anyway. But it's awfully christmassy.

Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (GUT, Remisen in Gilleleje, 1996). The elves were hippies, Puck was a pusher, Theseus was a yuppie, the mechanicals were unemployed people taking a drama course and the rest were totally out of line. I still believe we got away with it.

"Tadzio" – reading at Kalejdoskop, based on Mann's "Death in Venice", 1996.

Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" (Krudttønden, Copenhagen, 1994) I produced this play in black and white. The only colour on stage was the flaming red hair of Isabella. (Costumes and set design: Britt Jørgensen)



(Above) Lucio (Thomas Villum) gets his comeuppance although he has really done nothing wrong, Isabella (Julie Roesen) wreaks havoc in her ill-fated attempt to do the right thing, and Shakespeare's Duke of the dark corners (Michael Skov) gives matters a little push in the wrong direction. "Measure for Measure", 1994.

Loessers "Guys and Dolls" (1993). 

"Spis brød til" – The University Follies of 1994.

"Tivolissimo!" – The University Follies of 1993.

"Tivolissimo!". The University Follies on the life of Carstensen, founder of the Tivoli Gardens, was to be a true representation of what's genuinely Danish: Everything of interest in the amusement park is stolen from somewhere else.  Michael Asmussen, Benjamin Shitrit, Katja Dyring, Nina Sepstrupp and Peter Aagaard.
"Where There’s a Will" – musical comedy on the life of Shakespeare, University of Copenhagen, 1992. 

"Phantom of the Musical" – musical comedy at the University of Copenhagen, 1991. All about the quest for the lost part of Coleridge's "Kublai Kahn" - a discount version of "The Name of the Rose", if you like.


A word of warning to whom it may concern: This is what I looked like when I started working in showbiz, back in 1986. To see what only fifteen years and 70 productions can do to a person, scroll down to the bottom of the page. 

Theatre and film, assistant:
To Morten Henriksen on "Sorrow-Acre", based on Isak Dinesen's story (1986)

To Lone Scherfig on "Margrethe's Lover" (1987)

To Susanne Bier on "The Birthday of the Infanta" (based on Oscar Wilde's story. (1987)

To Sam Besekow on "Gilleleje '43", Gilleleje 1991.

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The cast of "Gilleleje '43", a play about the Danish Jews during WW2. I'm squatting front left, but what's particularly interesting about this picture is the guy in the white shirt, front right. He's Anders Thomas Jensen who won an Academy Award for his short film "Valgaften" ("Election Night") at the oscars 1999, after having been nominated the two previous years as well. He was assistant to the assistant director (me) on this production. Now he's the most brilliant film director and scriptwriter in Denmark, and I never miss an opportunity to brag about him.

To Ina-Miriam Rosenbaum on "Aladdin", Ishøj 1991

To Erik Mørk on various projects from "Kipling" (1986) through "King Lear" (1987) to "The Woman in Black" (1992)

Shakespeare's "Hamlet" for Peter Reichhardt, Mungo Park, 2001. Directed by Jasenko Selimovich.

"Elton John's Glasses" (John Farr) for Peter Reichhardt, Mungo Park, 2000.


Else Brundbjerg's "Karen Blixen - Woman, Witch and Heretic", Knowware 1997.


Christopher Hope's "The Black Swan", Borgen Publishing, 1988.

Mark Twain's "The Mysterious Stranger", Borgen Publishing,1987. Mark Twain's humorous goodbye to a world that had been a bit rough on him, occasionally. It was a great honour to be the first to translate this masterpiece into Danish. I honestly believe that no one else back here knew it existed.

Lars Kaaber, 2001

  The Copenhagen opening of "Margrete the First": Myself, Chili Turell, a lady-in-waiting, and The Danish Queen, Margrethe II, who graced the performance with her presence (in the silver dress). This photo would never make Life Magazine, I know, but I just had to include it. I suppose I am a royalist, fter all.

(left) Making it to the tabloids. Mungo Park 2002. I appeared at the opening of "A Doll's House" in good faith and failed to dodge the cameras. It never occurred to me to dress up for the occasion. My companion is Chili Turell who smiles broadly because she has finally resolved not to tour another year with my monologue "Margrete the First". A representative of a notorious Copenhagen magazine wrote of me: "Director Lars Kaaber takes the prize as the most lamentably dressed person this year. He is an obvious choice for an extra in "The Bench" (a Danish film about alcoholics and social rejects). I can only defend myself by quoting William Holden in "Sunset Boulvard": "Who cares what a playwright looks like?" Of course, I might have shaved.

If you need to contact me, use this e-mail address: