Satire Sex and Sass

“Have you never heard of suffrajitsu?” 

Dr Kim

“Have you met an actual woman, one that isn’t inflatable?” 


The Company. (Photo: Ali Wright)

More than a decade ago­­­­, Australian author and activist Van Badham was the Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre where her play Banging Denmark now appears.  It is a refreshing satire on gender politics and toxicity and full of outrageous humour.  If you value political correctness, then this play is probably not for you!

The small space at the Finborough is divided into two living areas, on the left is where a male podcaster calling himself Guy De Witt is giving pernicious dating advice to hopeless men. His advice is an extreme extension of the “Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen” using the bitch word to excess. He pretends to be living on a yacht and lives the high life raking in money from his pathetic clientele who hope to be able to successfully seduce women by appearing more virile.

Tom Kay as Jake Newhouse. (Photo: Ali Wright)

On the right of the stage is the office space, dominated by the photocopier of uber-feminist and sociologist Ishtar Madigan (Rebecca Blackstone) who is meant to be writing up her PhD thesis.  Ishtar was successfully sued by Guy De Witt for defamation and lost all her money and home in the court case.  Ishtar is now living in her tiny office supported by her friend and colleague Dr Denyse Kim (Jodie Tyack) and Denyse’s nice guy boyfriend Toby (James Jip) who bring in food and supplies.  Ishtar wears an eiderdown coat and a warm trapper hat with flaps over her ears and bobbles on the ties.

Guy De Witt is really Jake Newhouse (Tom Kay) who has fallen for a Danish librarian Anne Toft (Maja Simonsen).  Anne the librarian is a tall blonde vision, immaculately dressed in white who wears white gloves to care for the books in her library.  She easily brushes off any approach from Jake Newhouse’s seduction repertoire, as using a make up brush she carefully dusts the pages of her precious volumes. 

Jodie Tyack as Dr Denyse Kim (Photo: Ali Wright)

Jake offers Ishtar a large sum of money if she will help him get a date with the icy librarian.  Of course Ishtar doesn’t know Jake is Guy De Witt and that the origin of his funds was herself!  There is a wonderfully descriptive list of the independent qualities and advantages of Danish women.  “Danish is man resistant”. Denmark is the top country in the world to be a woman, according to the 2023 Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Index.  The theatre programme lists where Danish society scores in terms of equality and state support. 

This production is, in conjunction with the Finborough, from MESH Theatre Company  who “seek out bold plays which tackle the political through the personal.”  Sally Woodcock directs with fluidity and Katy Mo and Leah Kelly’s set adds clarity.

There are various unexpected pairings and many laugh out loud lines.  Banging Denmark is an original and entertaining evening, well cast with great performances and direction.  Don’t miss it!


Maja Simonsen as Anne and Rebecca Blackstone as Ishtar (Photo: Ali Wright)

Production Notes

Banging Denmark

Written by Van Badham

Directed by Sally Woodcock



Rebecca Blackstone

Tom Kay

Maja Simonsen

Jodie Tyack

James Jip


Director: Sally Woodcock

Set Designer:  Katy Mo and Leah Kelly

Costume Designer: 

Leigh Kelly

Lighting Designer: Richard Williamson

Sound Designer and Composer:  Ed Lewis


Running Time: One hour 40 minutes without an interval

Booking to 11th May 2024


Finborough Theatre

118 Finborough Road

Earls Court


SW10 9ED

Box Office:

Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge

at the Finborough

on  19th April 2024