At last, Soren Kierkegaard – the musical!


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The Independent Online

It sounds like a Monty Python sketch, but a performance dubbed 'Soren Kierkegaard - The Musical' is being used to teach the Danish about one of their most famous, and most misunderstood, exports.

Denmark is today celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the philosopher with a range of events across the country.

Although proud of their philosophical giant many Danes struggle with the intricacies of his thought.

Kierkegaard himself once noted that: "People understand me so little that they do not even understand when I complain of being misunderstood."

One director has, however, grasped the philosophical nettle and brought one of Kierkegaard's most famous works 'Either/Or' to life in a stage version featuring strobe lights, rave music and child-size puppets.

The show, which is being performed in schools across Denmark, attempts to bring the 1843 work - which muses on existence and aesthetic and ethical questions about love - to life. 

The director Marie Moeller, 28, attempts to cut through the arcane thicket of thought by focusing on a meeting between Kierkegaard and his lover.

The show is not the only attempt to bring the philosopher to a wider audience.

According to Associated Press a "Kierkegaard Comedy Show," by 46-year-old actor Claus Damgaard uses the philosopher's thoughts to discuss sex and modern romantic relationships with a mix of humor and lectures.

The show has toured Denmark and has been staged at a former chapel next to the cemetery where Kierkegaard and his contemporary, fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, are buried.

Google also got in on the celebrations today, marking the 200th anniversary with a Doodle.