Banging Denmark at Harbour Theatre, Western Australia

A MODERN romantic comedy about sex, the internet and social democracy goes online at Harbour Theatre this September.

Written by former Q&A panellist Van Badham and directed by Dr Melissa Merchant, Banging Denmark is a swinging satire on men who claim to understand the female mind – and the online culture that inspires them.

Feminist PhD candidate and blogger Ishtar Madigan writes about misogyny and video games while Jake Newhouse is a pick-up artist podcaster.

When Jake falls for a woman who doesn’t respond to his usual moves, he hires Ishtar to help him get a date.

“Banging Denmark is a very timely, and funny, play about actions and their consequences, shining a light on what happens beyond the online world,” Dr Merchant said.

“It’s a fast-paced script with multiple locations and, as one scene flows into the next, there are no opportunities for blackouts or scene changes.

“This means the set must be designed to accommodate an office, library, park, street and two living rooms on a stage that isn’t terribly big.

“Using clever design and lighting, matched with the actors’ performances, will make it work.”

Involved in theatre since 1995, Dr Merchant has worked with Heritage, Kwinana, Harbour, Melville, Blak Yak, Roleystone, Old Mill, KADS, Garrick and Marloo Theatres, The Revellers, Murdoch University and the Graduate Dramatic Society.

She received a best actress award for her role in Insignificance in 2006 at the annual Garrick Theatre awards, as well as scoring best actress nominations for No Names… No Pack Drill in 2015 and When Dad Married Fury in 2022.

In 2006, Dr Merchant directed a stage adaptation of the TV show Coupling, winner of best ensemble cast at the South West Drama Festival – and her play Never Ever was named best original script at the same festival in 2015.

“The appeal of Banging Denmark comes from the fact the characters are recognisable and relatable,” she said.

“Van Badham has written five unique characters more complex than those found in a typical romantic comedy and the cast are bringing them to life in ways that will resonate with an audience.

“That said, the play is also very, very funny.”

Banging Denmark plays at 7.30pm September 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29 and 30 with 2pm matinees September 17 and 24 and October 1. Tickets are $25.50, $23.50 concession and $20.50 students – book at TAZTix.com.au or call TAZTix on 9255 3336.

Note: the production features strong language and adult themes.

Harbour Theatre is located at 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park.