Shams – Reykjavik

Portfolio / February 12, 2010



Nominated for a Total Theatre Award for Innovation, Edinburgh Festival 2010.
Part travelogue, part forensic reconstruction, Reykjavik is an immersive and multi-sensory installation and playful performance that asks: how far can we trust our own memory?

“Beautifully simple and effective… If Reykjavik was a movie it would have a cult following” Edinburgh Guide

Imagine being lost in a foreign country, Bright lights and fog distorting your view, Whatever possessed you to come here? Reykjavik is a journey through a city of extremes – mysterious, absurd and beautiful – in search of a half-forgotten love affair. Created in collaboration with neuro-scientist Dr. Hugo Spiers.


Created and performed by Jonathan Young
Associate Directors Carolina Valdés & Lucinka Eisler
Set and video design Paul Burgess
Sound Design Adrienne Quartly
Lighting Design Katharine Williams
Dramaturg Beccy Smith
Scientific advisor Hugo Spiers
Creative Producer Sarah Sansom
Production managers Jez Wingham & Joe Hornsby
Technical team Joe Hornsby, Paul Swarbrick, Dave Evans, Matthew Coombes, Beth Hoarne-Barnes
Additional performers Sinikka Kyllonen, Steve Loader, Mark Huhnen
Graphic Design Marta Ferre
Film Justin Jones


In 2011 REYKJAVIK toured to:
The Albany Theatre, Deptford, London
mac, Birmingham
The Arc, Stockton
Contact Theatre, Manchester

In 2010 REYKJAVIK toured to:

Reading 21 South Street
Colchester Arts Centre
South Hill Park in Bracknell
Greenham Arts in Newbury
Pulse Festival in Ipswich.
The Bongo Club in Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival


Dance Digital, Arts Council England, The Wellcome Trust, Reading 21 South Street, Escalator East to Edinburgh Awards Scheme


“Disconcerting, absorbing and very moving.” The List

“Smooth and dreamlike… it’s captivating throughout.” British Theatre Guide

5 Star review – Broadway Baby, Edinburgh 2010
4 Star Review – The List, Edinburgh 2010
4 Star Review – Edinburgh Review 2010
4 Star review – The Scotsman 2010
4 Star Review – The Edinburgh Guide 2010
A Younger Theatre Review Spring 2011
Spoonfed review Spring 2011
British theatre guide review Spring 2011
Total Theatre review Spring 2011
Exeunt Magazine review Spring 2011
Lyn Gardner’s what to see guide Spring 2011