Bjarni Jónsson is a playwright and a dramaturg. A two-time nominee for the Nordic Drama Award and a recipient of the Nordic Radio Drama Award, Bjarni has worked for theatres and theatre groups for over two decades, including the National Theatre of Iceland, Reykjavík City Theatre, Kviss Búmm Bang, Kriðpleir Theatre Group, Erna Ómarsdóttir and The Brokentalkers. Amongst Bjarni´s plays are COFFEE (National Theatre of Iceland, 1998), THE BURNING ROAD (National Theatre of Iceland, 2003), MISHAP!(National Theatre of Iceland, 2007 and Akvavit Theatre Chicago, Scandinavian American Theatre Company New York), THE VOTE (Akureyri City Theatre, 2009), SENDING (Reykjavík City Theatre, 2016) and the radio plays HE WEAVER (State Broadcasting Service, 2007), THE KEY (State Broadcasting Service 2007) and HOME RUN (State Broadcasting Service 2007). Bjarni’s plays have been translated into English, Swedish, German and Polish.
Jóhanna and Halldór are a depressed married couple dealing with a tragedy involving Jóhanna’s daughter from a previous partner. Jóhanna openly cheats with Daníel, a drunken psychiatrist who is friends with Halldór. These three work on constructing a sign for Jóhanna’s protest of an upcoming teacher’s union strike that threatens to put some 50,000 students out of the classroom. All the while, a reporter and two cheesy cooking show hosts cover not only the protest, but the intimate details of the couple’s relationship. In the early moments of the play, there’s some division between the cooking show taking place upstage and the domestic scenes downstage. Before long the lines become blurred and the television personnel address not only the audience, but Jóhanna, Halldór, and Daníel as well, imploring them to recount the mishap that precipitated their sullen state. Towards the play’s climax, we find that the TV folks have something of a love triangle going themselves, and everyone sits down to dinner together in a fully integrated scene.