Hooray for All Kinds of Things

Sandy Nelson's comic play examines the intriguing events of the 2010 Reykjavik Municipal elections, in which comedian and actor, Jon Gnarr, became the Mayor of Iceland's capital, despite his candidacy and formation of the "Best Party" originally being designed as a satirical joke. Nelson's play takes us through the key moments that affected Gnarr during this time - particularly the things that led to the Best Party taking the election a little more seriously.

There's a hollowness to the character - or a hollowness to the play.

Nelson is entertaining as the affable Gnarr, telling easy jokes and holding our attention well. Through him, Gnarr is successfully drawn as the laid-back and likable character that he clearly was, while frequent appeals and small exchanges with the audience lend the production an air of collusion, joining Gnarr on his mission. In more dramatic, less comedic scenes, Nelson still holds up reasonably well, though he passes up opportunities for emotional depth in favour of exposition.

The other performers, Rebecca Elise and Jamie Scott Gordon, are both solid but limited in what the script allows them to do. Their primary characters, Gnarr's co-conspirators Kristin Helgadottir and Ottarr Proppe respectively, are effectively foils through which we learn more about Gnarr, and are sadly therefore not particularly interesting - Elise's excellent monologue about the relationship between art and politics aside. The two are better utilized in playing other supporting characters with great humour, from classic politician stereotypes to other eccentric members of Gnarr's party.

That's the negative that keeps creeping into the show though: too much is explained, not enough is shown. Nelson has great opportunities to show some more sides of Gnarr; his clear irritation with the political system that must have led him to start his joke party in the first place, or the serious side of Gnarr that knows life isn't a joke, to name some examples. We don't really see these, we get told that they're there. There's a hollowness to the character - or a hollowness to the play. The lovely monologue mentioned earlier is the closest the play ever comes to justifying why the events it depicts should appear onstage, aside from as a jolly diversion. 

Reviews by Andrew Forbes

Valvona & Crolla

A Divine Comedy

Just Festival at St John's

Hotel Europa



Sweet Grassmarket


Greenside @ Infirmary Street

A Matter of Life and Death

theSpace on Niddry St

Fourth Monkey's Genesis and Revelation: Sodom


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Hooray for All Kinds of Things, by Sandy Nelson. By early 2008 Iceland had grown so rich its assets were nine times greater than its entire economic output. But by October of that same year no western country had crashed in peacetime as quickly and as badly. The people of Iceland were afraid. They needed guidance. They needed hope. One man stood up! Well, he was a stand-up comedian. This is the story of Jón Gnarr and the Best Party of Reykjavik! 'Funny, thoughtful and sometimes strangely moving.’ **** (Scotsman)

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Les Miserables

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets