Sunday 16 March 2008

Mary @ Student Revue 2008 gala

Photo © Keld Navntoft/B.T.
This evening Crown Princess Mary attended the gala performance of the Royal Mayestaits Acteurs at the Culture House, on Islands Brygge (Amager) in Copenhagen. During the break between Act 1 and Act 2, Crown Princess Mary was presented with a red and gold ribbon representing membership of Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs by the president of the society, after her acting debut in a sketch in which she appeared as a pop-up angel. Mary had to pass a test to be admitted (when the society was named by Christian X). The company is an established student revue society common in many universities, in this case, the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen. The student revue is done annually by the Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs society which has its roots going back to 19th century student comedies. There are behind-the-scenes semi-professionals who help with the productions each year which feature the talents of current students, some of whom end up following careers in drama. But like any student revue, the aim is to have that special mix of ambition and fun peculiar to young students who can have an amusing take on society and current events.

The group has quite a history, which began with an invitation to do a play for Frederik IV (reigned 1699-1730 and the builder of Fredensborg Palace, among other things). They went on to do Danish-language performances from 1722 and continued to do regular plays and student comedies from 1820 to the present. The name of the society is more recent however, it comes from Christian X (Queen Margrethe's grandfather), when he was present at the revue on January 14th 1924. He declared the "Acteurs and Actricer" of 1722 were 'promoted' to "Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs", or Royal Majestical Actors (a difficult one to translate literally because of the tongue-in-cheek humour). Christian X pronounced he would always remember the unforgettable evening with pleasure and that very day when the student actors were given their unusual appointment.

Billed Bladet 'Mary i årets studenterrevy' - Mary in this year's student revue
Crown Princess Mary performed on Saturday in this year's student revue. But first, Mary had to do as tradition dictates and go on stage herself to be admitted as an honorary member of the Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs, by delivering a couple of lines. In the sketch Crown Princess Mary was in a dialogue with student actor Janni Nielsen. Crown Princess Mary: "We just got the result of a text message vote among the audience, by the way." Janni: "Oh! ... what was the result?" Crown Princess Mary: "There were 120 votes. One hundred were blank and 20 said "don't know". In the break between intermission Mary was formally admitted to the society in a small ceremony with the president of Student Revues, Søren Thorborg, presenting Mary with the revue's ribbon. Several royals before Mary have also previously stood on the stage and received the revue's ribbon. In 1977 Queen Margrethe became a member in this way when she performed with the song "Flade Jensen from Fladen Strand". Also Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim have had the pleasure of standing on the stage - both were admitted to the society on the same evening in 1990. In 1997 there was a visit by the then Princess Alexandra who took part with the line ..."This is Alex!"

B.T. 'Mary på de skrå brædder' - Mary on the stage
Crown Princess Mary performed yesterday in this year's student revue "Me first - I eat student breads too."
And that was what she did to become a member of Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs who do an annual student revue. A precondition of admission is to take part in the revue and say a couple of lines.
The Crown Princess saw other numbers (sketches) apart from her own but it was Mary who decided which sketch she would be in.
Her choice fell on the sketch "Jeg ved det" in which Mary replaced one of the revue's female actors and popped her head up in an angel mask familiar from Tivoli and said two lines.
In the break [between acts] Mary was formally appointed in a small ceremony where she got a ribbon after answering two questions.
Mary had the whole thing by the teeth. It was Christian X who gave the name the society of name "Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs" in 1924. Mary also knew that theatre manager Jonathan Spang had his début in the student revue in 1998.
Crown Princess Mary is the newest one of the royal family's adult members who have performed in the student revue.
Queen Margrethe became a member in 1977 when she performed with the song Flade Jensen from Fladen Strand.
In 1990 both Frederik and Joachim performed in that year's revue and were admitted as members together on the same evening. In 1997 then Princess Alexandra became a member in after her début in the opening of Act 2 in the revue "Kærlighed ved Næste blik" with the line
"This is Alex!"
Frederik didn't see Mary's début on the stage. She had chosen to go on the stage with her friend and lady-in-waiting [Caroline Heering] in the audience.

From Billed Bladet, TV2/Scanpix and Royal Mayestaits Acteurs

Jyllands Posten 'Mary på de skrå brædder'
Fyens Stiftstidende 'Mary på scenen'
TV2 article 'Kronprinsesse Mary på de skrå brædder'

Royal Mayestaits Acteurs (Royal Majestical Actors) (Danish)
K-I-B (Danish)

TV2 news clip (01:05)
DR1 news clip (00:52)

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