The Bridge Briefing

Following up on our successful Borgen Briefing back in February, Ladies and Gentlemen, we bring you: The Bridge Briefing! Join us on Wednesday 2 May, 6.30pm, at Seven Dials Club, 42 Earlham St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9LA. Tickets are available here.

Directions to the venue (updated 1 May 2012)

This is a note to help guide you to the venue. The street address is 42 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LA. Official guidance from Seven Dials and a map can be found here:

It’s a very nice venue but a little bit tucked away, and it doesn’t always seem to come up very accurately on google maps. Here are instructions from the two most likely approach directions:

If you’re standing at the Seven Dials roundabout / monument with the Cambridge Theatre on your right and the Crown pub opposite you, turn right along Earlham Street. About half way down the street, on your left hand side, you should see the red signs for the Donmar Theatre. Seven Dials Club / Covent Garden Community Centre (our venue) is number 42, on the right hand side of the street, before you reach the Donmar. It has a black brick frontage and glass entrance doors.

If you get off at Covent Garden tube, walk towards Marks and Spencer on the other side of Long Acre. Just to your right is Neal Street. Walk up Neal Street, past Shelton Street on the left, and take the next left turn into Earlham Street (Urban Outfitters is on the corner). Walk towards the red signs of the Donmar Theatre. Seven Dials Club is just after and opposite the Donmar, at number 42 Earlham Street, on your left, with a black brick frontage and glass entrance doors.


The nation is holding its breath in anticipation of Saturday’s British première of The Bridge on BBC4. The Radio Times this week features Sofia Helin as Detective Saga Norén on its cover, interviews Helin, and offers us a frenzy of coverage of ‘SIX new Scandi-crime dramas you can’t miss’.

What’s really interesting about this series, I think, is that it plays on the awkward friendship between Denmark and Sweden – all those linguistic and cultural misunderstandings that arise between two nations now connected by a ten-minute train ride after centuries of bitter rivalry. In 2000, the opening of the bridge and tunnel across the water between Copenhagen and Malmö created a new, transnational region known as Øresund. Cross-border trade and commuting became quicker and easier, but a genuine sense of shared identity in the region has proved elusive. Even the bridge itself was given an official name that is neither Swedish, nor Danish, but a mishmash somewhere in between: Øresundsbron. Twelve years on, does the making of a Swedish-Danish crime series set on and around the bridge show that the Øresund region is beginning to exist in the imagination of its residents?

Anyway, enough Øresund geekery from me. We know you’re going to love this series, and if you’d like to know more about the culture, history and language of this starkly beautiful stretch of sea and land where two very different nations meet, come to The Bridge Briefing. We have imported a local especially for the occasion: Anders Mortensen (a Swede with a very Danish name) from the University of Lund will be explaining just why Denmark and Sweden are ‘two countries separated by a common bridge’. Dan Durrant, who is writing his PhD about the politics of architectural ‘megaprojects’ (what a great word!), will tell us why this bridge continues to stir up so much controversy amongst local communities. PeiSze Chow and I will provide a veritable smörgåsbord (sorry) of examples of how other writers, artists and filmmakers have depicted the region. And after Jesper Hansen’s smash hit performance last time round, where everyone learned fluent Danish in the space of twenty minutes, this time we’re pitting our Danish and Swedish teachers against each other. Which language has the most ridiculous-sounding vowels? Why do Swedes do that strange sing-song thing? Will the hastily-assembled joint Swedish-Danish police team in The Bridge arrest the wrong suspect due to a horrible linguistic misunderstanding?

Oh, and there will be wine, and rival Swedish and Danish snacks. We hope to see you there!

Photo: Silvia Man/


Filed under Scandinavian crime fiction, Television drama, tv crime

8 responses to “The Bridge Briefing

  1. mr_goodluck

    I absolutely love The Bridge – what books what you recommend that might be similar in feel?

    Its a first foray into Nordic Noir novels for me. I really love how the characters are so close and personal, but there is something bigger and larger – terrorism, state, politiicial issue – always in the background.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen

      I would recommend the series by Arne Dahl, whcih has some really interesting characters in the police unit and always wider political, global issues in both background and foreground.

  2. Did anyone notice how the imcomprehensible Englsh lyrics to the song over the titles of The Bridge seemed to change surrealistically week to week? Though – in fact – they didn’t?

  3. Alison smith

    Can anyone tell me if this story is based on a book. I’d love to read it. Thanks

    • jakobstougaard

      Sorry, as with the Killing and Borgen, the Bridge is made for TV. But maybe a book will come out from it, as with the Killing.

  4. Christina Ahlfors

    Love it, especiallly episode 3 and 4! Also as a Swede, I’m intrigued why I enjoy the stereotype of the cuddly, jovial Danes compared to the grumpier and very correct Swedes. Is it because there is a grain of truth in it? Are Danish people in general more easy-going while Swedish people are stricter and, er, more efficient? Or should I know better than to try to depict the two nationalities in such broad and general terms? What do you think?

  5. drclairethomson

    So, what did you think after last night’s first episodes? What would you like to discuss at The Bridge Briefing and/or here on the blog?

  6. drclairethomson

    After last night’s first episodes on BBC4, what did you think? Are there things you’d especially like to discuss at The Bridge Briefing, and/or here on the blog?

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