Esther Addley
March 9, 2012

On a low hill overlooking Reykjavik’s harbour the members of a small camera crew wrapped in many layers of winterwear are wrestling with the horizontal snow in an attempt to film a short comedy sketch. The set-up of the skit, one explains, involves “a bum, he lives in the park and he is trying to sell tickets at crazy high prices for the show”.

The show in question is taking place in a nearby white building, and the joke turns on the fact that, three and a half years after what is known here simply as The Crash, Icelanders have learned the hard way that you can’t, after all, value something worthless simply by naming your price, and then adding zeroes.

That’s not to say that what is taking place inside the white building – Reykjavik’s Culture House – is not, in its own way, a hot ticket.

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