A co-production of Det Norske Teatret, Oslo (NO) and Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb (HR).
This project brings together two large scale stage productions of modern classics, “Peer Gynt” by Henrik Ibsen and “Den siste kongsfesten” (“The King’s Fair”) by Miroslaw Krleža. They will be staged in the partnering theatres exchanging directors and bringing a part of their cultural heritage to the other country. Erik Ulfsby will direct the Norwegian play in Zagreb, Ivica Buljan the Croatian text in Oslo. The dimensions of parallel universes, dream worlds and distorted perceptions of reality in both plays and their decisive narrative techniques are suitable for investigation and a transfer into a digital context.
Both productions work with the same composer and will experiment with new audio technology, such as 3D sound, auralisation and psycho-acoustic effects. The project partners have looked into the field live electronic music with the Music Academies in Oslo and Zagreb and have worked together with the Acoustic Research Center (ARC) of Sintef in Trondheim (NO). With more than 30 students involved, the Department of Sound and Music of the University of Trondheim is an important partner in research and the development of new audio and visual techniques, tools and equipment serving the artistic purposes in the communication between stage and audience.
Krleža’s play “Den siste kongsfesten” is taking place on a large fair during the celebration of the King’s day on the eve of the First World War. It is full of noise, music. Interwoven sounds of different characters are present on the stage: the seller, pub owner, circus artists, petty bourgeoisie, prostitutes, Italians, Chinese, Africans. The main character, Janez, has hanged himself because his desperate love for his girlfriend Anka was unfulfilled. Still walking among the living, he challenges Anka’s new boyfriend to a duel. In an ecstatic death dance created around them, Janez dies for the second time at dawn.
The King’s Fair is considered the first expressionist drama in Europe. The play, written in 1915, demanded extreme experimental stage procedures. These procedures are described in the detailed and large stage directions, including sound and light effects, mass scenes and highly engaged political discourse. Treated as a musical score, they create a synthesis based on a language, sounds, visual elements and dance. The acoustic experience is an individual one for everybody in the audience.
Henrik Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt” unfolds the parallel world of Nordic mythology, including the concept of trolls, and the wide landscapes of fjords. In the fifth act, when Peer returns to Norway after 30 years and must fight for his soul, the king of trolls exclaims that Peer has been a troll, not a man, for all his life. With different audio devices, the production explores the psychological, mythological and dramatic texture of the play, including the sound of a troll.
Premieres and Performances
20 April 2018 – Premiere “Peer Gynt” in Zagreb, Croatian National Theatre – Tickets
26 April 2018 – Premiere “Den siste kongsfesten“ in Oslo, Det Norske Teatret – Tickets
7-10 June 2018 – ETL Showcase in Oslo, Det Norske Teatret