Review by Therese Bjørneboe

"INTREPID ON MYTHS" A proof that artists, writers and actors still can communicate. There might even be a future in this. Direction, text, scenography, music, sound and acting : Vanessa Baird, Ingunn Bjørnsgaard, Nils C. Boberg, Lisbeth J.Bodd, Morten Cranner, Preben F.Schjøll, Jan Grønli, Finn Iunker, Jean V. Kerebel, Bjørn Kolbjørnsen, Asle Nilsen, Morten Pettersen, Saskia Wieringa and Erik Øksnes. A performance that, in spite of a few small cosmetic stains, is impressivly unrestrained and professional. Verdensteatret goes out from classical myths and a fastidious choice of modern litterature, a.o. Heiner Müllerr, Thomas Bernhard, Beckett and Robbe-Grillet. Verdensteatret use it all with ease, original and intelligent. METAPHORIC The second part, "7 AGAINST THEBE" is a fusion between Aiskylos and Heiner Müllerthat paralells the besiege of the city with the seven gates and the modern war. As the seven gates they use TV - monitors where a well known political news-reporter represent the "choir" and reports from the besiege in an intens autentically way. On the scene in front of the TV - monitors there is placed a "mini-panel" : Jan Grønli as Oidipus son, king Eteokles and Erik Øksnes represent his adviser and spy. There is however no TV -naturalism we meet on the screens, but artistic work and older documentary, the screens are used in an alienating -or surprising way, where we see numerous layers of war as they continiously -also today- transform into myth. Whether it is ironical comments by use of scenes from american information-movies from the fiftys, with its notorious famous stagings of civil - defens drills in case of a nuclear attack ("Duck and Cover"), by black parodies over TV-commercials, or sequenses from the allied forces bombing during the second world war. Verdensteatret make use of several metaphorical ways that both function ironically on the layers of distance that we put between the war and ourselves, and the collaps of meaning Aiskylos patos is exposed to when his heroic pictures is juxtaposed with the language of mass-media. ORFEUS While part two is about the society, the war and collective guilt, part one is about the marginal individual. From the myth on Orfeus, Verdensteatret has chose to work on the last and least known part of the legend. After having seen his beloved Eurydike disappear in the underworld of the dead, Orfeus is said to have drawn himselves away from both public life and the opposit sex. In rage the women then tear his body apart. According to the legend his dead and his lyre was thrown into the sea and was later washed ashore on the island of Lesbos, where Orfeus head was saved from a snakebite by his father, Apollon. If this legends first part can be understood in different ways -as to wether Orfeus conquer death or wether there lies a death-wish in the nature of art - Orfeus´death seems only tragic. But as in "7 AGAINST THEBE" Verdensteatret has a purpose with the material that cuts roughly right throug mythical patina that could have let such a "soulful" object without risk. Where there is professional actors playing in "7 AGAINST THEBE", there is independent artista, respectively two artists from fine art, one director and one coreographer on the stage in this part.(the performance is a collaboration between all the persons involved in the project) In the program it is said that the participants take up a waiting attitude to "the poets statement that it is hard for a human being not to be allowed to be an artist". And the legend of Orfeus has in their version made a kind of bobbel X-ray of the unhappy or "the artist as a failure". As a theme they have tried to "grasp the very sound of the skull as it hits the rocks on the shore of Lesbos". So: A horrible motive. And the audacity of this choice tells a lot about the fearless working-method of Verdensteatret. I will add that I read the remark after seeing the performance, but that it appeared to me as a perfectly logic substrate of what I had just seen and experienced. Orfeus´head is being X-rayed in conceptual grasp of the performance, in tempo and evocative use of light, sound and music - while in moments it is made concrete in different "solipsistic" figures that we meet, -who has all drawn themselves into existential boarder -situations between the urge to create and the total undermining of themselves. It is a performance that contains many subtle pasages between humor and pain. We meet the material on many levels, and the most likeable is that these artists obviously have a deep understanding and a wise relation to this field of problems. Verdensteatret has made a considerable artistic step, and is wthout doubt one of the theater-projects wich it will be exiting to follow in future works.

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