Borkman (NO)

The fight for the next generation.

By Henrik Ibsen. Adapted by Gabriella Bussacker and Jan Bosse. (Photo: Øyvind Eide)

By Henrik Ibsen. Adapted by Gabriella Bussacker and Jan Bosse. (Photo: Øyvind Eide)


Nationaltheatret, Amfiscenen

The performance will have English surtitles. NB! Only during the Festival.
Duration: 2 hours and 20 minutes (with intermission).

When the next generation becomes the victim of mid-life crisis desperation.

Former bank manager John Gabriel Borkman has served a sentence for embezzlement. Humiliated and bitter, he and his wife Gunhild have isolated themselves on separate floors of their house, and have no contact with each other. Throughout this time of crisis, their son, Erhart, has been taken care of by Gunhild's twin sister, Ella Rentheim, whom John Gabriel once chose not to marry, as a trade-off for prestige and power. Now Ella is fatally ill, and has returned to adopt Erhart and give him her own name. Gunhild refuses – Erhart is the person who must rebuild the honour of the Borkman family. But John Gabriel has in his solitude made other plans for his son's future.

Leading German director Jan Bosse is known for developing an anarchistic joy in his productions, where the audience becomes an integral part of the performance. In this production of Henrik Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman, Amfiscenen is changed to a public space, where the audience is a part of the story.

In Bosse's version, the family drama is emphasized further. The sisters' fight for the aging man in the house has become a desperate and suffocating battle over the son, between three lonely and bitter characters in their 40s. The three have almost no contact with each other, but even so they struggle to let each other go. They place all their hopes in the next generation – that it can set straight what went wrong in their own lives. 


Brilliant about the bitter (...) riveting and amusing theater (…) delightful visual and existential at the same time.
— Aftenposten
Rowdy rage, morbid care and raw humor.
— VG
Afterwards, it tingles in every labyrinths of the mind.
— Kulturspeilet
Brave Borkman (…) A grandiose Jan Sælid.
— Klassekampen

Festival performances:
12. SEPTEMBER 19:30
19. SEPTEMBER 19:30

Jan Bosse

Bosse is one of Germany's leading directors. He has directed productions at the biggest German-speaking theatres in Europe, and has been resident director at Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg for several years. Previously, Bosse has directed Ibsen's Peer Gynt and Hedda Gabler. Borkman is his first production in Norway.

Set designer: Moritz Müller
Costume Designer: Kathrin Plath

Composer and sound designer: Arno Kraehahn
Light designer: Norunn Standal
Make-up: Hege Ramstad
Dramaturg: Gabriella Bussacker/Olav Torbjørn Skare/Hege Randi Tørressen

Actors: Jan Sælid, Laila Goody, Marika Enstad, John Emil Jørgensrud, Marian Saastad Ottesen, Hedvig Topnes Hauge, Anna Christina Johansson and Isabel Andrea Casillas Sandersen.

More than 40 Norwegian and international performances!

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