The Pretenders – a staged reading (SE/NO)

A young and experimental Ibsen in an action-filled royal drama. 

By Henrik Ibsen. (Photo: Øyvind Eide)

By Henrik Ibsen. (Photo: Øyvind Eide)



Nationaltheatret, Festival Bar

The performance will be performed in Norwegian.
Duration: 3 hours and 30 minutes (with 4 intermissions, come and go as you please).

A young and experimental Ibsen in an action-filled royal drama. 

In the first half of the thirteenth century, there are several candidates to inherit the Norwegian crown after the king dies, unmarried without any clear heir. Håkon Håkonssøn, the late king's illegitimate son, claims he is the rightful heir: he has been given a mission from God to unite Norway into one people. But the royal guardian Skule Jarl has a different opinion – he does not think Håkon has any legitimate claim to the throne. Instead, he himself should be placed in power. And behind the scenes, bishop Niklas lurks, creating doubts, chaos and intrigue – both before and after his death ...

This is the background to the large-scale power struggle in Henrik Ibsen's The Pretenders, an historic five act play, successfully staged by student director Marie Nikazm Bakken and set and costume designer Fredrik Floen in summer 2015 as a six-hour marathon production at Otta in Gudbrandsdalen.

This time the duo has been inspired by the Slow-TV hit show «minute by minute», approaching the play in recital form. But this does not mean the show is slow: Kongsemnerne minutt for minutt (The Pretenders, a staged reading) is an action-filled royal drama, and perhaps we will also witness wild and intense dancing? And naive and grotesque cardboard scenography? Or full-blown pyrotechnics?

Get ready for a staged reading of one of Ibsen's most immense works, written by a younger and more experimental version of our celebrated playwright, a play that is seldom performed, but deserves a place on stage. 


Warm up with Ukraine's contribution to Eurovision Song Contest 2004: Ruslana's «Wild dances». Why? You will get to know the 16th and 17th of September!


Festival performances:
16. SEPTEMBER 17:00
17. SEPTEMBER 18:00

Marie Nikazm Bakken
Marie Nikazm Bakken is studying for a BA in directing at Stockholms Dramatiska Högskola, where she will complete her degree in spring 2017. She also has a degree from The School of Contemporary Dance and has studied theatre science at the University of Oslo. In 2015 she directed The pretenders by Henrik Ibsen as a Viking drama at Otta in Gudbrandsdalen, in collaboration with costume designer Fredrik Floen.

Composer: David Stephen Grant.

Set and costume designer: Fredrik Floen (student ved MA kostyme ved KhiO)

Dramaturg and pedagogical supervisor: Njål Helge Mjøs

Advisor from StDH:
Hilda Hellwig

Actors: Håkon Ramstad, Sigurd Myhre, Anne Krigsvoll, Ellen Horn, Mari Strand Ferstad and Fredrik Floen.

Dancers: Rannei Grenne and Sigrid Marie Kittelsaa Vesaas.



More than 40 Norwegian and international performances! 

Discover more: