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FOOTFALLS - A night by the horizon

on all that strand

at end of day

steps sole sound

until unbidden stay

then no sound

on all that strand

long no sound

until unbidden go

steps sole sound

long sole sound

on all that strand

at end of day                      

(Roundelay by Samuel Beckett, 1976)

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Based on the texts "Footfalls" by Samuel Beckett (1975) and "En natt vid horisonten" by Gunnar Ekelöf from the poet collection "Fragment av abstrakt teater" (1927)

It's around midnight. A glass wall separates the audience and actors from the darkness outside, the view of the fjord is dotted with stars and creates a great atmosphere.

We perceive a contactless contact from a loneliness greater than the silence of the universe, the individual at the center of his life, closed behind his own eye, thrown into circumstances of identity. The epic form has reached a zero point, the drive for self-preservation is back. This is Beckett.

A mother who may be dead, a daughter who may never have lived. Liv Heløe plays the a 90-year-old mother with great precision, strict discipline and mother's passion, in contrast to Marianne Ustvedt's sensitive and looking expression as the stagnant daughter. A tension between them lifts this seemingly heavy stuff and keeps the audience in awe. 

Another positive co-creative factor is the interweaving of Ekeløf's lyrics, about fatigue sinking to the earth. About the snow-white flowers that slowly fall and erase all traces.

The scenography has a stylized collage effect in white, glass and stone with mirror effects. A hardness that emphasizes the nerve in the human mind where something is broken and where no investigation can get to the core, but from this core flows the poetry of despair. Disturbing.

Herein lies some of the play's absolute strength. It has depth in its incomprehensibility. The fate of the individual as a fragment of the mystery of existence is also reflected in the music of Tore Dimmestøl.

The composition of Beckett/Ekeløf, within the framework Lene Teigen has created, has become an experience of rare caliber, a brave project with a fine balance. Much of the art lies in an emptiness that is expressed creates fullness in the viewer ... at the horizon.

(Extract from the review by Janne Aass, Klassekampen 14.2.1991)


 

From Gunnar Ekelöf's ”A night by the horizon”, to Norwegian by Lene Therese Teigen:

I dette rommet kan vi altså muligvis gå inn, men ikke forbli, fordi hele handlingen går i sirkel. Rommet føder et rom, som føder et rom og så videre i sirkel, ja, i spiral, men en spiral på bare et nivå. Høyt eller lavt? Om vi er kledd i dykkerdrakt eller flyverdrakt spiller ingen rolle. Hvert av disse rommene er likevel det trykkammer som foregriper uendeligheten. At uendeligheten er urimelig og ikke eksisterer spiller ingen rolle. Hvert rom er et trykkammer. De følger etter hverandre med mange atmosfærers vanntrykk, luftfortynnende og komprimerte, med en atmosfære som om årene kommer til å svulme ved tinningene og flates ut, hele tiden på hverandre, fulle av tomhet og fylde, som perforeringen ved kanten av stillhetens celluloid fylles av tannen og følger seg selv over tannhjulet med den ene tannen. Denne hendelsen, denne følge, denne løpende hunden er en eneste kontinuerlig handling uten hode eller hale, uten subjekt. Den svever, den oscillerer i verdensrommet, men den har ikke noe jeg og altså ingen tyngde. Alt annet er opphengt for ikke å falle.

Rundt omkring synker trettheten mot jorden. Eller er det sneens hvite blomster som springer ut av Intet i uberegnelig høyde og sakte regner ned over jorden? Ordene svever i verdensrommet. Ikke et ord faller.

Men trettheten synker mot jorden.

TEAM

LENE THERESE TEIGEN
Text adaption and translation, director, scenography, dramaturg.
LIV HELØE

In the role of the mother
MARIANNE USTVEDT

In the role of the daughter
JON KETIL JOHNSEN

The voice of "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce

TORE DIMMESTØL
Composer
ASBJØRN-JOHNSEN/ DNS
LIght design

CATTY HOPSTOCK
Costumes
TRUDE RABBEN
Light Technician
MARIANNE ROLAND
Producer
TROND KVIST
Photographer

 

TEXT

"Footfalls" by Samuel Beckett (1975) and
"En natt vid horisonten" by Gunnar Ekelöf from the poet collection "Fragment av abstrakt teater" (1927)

PREMIERE

Late night, February 1991

Kulturhuset Verftet, Bergen

IN COLLABORATION WITH
Den Nationale Scene v/ Tom Remlov

 

SUPPORTED BY
Bergen kommune
 

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE

English and swedish
 

REVIEWS

"Lene Teigen has achieved a complete harmony between direction and scenography [...] The result is more like a dramatized and staged recitation; with an action that is constantly frozen and interrupted"

Sissel Hamre Dagsland, Bergens Tidende 9.2.1991

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