Elsa Lystad

Elsa Lystad (born in Oslo July 9 1930, dead in Oslo 26. December 2023) was a Norwegian actress.


(Objekt ID 20710)
Object type Person
Born July 9, 1930 (dead December 26, 2023)
Functions Actor, Comedian
Nationality Norwegian
Gender Female

In 1957 Lystad was hired by Falkbergets Teater (a touring theatre run by Magnus Falkberget), and she made her debut directed by Toralf Sandø as Laura Isaksen in Boer Boerson Jr., in a thirteen month long tour.

In 1958–64 she worked for The Norwegian Theatre after having performed a smaller role in the theatre's version of Boer Boerson. Most of her roles were minor, but she began to find her style as Minda in the Prøysen musical Trost i Taklampa* (Blackbird in the Chandelier) (1963) and as Sergeant Petra in Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation's drama division's The Brat (1960).

At the then recently started revue theatre Lysthuset in Stortingsgata in Oslo she collaborated with then fresh faces such as Rolv Wesenlund and Harald Heide-Steen jr. in 1965, followed by short-term employment with Einar Schanke at Chat Noir and her movie-breakthrough with Hurra for Andersens* (Hooray for the Andersens) (1966).

In her own TV show Dream Girl (1969) she interpreted Julie Andrews as well as Marlene Dietrich.

In 1970 she had the role of Sigrid Undset's short story character Selma Brøter, directed by Per Bronken for Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation's drama division, for which she worked until 1973, with the role of Olga in Chekhov's Three Sisters among the highlights.

After the Chat Noir revue of 1972, called Kjære, lille Norge* (Dear, little Norway), Elsa Lystad worked for Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre) 1973–76, in comedies and musicals. She and Rolf Just Nilsen started a close collaboration, and continued to work together in Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

At The National Stage 1976–80 she had great classical roles, including Goneril in King Lear, Lavinia in The Happy Choice and Martha in Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee.

From 1980 she has been a freelancer, working for employers including Einar Schanke, Dag Frøland and the independent company Tramteatret, The National Theatre, The Norwegian Touring Theatre, The Norwegian Theatre, Norwegian Broadcasting and Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre). In 2003 she performed the production Marlene Dietrich - A Blue Angel at Victoria Scene West.

Many will also remember her as Kathinka Stordahl in Krane's Café, Mrs. Stockmann in An Enemy of the People and Nille in Jeppe of the Hill. In addition she has performed central musical roles, in productions including the musical version of Two Gentlemen of Verona (Oslo Nye Teater/Oslo New Theatre), Annie (Bryggeteatret), Oliver (Chateau Neuf) and Annie 2 (Chateau Neuf).

In 1986 she published the autobiography Hva er det med meg? (literally: What is the thing with me?).

Three days prior to her 82nd birthday the summer of 2012she opened a new show called Mitt liv som Elsa* (My Life as Elsa), in which she, accompanied by Petter Anthon Næss, sums up her life onstage and offstage.


Store Norske Leksikon on Elsa Lystad, http://snl.no/Elsa_Lystad/norsk%20skuespiller

Norsk Biografisk Leksikon on Elsa Lystad, http://snl.no/.nbl_biografi/Elsa_Lystad/utdypning

Dagbladet, Review titled Lyspunktet Lystad (literally, the title can mean The Spotlight of Lystad as well as The Good Thing about Lystad), http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/07/07/kultur/scene/sceneanmeldelse/anmeldelser/elsa_lystad/22456092/

*Not yet translated into English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.