Arne Lygre

Arne Lygre (born February 6 1968 in Bergen) is a Norwegian playwright, novelist and short story writer.

Arne Lygre won the Norwegian literature prize The Brage Award 2004 in the open category for his short story collection Time Inside (2004). He won The Norwegian Ibsen Award AKA The Ibsen Prize for I disappear in 2013, and he won The Hedda Award 2017 in the best stage text category for Let You Be.

Works by Arne Lygre have been translated into several languages, including English, French, Danish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Estonian and Serbian.


(Objekt ID 7932)
Object type Person
Born February 6, 1968
Functions Author, Dramatist/Playwright
Nationality Norwegian
Gender Male

Arne Lygre made his debut as a playwright in 1998 with the play Mother and Me and Men. The first production of Mother and Me and Men was staged at Rogaland Theatre 1998. After this the play has been produced by Masken Theatre, Denmark (2000), Addition Théâtre, France (2006/2007) Badisches Staatstheater, Germany (2007/2008) and Agder Teater/by D-MOOR Company (2009), among other companies.

Arne Lygre's second play Sudden Eternity was published by the Norwegian publisher Aschehoug in 1999 (original title Brått evig), followed by the two plays Shadow of a Boy (Skygge av en gutt) and Man without Purpose (Mann uten hensikt), published together in 2005. The latter, a contemporary drama about the desire for money, manipulation and identity had its world premiere at The Torshov Theatre in 2005. The play was also staged in Paris in 2007 and was well received.

In 2008 the play Days Beneath (Dager under) was published as a book, followed by Then Silence (Så stillhet) in 2009, I disappear (Jeg forsvinner) in 2011 and Nothing of me (Ingenting av meg) in 2013.

Days Beneath had its world premiere in Odense in Denmark in 2009, and has been performed in France and Germany later. Then Silence was staged at The Norwegian Theatre using the New Norwegian title Så blir det stilt in 2009, whereas I disappear had its world premiere at Théâtre National de la Colline in Paris in 2011, followed by the Norwegian premiere at The National Theatre in 2012. Nothing of me will be performed at The Norwegian Theatre, Stockholm City Theatre and Théâtre National de la Colline in Paris in 2014.

Books published in Norwegian:

La deg være (Let You Be, drama, Aschehoug 2017), Ingenting av meg (Nothing of me, drama, Aschehoug 2013), Jeg forsvinner (I disappear, drama, Aschehoug, 2011), Min døde mann (My dead man, novel, Aschehoug, 2009), Så stillhet (Then Silence, drama, Aschehoug, 2009), Dager under (Days Beneath, drama, Aschehoug, 2008), Et siste ansikt (A last face, novel, Aschehoug, 2006), To skuespill (literally, Two Plays, that is, Shadow of a Boy and Man without Purpose, drama, Aschehoug, 2005), Tid inne (Time Inside, short stories, Aschehoug, 2004), Mamma og meg og menn (Mother and Me and Men, drama, Aschehoug, 1998). In addition, Arne Lygre's one-act play Skade (Damage) was published in the collection Frihet som livsbetingelse 1 (literally: Freedom as a condition for life 1), published by Transit 2006.

When Arne Lygre received The Norwegian Ibsen Award for I disappear in 2013, the jury gave the following reason:

"I disappear by Arne Lygre moves through a dark landscape with a female I, her girlfriend, daughter and husband. The world described is uncertain bordering the threatening. The woman is caught in a life situation, an existential crisis, she is reflecting upon. Arne Lygre uses different narrative perspectives in his examination of our time's constant staging of one's own identity. The form mirrors the content in an elegant, suggestive and intellectual way. The text is open as well as mysterious with many changing landscapes. With I disappear Arne Lygre ensures his position as one of our most interesting playwrights."

When Arne Lygre was given The Hedda Award 2017 in the best stage text category for Let You Be, The Hedda Jury gave the following reason:

"In the criteria for The Hedda Award for best stage text, it is stated that the stage text is to distinguish itself from other good candidates through promoting and/or challenge the character of stage texts, and/or through being original in its choice of material, and/or through being innovative in its development, treatment or interpretation of the material, and/or through being particularly adaptable for acting, challenging and inspiring for actors. This year's winning text fulfils all these demands. Through an intelligently formed dramaturgical structure in which the perspective changes more than once, a nuanced sensibility in shifts between storytelling and analysis, interpretation and reinterpretation. Characters as well as audience members gradually gain new insights. The language is pure and poetic, while sounding everyday familiar, verbally natural and near."

Arne Lygre was nominated for The Hedda Award 2019 in the best text for the stage category for his play Me Near, produced by The National Theatre in 2019. Lygre also was nominated for The Norwegian Ibsen Award 2020 for Me Near. Arne Lygre was nominated for The Hedda Award 2021/2022 in the category "Best text for the stage" for Time for pleasure. 

The Norwegian Ibsen Award's jury gave the following description of the play:

"Me Near is a linguistic examination of closeness and distance. The characters exist in an existential room, where emotions are tested, relations are put against each other, and decisions have to be made. This way, a complex and nuanced text about social and relational discomfort is created, about the fear of and the need to be alone. Lygre's use of language and form creates a paradoxical relationship to closeness. The distance that arises, shows how existential closeness is. Through Lygre's exploration of the theatre's language and its different perspectives, words are transformed into events. The characters place themselves in a finely tuned and precise way, through language and action, and through this, they challenge each other's balance points."


Arne Lygre,, 28.10.2010,

Store Norske Leksikon on Arne Lygre,

Ibsen Awards, 26.09.2013,

Sceneweb on The Norwegian Ibsen Award AKA The Ibsen Prize,

The Hedda Award,, 19.06.2017,

The Hedda Award,, 16.10.19,

The municipality of Skien, press release 03.03.2020

Artworks (14)
Title Publiseringsdato Role
Then Silence 2009, Script – Author
Sudden Eternity 1999, Script, Drama – Author
Shadow of a boy 2003, Script, Drama – Author
I disappear 2011, Script, Drama – Author
Nothing of me Script – Author
Damage 2006, Script – Author
Man without Purpose 2005, Script, Drama – Author
Let You Be Script – Author
Trilogy of Memories Script, One-act Play – Author
Days Beneath 2006, Script – Author
Mother and Me and Men 1998, Script – Author
Me Near Script – Author
Time for pleasure 2021, Script – Author
I vårt sted 2023, Script – Author