The Hedda Award 2004

Best direction

Best direction is to surpass other good directions through:

*choice of style and/or style elements and how this/these are executed and adjusted to the totality of the production.

*how style and/or style elements are adjusted to and established in relation to the material the production discusses or is based on (the dramaturgy/reading).

*innovation in style.

  • Gábor Zsámbéki

    "This year's winner is a director with long experience, a theatre person who with equal curiosity and enthusiasm has blown new life into the classics and presented new, contemporary playwrights. The winner has stated that the most important element of the theatre is the actor, and in the production honoured today the direction emphasises to put the actor in the centre of it.

    The main character, yes, of course, but also the supporting cast - they all seem to be as important for the director, and thus they play a determining role for the spectator's experience of the many layers in the witty, baroque and demanding text.

    The winner of the year is Hungarian Gábor Zsámbéki for his tight, but imagination-triggering version of Thomas Bernhard's Histrionics at The National Theatre."

Nominated (3)
  • Kjetil Bang-Hansen

    Kjetil Bang-Hansen for The Celebration by Vinterberg/Rukov/Hansen at the main stage of The National Theatre:

    "Ever since he in 1962 graduated from The National Academy of Theatre, Kjetil Bang-Hansen has been a central mover in Norwegian theatre. Today he is steadily employed as an instructor and artistic counsellor at The National Theatre, where he this autumn delights audiences with two excellent, but very different productions, The Celebration and The Animals in the Hunchback Wood.

    He started his theatre career as an actor and instructor at different Norwegian theatres, and he has been the dean of The National Academy of Theatre, as well as the artistic director and CEO of several of our major venues: Rogaland Theatre, The National Stage, The National Theatre and Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre). Kjetil Bang-Hansen has directed productions at most Norwegian theatres, as well as visiting as a director in Poland, Denmark, France and USA.

    Last year he won The Hedda Award in the best direction category for The Importance of Being Earnest at The National Theatre."

  • Alexander Mørk-Eidem

    Alexander Mørk-Eidem for The Seagull by Anton Chekhov at the main stage of The Norwegian Theatre:

    "Ever since he in 1998 graduated from the directors' study at The National Academy of Theatre, Alexander Mørk-Eidem has been among the most profiled and interesting young Norwegian directors - and one of the most used. At home he has staged productions for Rogaland Theatre and Trøndelag Theatre, The Norwegian Theatre and The National Theatre.

    He has staged Shakespeare and Jon Fosse, Tennessee Williams and Chekhov, but also Astrid Lindgren and Thorbjørn Egner. He has also had great assignments at The Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen and Stockholm City Theatre, the latter of which he is now connected to.

    He won The Hedda Award in the best direction category in 2000 for Not about Nightingales by Tennessee Williams at The Norwegian Theatre, and his production of Mikhail Bulgakov's Flight at The Royal Danish Theatre was this year selected as the production of the year in Denmark."

  • Gábor Zsámbéki

    Gábor Zsámbéki for Histrionics by Thomas Bernhard at The National Theatre, the amphi stage:

    "Hungarian Gábor Zsámbéki was born in 1953. From 1974 to 1978 he led the Csiky Gergely theatre in the village of Kaposvár, making it one of the most important theatres in Hungary. He was the main instructor of the national theatre in Budapest from 1978 to 1982. At the time he founded the Katona theatre, which he has led since. From 1979 he has also been teaching direction and acting at the national theatre academy in Budapest. He was recently reelected as the leader of The Union of European Theatres, for the third time.

    In Norway he has staged Molière's The Miser in 1998, Büchner's Woyzeck in 1999 and Ibsen's Hedda Gabler in 2003, all of the mentioned at Rogaland Theatre. At The National Theatre he has staged Molière's Tartuffe (2001), Little Eyolf (2002) and Histrionics by Thomas Bernhard in 2004. Even Stormoen won The Hedda Award in the particularly excellent performance category for his interpretation of Harpagon in Zsámbéki's production of The Miser, and Zsámbéki was nominated in the best direction category."

Best visual design

The best visual design is to surpass other good works through:

*conceptual autonomy (that the stage design is an artistic work in itself) balanced with conceptual function (the dramaturgic dimensions of the room).

*relation to related art forms (visual art, design, architecture).

*innovation, in particular related to stage design/the profession of theatre and related art forms.

  • Ingrid Nylander

    "This year's Hedda Award goes to an artist who is certain in style, in her superior understanding that theatre is also the art of the visual. She has the ability to adjust her luscious talent to highly different challenges. This the winner has proved through her convincing contributions to the most distinct productions.

    This year the winner gets the award for her determining participation in making the performance a delight to the eye, and to provide it with a freshness and an energy proving how central visual communication is to performing arts.

    The award goes to Ingrid Nylander for her costumes for La Cage aux Folles at Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre)."

Nominated (3)
  • Ingrid Nylander

    Ingrid Nylander for the costumes for La Cage aux Folles at Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre):

    "Ingrid Nylander majored in costumes at The National Academy of Craft and Art Industry (1991). She assisted Kari Gravklev in making the costumes for the opening and closing ceremonies during the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994.

    She is among our most used costume designers, and to name a few of her most important assignments: She has made the costumes for Body Troopers in 1994, The Miser at Rogaland Theatre in 1997, Hamlet at The National Theatre in 1998, Romeo and Juliet at The National Stage in 1999, King Lear, also at The National Stage in 2000, Jeppe of the Hill in 1999 and Antons Villfaring* (Anton's Deviation) in 2002."

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

  • Ellen Ruge

    Ellen Ruge for the lighting design for Winter Storage at The National Theatre, the amphi stage (Amfiscenen):

    "Ellen Ruge was born in Osloin 1960. She was educated as a still photographer at Fotoskolan in Stockholm (1982) and a video photographer at Videoakademin in Gothenburg in 1986. She has been active as a lighting technician in Stockholm and the rest of the Nordic countries since the mid-1980es, and has done the lighting for theatre, exhibitions, opera and ballet.

    Among the directors she has worked with are Terje Mærli, Mats Ek, Suzanne Osten, Ragnar Lyth, Leif Stinnerbom and Ole Anders Tandberg, and the productions include the latter's Kjæm ailler att* (Will never be back) at The National Theatre in 2001."

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

  • Stephan Østensen

    Stephan Østensen for the stage design for The Master Builder at Trøndelag Theatre, the studio (Studioscenen):

    "Stephan Østensen was born in Trondheim, and educated at The National Academy of Craft and Art Industry and The National Academy of Fine Arts. From 1992 he has worked as an independent stage designer in Norway and Europe. He has also directed dance, theatre and movies. For a long time he has collaborated closely with Jo Strømgren, for whom his assignments include the stage design Masculine Mysteries, A dance tribute to the art of football and Gorri Gorri.

    He also made the stage design for Jo Strømgren's most personal version of When We Dead Awaken during The Ibsen Festival 2002, and for his as personal version of The Nutcracker, opening in Vienna this winter. Stephan Østensen currently lives in Barcelona."

Debut of the year

In this category the jury announces no nominations.

The criteria are open.

  • Lasse Kolsrud

    "This year's debut is not made by a newcomer within the theatre world. He has been part of it quite some while, and has in many ways made his mark. But that has been as an actor. Now, for the first time, he has made a whole production from nothing. And not any kind of production, but one that the critics have appreciated greatly, and the audiences have loved.

    It has been playing for full houses since the autumn of 2003, it will be back on again this autumn, and it has even moved out of town: The journey to Western Norway became an experience which will late be forgotten by those who took share in it. The debut of the year winner mastered the difficult assignment it is to maintain order among 18 actors - and a dog.

    For those who have not yet guessed it: The debut of the year winner is Lasse Kolsrud for the adaptation and direction of Songs of the Beehive at The Norwegian Theatre."

Particularly excellent performance

The particularly excellent performance is to surpass other good performances through:

*qualities of craft.

*artistic qualities.


  • Jan Grønli

    "The winner of the year is an actor who throughout many years has put his unmistakable mark on a number of the prominent characters of the theatre, while his personality has never overshadowed his interpretations: This year's winner always goes in the depth of his characters on the playwright's terms, and he makes them seem simply human, filled with contradiction, mystery and coherence.

    In the victory interpretation the actor show the full range of his craft. It is a unique role from the hand of the playwright, and it is a unique performance by the actor too: A personal, uncompromised character, based on a highly intellectual and artistically precise understanding of the role. The winner of the year has received many awards before, but he has not been nominated for The Hedda Award prior to now. This year he gets the particularly excellent performance award for his interpretation of Bruscon in Histrionics, performed at The National Theatre during this spring.

    The winner of the year is: Jan Grønli."

Nominated (3)
  • Jan Grønli

    Jan Grønli for the role of Bruscon in Histrionics at The National Theatre, The Amphi Stage (Amfiscenen):

    "Jan Grønli was an employee of The National Stage from 1971 to 1977, of Rogaland Theatre from 1977 to 1989, and at The National Theatre from 1989 to 1991. Since then he has been connected to The Norwegian Theatre, though he has also had assignments at The Norwegian Touring Theatre. In 2004 he guest-starred at The National Theatre in the role of Bruscon in Histrionics by Thomas Bernhard.

    He has played Sophocles and Shakespeare, Ibsen and Lars Norén, Holberg and Jon Fosse. He directed the cult performance Werther, which he had also adapted for the theatre in collaboration with actor Hallvard Holmen. He is known from several motion pictures such as Rebels with a Cause, Lakki and most recently Jonny Vang.

    Jan Grønli has been honoured with the memorial award of Aksel Valdemar, the radio theatre award called Blå Fugl (literally: Blue Bird, 1995), the grant of Aase Bye (1997) and the Hulda Garborg award (2000). But this is the first time he is nominated for The Hedda Award."

  • Mia Gundersen

    Mia Gundersen, for the role of Evita in Evita at Rogaland Theatre:

    "Mia Gundersen was born in Stavanger, and made her debut aged eight, at The Children and Youth Theatre of Rogaland Theatre, where she was active until she turned 15 years. She wanted to become an actress, but started her career as a singer. Her first great theatre role was Eliza in My Fair Lady at Rogaland Theatre, and she is now among Norway's greatest musical actors.

    She has had the role of Sugar in the musical by the same name, and Sally Bowles in Cabaret, and she took part in The Norwegian Theatre's popular Musikal Musical. But she has also had success with the monologue Gelsomina, which she discovered during the theatre festival in Avignon, and immediately secured the rights to perform."

  • Bjarte Hjelmeland

    Bjarte Hjelmeland, for the role of Jeppe in Jeppe of the Hill, The National Theatre:

    "Bjarte Hjelmeland graduated from The National Academy of Theatre in 1991, and since then he has been connected to The National Theatre, while having had assignments at most Norwegian theatres. From 1996 to 1998 he was part of the company at The Torshov Theatre, where he had great success with Bernard-Marie Koltès' monologue Night Just Before the Forest, performed aboard one of the trams in the city.

    He was nominated for The Hedda Award 2002 for the role of Fabian Feste in Twelfth Night at The National Theatre, and for the role of Steinar in the musical Antons villfaring* (Anton's Deviation) at The Norwegian Theatre the same year. Other than that he is the singer of his own country band, he has directed several productions, and while playing the role of Jeppe at The National Theatre he also did 42 different roles in the play Fully Committed in the nightclub Smuget in Oslo, directed by Toralv Maurstad.

    Bjarte Hjelmeland won The Honorary Award of Per Aabel in 1995, the radio theatre award Blå Fugl (literally: Blue Bird) for his interpretation of the title role in Henrik Ibsen's Brand (2000), Hotel Continental's actor award 2004 for his role of Jeppe in Jeppe of the Hill, and the grant of Aase Bye for 2004."

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

Production of the year

The theatre production of the year is to surpass other productions through:

*current interest.



  • Purpur og gull* (Purple and Gold)

    "The production of the year was an outstanding audience success. It delighted and it entertained, but it did not hesitate in grabbing hold of some of human life's most serious challenges either. And it managed to do that in a playful, light and effortless manner, and best of all - without ever getting trapped in the dangers of sentimentality and banality. A good, efficient and inventive direction, an ensemble performing their characters with true joy in jesting and an unexpected explosion of a debut with a joy in acting and an energy surplus which took the audience with storm.

    When one adds that the production was solidly anchored locally while being universal, and that it was so popular it will be revived at the theatre this autumn, several may have guessed that the production of the year is Purpur og gull* (Purple and Gold) at Trøndelag Theatre, directed by the artistic director of the theatre herself, Catrine Telle, and with Bjarne Brøndbo, Harald Brenna, Helle Ottesen, Øyvind Brandtzæg and Ingrid Bergstrøm in the roles."

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

Nominated (3)
  • The Feast

    The Celebration at The National Theatre:

    "A story of fate, etching strong the way it is put together. The tragic family drama about the sins of the fathers sits tight, direction is efficient and the ensemble excellent."

    Elisabeth Rygg, Aftenposten

  • Songs of the Beehive

    Songs of the Beehive at The Norwegian Theatre, Scene 2:

    "This is yet another great, Norwegian effort from The Norwegian Theatre, and it has become a great, warm and vulnerable success."

    Andreas Wiese, Dagbladet

  • Purpur og gull* (Purple and Gold)

    Purpur og gull* (Purple and Gold) at Trøndelag Theatre, Gamle Scene:

    "With infecting joy in acting the everyday life description takes off and becomes a liberated as well as melancholy feast of rhythm in Purpur og gull."

    Martin Nordvik, Adresseavisen

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

Special artistic achievement

In this category the jury announces no nominations.

The criteria are open.

  • Jesper Halle

    "Many different professions contribute, each in their way, to letting the theatre maintain its unique hold of the audience, and many do a particularly excellent effort within other fields than the four or five established Hedda categories. To honour these The Hedda Jury has created the open category called special artistic achievement.

    The winner of the year belongs to a group of artist it is impossible to be without, if the theatre is to renew itself and keep developing, and the works of the winner have, during the past season, been an important part of the repertoire of Trøndelag Theatre. The winner is a playwright, and the work for which he gets the award is a dark, disturbing text, convincingly recreating the apparently innocent world of childhood with an original dramatic effect.

    Most must have guessed it by now: The award goes to playwright Jesper Halle for The Littlewoods, with its world wide premiere at Trøndelag Theatre."