The Theatre of Cruelty

Also known asGrusomhetens Teater
Organisation typeTheatre company
Main focusTheatre
WebsiteGrusomhetens Teater

About The Theatre of Cruelty

The Theatre of Cruelty was established as an independent theatre company in 1989 by artistic leader and founder is Lars Øyno. Since 2002 the company has had its own venue in the street of Hausmannsgate, no. 34, in Oslo.

The Theatre of Cruelty produces performances within the physical theatre tradition and has become known for performances that draw their fundamental inspiration from theatre legend Antonin Artaud's vision of an anatomical theatre.

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More about The Theatre of Cruelty

Founded at a time when the Norwegian dramatic art had seemingly bid farewell to avant-garde theatre, Theatre of Cruelty is today widely recognised for its gripping, truly original theatrical language (according to Dagbladet) that shines through as more truthful than most of the other offers proposed by the theatre and cultural industry (according to Klassekampen).

The company echoes Artaud in its ambition to not merely reenact reality, but try to extract the convulsive essence of life and thus awake a genuine experience in the audience. Over the course of the years, The Theatre of Cruelty has developed its own take on the anatomical tradition, and is set to try to reconcile modernism's ideal of pure theatre and a more socially responsible literary theatre.

Although the company takes a dramatic work or other text material as a starting point, the word is not considered essential to the communication and often recedes into the image as a whole. The musicality of the body thus serves as a governing, universal principle for the staging.

Thematically, the work of Theatre of Cruelty has, along its consistent interest in marginal existences in the society, in recent years centred on the anatomy of self-destructiveness and loss of meaning present in the contemporary Western society, and the resuscitation of the human subject and the fundamental principles of insight and empathy.

In his intent to tear down the walls between theatre and audience, and between the seemingly anarchic universe of Artaud and his opponents, the director Lars Øyno frequently brings in contemporary or historical, theoretical as well as artistic references which help clarify and validate the message.

The director Lars Øyno has delivered lectures and workshops in Norway and abroad, and the company frequently collaborates with other theatre companies and institutions.

The Mountain Bird by The Theatre of Cruelty was nominated for The Hedda Award 2009 in the category of theatre event of the year.

The Theatre of Cruelty is supported by The Norwegian Culture Fund/Arts Council Norway.


The Theatre of Cruelty,, 15.08.2010,