Nordahl Grieg Teateret

Organisation typeTheatre company
Main focusTheatre, Musical theatre
Established1978 (closed 31 Dec. 1987)

About Nordahl Grieg Teateret

Nordahl Grieg Teateret (NGT)was established in Bergen in 1978 by Knut Skodvin and Edvard Hoem.

The theatre company had an obvious political artistic profile, and on fliers given out when the company was established, it was among other things stated that "The theatre is to be an anti-imperialist theatre with an edge against all imperialism, and in particular against the two leading imperialist powers USA and Soviet".

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    More about Nordahl Grieg Teateret

    Nordahl Grieg Teateret (NGT) had its first performances with the musical revue Å ber meg hem - fin revy om purk og pamp* (Oh, carry me home - nice revue about cops and tops) by Edvard Hoem and Klaus Hagerup.

    The revue was originally written on commission from The National Stage, but the theatre institution refused to put it on. However, NGT managed to draw a large audience and put forth the aim to become a fixture in Bergen.

    The theatre company established with an office and carpenter office in the city, with a daily manager and office assistant. In 1980 Nordahl Grieg Teateret had three fulltime actors on the staff and also published its own journal and newspaper. NGT was organised in a way the Performing Arts Hub Norway statues didn't accept and was not allowed membership: The theatre was not owned by its members, but managed by a member organisation of approximately 600 members, and the general assembly chose boards for the company, to manage it artistically, politically and economically.

    NGT toured expansively and preferred plays with local anchoring in choice of themes and language.

    In 1979 The National Stage had to cancel its planned production Vi e' søkkande god* (We are jolly great) and NGT 'temped' at the theatre institution with the production Alt e' en overgang* (Everything is a transition) by Jan Eggum. 

    NGT aimed to become a professional theatre with New Norwegian as its performing language, and its first production as a professional theatre was Bli fremfor alt ikke trette* (First of all, don't tire) in 1980.

    Other productions by the company were I skuggjen av Telavåg* (In the shadow of Telavåg) by Lars Mund Vaage (1979), Riksvegen vestover* (The national road westwards) (1980), Barrabas (1980) and Dario Fo (1981). The company also took part in the theatre festival Bergenske Frynser (literally: Bergen Fringes) in 1980.

    After some years of management the company announced it was to shut down in 1982. The company's debt had grown so high it could no longer maintain it, nor pay the employees their salaries.

    At the time of the shut-down, the leader of the board of the theatre, Arne Wåge, announced that "the reason of death is cultural/political as well as economical" and "when people pass the age of 30, they need a safer foundation and one should not demand them to work for 20 hours a day, year after year." (Bergens Tidende, June 16 1982).

    At the time the theatre had not performed for a year, and it no longer had a regular staff. In 1987 NGT did a performance at The National Stage with the production Barrabas by Per Lagerkvist, in a version by Tore Nysæther and Tom Remlov, but NGT is regarded as closed as of 1982 despite of this.

    Source:

    Birthe-Lisbeth Ludvigsen: The University of Bergen paper Frie teatergrupper og prosjektteater i Bergen 1970-2006 - en kontekstualisert oversikt og beskrivelse (literally: Independent Theatre Companies and Project Theatres in Bergen 1970-2006 – a contextualised overview and description), UiB 2007

    *Not yet translated into English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning. Most of the Norwegian-language titles above are spelled in the way of the Bergen dialect.