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Program for The Theatre of Cruelty's production The Fountain of Blood (2005) pdf February 15, 2005 Download

The Fountain of Blood

The Fountain of Blood by The Theatre of Cruelty was about a young couple in love, subjugated to cynical and corrupted forces of society. The basis of the performance was Antonin Artaud’s best-known play The Spurt of Blood AKA The Jet of Blood from 1925, by many theatre professionals seen as impossible to perform.

Of the original The Spurt of Blood only the opening dialogue between two young lovers remained in The Theatre of Cruelty’s version.


(Objekt ID 1584)
Object type Production
Premiere February 15, 2005
Produced by The Theatre of Cruelty
Based on Jet of Blood AKA Spurt of Blood by Antonin Artaud
Audience Youth, Adults (from 15)
Language Norwegian
Keywords Theatre, Physical theatre, Metatheatre, Thriller, Tragedy, Chamber play
Running period February 15, 2005  
Duration 75 minutes
Website Grusomhetens Teater

Requirements to venue

Blackout Yes

The Fountain of Blood by The Theatre of Cruelty was no ordinary love story, but a story of love, told in hallucinatory tableaus releasing each other the way of dream images.

The director Lars Øyno attempted to bring clarity to Artaud’s violent universe via Erich Fromm – the psycho analyst and humanist who identified the compromises in modern life; "There is no room for love in the Western society of today". The powers of the market ravage the modern mentality, mocking everything selfless and pure. In meeting life, a total, unconditional love is required.

Erich Fromm and Antonin Artaud in each their way urged people to free themselves from the Western self-deception. Fromm claimed that love of life itself was the way. The aim of the theatre of cruelty is to rediscover life.

In the program for The Fountain of Blood Lars Øyno writes the following, among other things:

"In the gospel of Mary Magdalene this is written: "Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from something contrary to its nature."

The Spanish conquistadors infected and destroyed the entirety of the highly developed Aztec culture through their primitive form of sexuality, and in shame we must acknowledge that these Southern Europeans are our carriers of tradition. Today sexuality is an easy accommodation, a product which commercial rage knows no limit.

The white man who raped the entire Native American continent wasn't punished. Likewise, most of the criminals from Holocaust, the German SS and the euthanasia experts from Austria, went free. The market forces' behaviour of today accelerates with support from the law."

The Theatre of Cruelty directs thanks to: Tormod Lindgren, Ole Jørgen Løvås and Thomas Sanne for technical assistance and aid.

The production is dedicated to Per Verner-Carlsson.


The Theatre of Cruelty, grusomhetensteater.no, 17.08.2010, http://www.grusomhetensteater.no

Contributors (17)
Name Role
Antonin Artaud – Author
Jan Olav Gatland – Translation
Lars Øyno – Idea
Lars Øyno – Direction
Lise Eger – Choreography
Lars Tore Pedersen – Music
Christina Lindgren – Costume design
Geir Kenneth Johansen – Lighting design
Ingrid Tønder – Lighting design
Lars Brunborg – Actor
Hanne Dieserud – Actor
Odille Heftye Blehr – Actor
Kristofer Hivju – Actor
Martha Kjørven – Actor
Robert Skjærstad – Actor
Tonje Reksten – Mask design
Namik Mackic – Producer
Performance dates
February 15, 2005The Venue of The Theatre of Cruelty National premiere, Norway
Press coverage

Elisabeth Rygg, date unknown, Aftenposten [Oslo]:
"The Fountain of Blood both irritates and fascinates with its jagged idiom and its direct narrative style. And Artaud is not easily captured. But the gravity of his theories and texts concerning the relationship between darkness and light, greed and innocence, devotion and loathing, death and being – it all comes assertively across in this production."

Andreas Wiese, date unknown, Dagbladet [Oslo]:
"Challenging avant chamber play. (...) An experiment in visual dramaturgy and repetition rituals (...) an exploration of emotions in a dark, open space. (...) The progression is slow, the effect mesmerising. (...) The dreamlike quality of the tableaus is strong, and actors attend to their roles with intensity. (...) Lars Øyno possesses a remarkable, visual theatrical gift."

Jørgen Alnæs, date unknown, Dagsavisen [Oslo]:
"A powerful dramatic performance satiated with expressiveness (...) comes rarely close to the French theatre legend Antonin Artaud. (...) Øyno and the ensemble use all available space and speak in gestures and voices that result in strong visual statements and poignant scenes."

IdaLou Larsen, date unknown, Scenekunst.no [Oslo]:
"In spite of endless repetitions, I am eagerly present and, to my bewilderment, responsible for the fact that this massive darkness and cruelty neither distresses nor alarms me."