Alaska

Premiére date22 Jan. 2001
Produced byThe Theatre of Cruelty
Based onKranieborer ridderen by Frédérick Tristan
AudienceYouth, Adults (from 15)
LanguageNorwegian
ExpressionsTheatre, Physical theatre, Musical theatre
Running period22 Jan. 2001  —  16 Aug. 2003
WebsiteGrusomhetens Teater

About Alaska

Alaska (2001) was a theatre production by The Theatre of Cruelty with the band When, in part based on the story about The Cranium Drill Knight by Danielle Sarréra (Frédérick Tristan). The production was first performed at Black Box Teater's main stage, at the time located at Aker Brygge. A developed version, Alaska II, was first performed at The Theatre of Cruelty's facilities in Hausmania in 2003.

Lars Øyno directed it.

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Plakat: Jon Strand

Plakatdesign: Sigrun Giil / Integral Design

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Press review

Jon Refsdal Moe, date unknown, Morgenbladet [Oslo, Norway]:
"Alaska is miles away from the raw confrontational aesthetics Artaud is so often is linked to, and which has been seen in Øyno's earlier performances. Rather than to seek the sixties avant-garde violent expression, Øyno has here been inspired by Artaud's idea of theatre as poetry incarnated." 

Fredrik Rütter, date unknown, Aftenposten [Oslo, Norway]:
"No doubt about Lars Øyno’s involvement and belief in Artaud’s ideas, for him the only correct way to create theatre. The performance is coherent into the very smallest detail. Øyno is uncompromised and he doesn’t make strategic choices to please a larger audience. These days the form of the performance is regarded as particular." 

More about Alaska

The writer Danielle Sarréra, who was credited in The Theatre of Cruelty's information material, was in herself fictional. Purportedly, she was a young French girl who committed suicide when she was seventeen, leaving behind some morbidly erotic stories, supposedly autobiographical. Her work was praised for her "authentic female" voice, and several feminists analysed her "specifically feminine" style. But a few years after her stories were published, the real writer, Frédérick Tristan, declared that he had made up Danielle Sarréra, and that he had written the stories.

At the webpage of The Theatre of Cruelty, the following, among other things, was written about Alaska:

"Alaska is based on texts by Danielle Sarréra (1932-1949). After Sarréra took her own life, three notebooks containing four short prose pieces were found in her apartment at Monmartre. These texts, written with fervour that suggests autobiographical content, deal with incest and death.

'The Cranium Drill Knight – this is the Christ that lives in me, and drills his way through my cranium day by day, like a needle'."

Alaska II was performed August 12-16 – 5 performances at the theatre in the street of Hausmannsgate (Oslo) in 2003. This was a duo impro performance with jazz musician Frode Gjerstad and Hanne Dieserud.

The Theatre of Cruelty thanked: Fretex Elevatorm Godlia Velhus, Øyvind Wahl and Kjartan for contributions and aid.

Supported by: Arts Council Norway, The Fund for Performing Artists.

SOURCES:

The Theatre of Cruelty, grusomhetensteater.no, 18.08.2010, http://www.grusomhetensteater.no

Jannah Loontjens, 05.2008, Resisting the Author: JT Leroy's fictional authorship, Image and Narrative, 18.08.2010, http://www.imageandnarrative.be/inarchive/autofiction2/loontjes.html

The National Library of Norway, digitised performance program transferreed to Sceneweb 13.08.2015