Songs of the Beehive

Songs of the Beehive was a theatre production produced by The Norwegian Theatre in 2003, based on the book by Frode Grytten, adapted for the theatre by Lasse Kolsrud. The production was staged at Scene 2, The Norwegian Theatre.

Lasse Kolsrud also directed the production. This was his directorial debut, and he received The Hedda Award 2004 in the debut of the year category for it.

Songs of the Beehive became a major success, and was part of the repertoire for several seasons. It was seen by almost 200 000 spectators.

The production also visited Odda, where the action takes place, for a run of 10 performances. 

The Norwegian Theatre reviveed Songs of the Beehive in 2013, with new stage design and some changes in the cast. The 2013 went on tour with The Norwegian Touring Theatre, for a run of 22 performances.


(Objekt ID 23873)
Object type Production
Premiere September 5, 2003
Produced by The Norwegian Theatre
In collaboration with The Norwegian Touring Theatre (Riksteatret)
Based on Songs of the Beehive by Frode Grytten
Audience Adults
Audience size 62408
Number of events 288
Language Norwegian Nynorsk
Keywords Theatre, Drama
Running period September 5, 2003  
Duration 2 hours, 35 minutes

Requirements to venue

Blackout No

The Hedda Jury gave the following reason for the award to 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."

Lasse Kolsrud also won The Norwegian Critics' Award for the production.

In the award ceremony speech on behalf of Norwegian Critics' Association the following, among other things, was said:

"As a playwright he has managed to create theatre out of Frode Grytten's eminent collective novel, theatre characterised by a rare solidarity with ordinary people, linked with the insight that among the so-called ordinary people one may find the most insane destines, characters and stories.

As a director he has managed to transfer his vision to a large ensemble, and connected the stage designer's, the musicians' and the whole theatre's many contributions with the text in an artistically coherent performance: A grand, human, warm and vulnerable success.

Such things give faith in the theatre. Such things, not least, give faith in Lasse Kolsrud."

The complete speech can be read at the webpage of Norwegian Critics' Association (link in Norwegian only).

Songs of the Beehive by The Norwegian Theatre was also nominated for The Hedda Award 2004 in the production of the year category.

In addition to being performed at The Norwegian Theatre, Songs of the Beehive has been performed as a visiting performance in Odda, where the action of the play takes place.

At the webpage of The Norwegian Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Songs of the Beehive:

"Songs of the Beehive is based on Frode Grytten's success novel by the same name. When the book came out six years ago it swiftly became an audience winner. Frode Grytten took home the Norwegian literature award Brage and was nominated for The Nordic Council Literature Prize. The novel is compiled by 25 stories, all about the colourful characters living in a concrete building in Odda. Here is the party secretary whose celebration of May 1 gets a wet start as he falls into the water on his way out of a plane, the average Norwegian visited by the TV channel TV2, and the men working at the industry plant.

Lasse Kolsrud is responsible for the adaption and direction
Lasse Kolsrud has processed the material, made a selection of stories and colourful characters and sewn it together into a story for the stage, spicing it up with music. The recurring character is M, fan of The Smiths, a postman who has been fired. Ordinary workers, rich CEOs and odd local originals all have a place in this description of an everyday universe in miniature. The concrete building never rests. Somebody is always awake, and not all can take to be seen in daylight. Songs of the Beehive is a description of lives crossing each other, intersecting, love, friendship, arguments and strange fellows at the industry plant. Or, as Frode Grytten says, in the start of the book: These stories started in experience, but ended someplace in fiction. The book is not a portrait of the real concrete building in Odda, and all similarities to actual persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental.

Songs of the Beehive is Lasse Kolsrud's debut as a director. He is joined by a strong team of 18 actors, giving colour to the life in the industry town in the fjord Sørfjorden. Besides the dog Skipper is part of the ensemble.

The songs of The Smiths also constitute a central part of the performance, performed by a band of three men, led by guitarist Rune Berg. Berg is known as a member of The Margarets, and he, plus bass player/guitarist Per Amund Solberg and percussionist Simen Mæhlum, make up three of five members of Number Seven Deli. During the performance run the three of them have alternated with Børge Sildnes, Helge Kanck and Trond Slåke."


The Norwegian Theatre,, 23.10.2012,

Sceneweb on The Hedda Award 2004,, 24.10.2012,

Norwegian Critics' Association,, 29.09.2011,

Performance dates
April 12, 2013Scene 2, Det Norske Teatret, The Norwegian Theatre New opening
2013 Tour Premiere
September 5, 2003Scene 2, Det Norske Teatret, The Norwegian Theatre Worldwide premiere
Press coverage

Andreas Wiese, Dagbladet, date unknown:

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

Writer and date unknown, VG:

"A masterpiece"

Writer and date unknown, Aftenposten:

"Buzzing of humour and warmth"

Awards - Nominations (1)