The Writer

The Writer was presented by Ulrike Quade and Jo Strømgren Company in collaboration with Nordland Visual Theatre, at the occasion of the 150 year jubilee for the birth of Knut Hamsun.

Where does art end and politics start? And who draws the fine line?

A Nobel Prize winner finds himself in the white-out isolation of psychiatric scrutiny, accused of national treason. Where did he slip? After 60 years of hatred, shame and distrust, there has still been no reconciliation.

The playlist is complete.


(Objekt ID 268)
Object type Production
Premiere June 5, 2009
Produced by Jo Strømgren Kompani,
Coproducers Nordland Visual Theatre
In collaboration with Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre), The Norwegian Touring Theatre (Riksteatret)
Audience Adults (from 14)
Language English, Dutch and German
Expressions Puppetry
Running period June 5, 2009  —  April 24, 2012
Duration 65 minutes
Website Jo Strømgren Kompani

Requirements to venue

Minimum stage width 8m
Maximum stage width 12m
Minimum stage depth 7m
Maximum stage depth 8m
Blackout Yes
Rigging time 620 minutes
Downrigging time 60 minutes

The Writer let the writer talk to someone again, to a three generations later someone, who perhaps has a different view upon the ever so latent minefield called freedom of thought and speech. A conversation that still avoided all the answers, simply because there may not be any. But nonetheless, intimate conversations may still provide us with associative material to why and how someone chooses to join fascistic ideologies.

In the book Figurteatret i Nordland 1991-2011 (Figurteatret i Nordland is the Norwegian-language name of Nordland Visual Theatre, Sceneweb's comment) the following, among other things, is written about the action of The Writer:

"Inspired by Knut Hamsun's life and work. A German student working on a paper about a Nobel Prize winner in literature, as well as a man sentenced for treason, is visited by the writer in person. The student tries to make the treasoner apologise for his actions. A character of his own novel and the dying version of him interfere with the confrontation."

The Writer was supported by: Art Council Norway, the municipality of Bergen, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/MFA (travel grant/performing arts), the municipality of Oslo and Nordland Visual Theatre.

The Writer was the winner of the Audience Award at Belgrade International Theatre Festival, BITEF 2009 and The Best Show Award, The Little Prince, at the 2010 Lutke International Puppet Theatre Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Nordland Visual Theatre (2011): The book Figurteatret i Nordland (the Norwegian-language name of Nordland Visual Theatre) 1991-2011, published by the publisher Orkana forlag as, Stamsund

Jo Strømgren Kompani,, 08.08.2010,

Name Role
Ulrike Quade – Script
Jo Strømgren – Script
Jo Strømgren – Direction
Edvard Grieg – Music
Bergmund Waal Skaslien – Music
Jo Strømgren – Stage design
Atty Kingma – Costume design
Ulrike Quade – Puppetry Design
Lars Årdal – Sound design
Stephen Rolfe – Lighting design
Ulrike Quade – Actor
Gunn Hernes – Puppeteer (Assistant to Ulrike Quade)
Maria Landgraf – Puppeteer (Assistant to Ulrike Quade)
Ulrike Quade – Puppeteer
Go West February 26, 2012
Biennale Internationale des Arts de la Marionette May 14, 2011
Lutke International Puppet Theatre Festival September 11, 2010
Pop Arts Festival February 28, 2010
SAND-festivalen October 8, 2009
Festival Intercity October 1, 2009
BITEF Festival September 21, 2009
Arctic Arts Festival June 22, 2009
Porsgrunn International Theatre Festival June 17, 2009
Stamsund Teaterfestival June 5, 2009
Press coverage

10.2009, K. De Volkskrant Veraart:
"Quade plays the role of a researcher, who is studying the author for a publication. At the point where she gets stuck in her research, she digs up the little writer from the scenery (she also manipulates the puppets herself), and a little while later his younger alter ego appears as well. And there are many more surprising visual effects which, along with the intriguing facts, make The Writer into a fine and exciting performance." 

Writer unknown, 06.2009, Vårt Land [Oslo]:
"Ulrike Quades amazing performance makes us completely forget that these puppet-men are not of flesh and blood."

Writer unknown, 06.2009, Varden:
"The Writer is an impressive one woman show, with highly professional puppeteering. ( ...) the kiss between the female student (Quade) and the puppet that portrays the main character in Hunger, must be the most passionate ever exchanged between a human and a puppet on stage."

Writer unknown, 06.2009, Lofotposten:
"From start to finish, The Writer is Ulrike Quade's show."