Ship O'Hoi!

Ship O'Hoi! - en sjøreise fra Odalen til Angola* (Ship O'Hoi! - a sea journey from Odalen to Angola) (2012) is a production by Pia Maria Roll

"Vi er ingen tyranner
Vi spiser ikke mye kaviar
Ingen av oss bruker flosshatt
De færreste røker sigar
Vi går på fottur i knickers
for å holde på form og figur
Vi er glad i barn og i blinde
og i positiv litteratur"

In direct translation for the sake of this Sceneweb entry:

"We are no tyrants
We don't eat much caviar
None of us wears a top hat
Only a few smoke a cigar
We hike in knickers
to maintain the shape and character
We are fond of children and the blind ones
and of positive literature"

Quote from Tramteateret's Deep Sea Thriller, 1976, text by Terje Nordby.

Ship O'Hoi! was nominated for The Hedda Award in the production of the year category.

*Not yet translated into English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.


(Objekt ID 31480)
Object type Production
Premiere October 12, 2012
Produced by , Impure Company/Hooman Sharifi
Coproducers Trøndelag Theatre, Norwegian Centre for New Playwriting (NCNP), Black Box Teater
Audience Adults, Youth
Expressions Theatre, Political Theatre, Documentary
Running period October 12, 2012  
Website Black Box Teater, Trøndelag Teater

At the webpage of Black Box Teater the following, among other things, is written about Ship O'Hoi! by Pia Maria Roll:

"The Norwegian state's state-owned oil company AS Statoil was established by the parliament in unison June 14 1972. The political motivation behind the decision was the wish for Norwegian participation in the production of oil from the start, to build the competence for the foundation for a national oil industry. This way Statoil became insurance against the large, privately owned multi-national oil companies gaining control of the Norwegian natural resources. In 1992 the Norwegian state and the Norwegian oil industry decided to expand the enterprise to international waters. At the time one had long worried because of the lack of new discoveries on Norwegian ground. The state and the industry threw anchors away and sailed on the seven seas.

What are the terms for human freedom? As a company. As an individual. As a nation. How do you create a space with the possibility to live according to your own integrity and potential? Does the framework of personal freedom always limit others' freedom?

Ship O'Hoi! is a journey at sea. The itinerary goes down the English Channel, the Mediterranean Sea, Libya, Azerbaijan, the Suez Canal, and around Cape Hope to Angola. Our goal is not to get somewhere, but to see some of the places we already are.

Aboard the ship we find: A Libyan activist running from a revolution he helped start, a Norwegian visual artist commissioned by multi-billionaire George Soros to decorate a public space in Azerbaijan, a pilot with a sense of direction, a corruption investigator with a bad conscience, and Terje Nordby, who wrote Norway's first play about oil.

'You get down to a people where nobody owns his own teeth, they live beneath an oil pipe that may explode any minute, they save for gold dentures and a sable fur hat to be inherited through 30 generations of family. And then you are to get there with .... Duchamp! – Look, I have brought you this snow shovel. Don't you need it? Doesn't it snow in Baku? But don't you see the symbolic value? It is a readymade!'
From Ship O'Hoi!"

Supported by Arts Council Norway.


Black Box Teater,, 07.08.2012,

Performance dates
Press coverage

Mode Steinkjer, Medaljens oljeglatte bakside (literally: The oil-slick backside of the medal), 15.10.2012, Dagavisen [Oslo]:
"Ship O'Hoi is an incredibly elegant, pointed and effectful opinion piece, going to the core of the geopolitical challenges following the oil industry, through the use of several narrative techniques. […] a mandatory stage piece for everybody who cares how Norway acts in the world."

Anette Therese Pettersen, Lavmælt refleksjon (literally: Quiet reflection), 15.10.2012, Klassekampen [Oslo]:
"[...] this time Tramteatret's production Deep Sea Thrill (sic., the correct is Deep Sea Thriller) from 1976 (sic. 1977) is what makes the dialogue material for the production. Roll uses the same technique in Ship O'Hoi as Tramteatret did in 1976, but now the question has been changed from how the discovery of oil will affect us mentally, to how it has affected our lives - and in which direction we will let this develop. [...] The political theatre didn't die during the 1970es, as rumour has it. It only took new shapes and changed strategies."

Chris Erichsen, Roll over Statoil16.10.2012, [Oslo]:
"Pia Maria Roll's held-out hand across history to her predecessors in Tramteatret is a beautiful gesture, and contributes to deflate the constantly returning term 'politically correct' [...] The signal is that Pia Maria Roll & Co. now, 35 years later, accepts the heritage from Tramteatret. [...] Underway we get to hear personal stories from people who have, in different ways, felt the consequences of the state-run Norwegian oil imperialism. [...] Matthew Landy, vice-president in Statoil's tax department [...] 'Statoil is no longer a Norwegian company.' [...] Roll informs the people, rather than running propagandist theatre. [...] a sin of omission too many of the theatre institutions and independent companies share: The unconscious relation to the use of music."

Awards - Nominations (1)