Death in Thebes

Premiére date17 Jan. 2008
Produced byThe Norwegian Theatre
Based onDeath in Thebes by Jon Fosse; Kong Oidipus by Sofokles ; Oidipus i Kolonos by Sofokles ; Antigone by Sofokles
Audience size4244
Number of events23
LanguageNorwegian Nynorsk
ExpressionsTragedy, Trilogy, Theatre
Running period17 Jan. 2008  
Duration2 hours, 40 minutes

About Death in Thebes

Death in Thebes was a theatre production by The Norwegian Theatre, produced in 2008 and based on a play by Jon Fosse. This was in turn based on three of the plays of Sophocles; Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone.

János Szász directed it.

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    More about Death in Thebes

    At the webpage of The Norwegian Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Death in Thebes:

    "This spring The Norwegian Theatre presents all of three grand masterpieces by Sophocles, in a comprehensive version by Jon Fosse: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. Sophocles wrote them as separate plays, and yet the themes of the pieces are connected - a powerful royal family's rise and fall, free will versus fate, power against morals and humanity. Norway's great contemporary playwright is respectfully faithful to the original texts while being masterfully liberated from them. He creates a modern existential drama - in tune with the intentions of his great dramatist colleague from 2500 years past.

    The direction is by Hungarian János Szász, who has formerly directed Hair at The Norwegian Theatre, among other things. Kari Gravklev, who was nominated for The Hedda Award last year (2007) for the stage design for Twins, has created a magnificent stage image heavy with destiny. The music is by the critically acclaimed Icelandic musician Jóhann Jóhansson, emotional music merging with the choreography of Csaba Horváth.

    Oedipus the King:
    When the Oracle at Delphi had predicted that King Laius was to be murdered by his own son, the newly born Oedipus was given to a shepherd who was ordered to take the child away and kill him. But the shepherd felt compassion with the innocent boy and gave him on, so that Oedipus eventually ended with the childless King of Corinth. This is how the saga about the unhappy Oedipus (played by Sverre Bentzen) starts, he who against his will fulfils the plan of the gods – he kills his father and marries his own mother.

    Oedipus at Colonus:
    He who wanted to flee his fate for any price, now acknowledges his guilt and takes the punishment for a predestined crime. With this Sophocles creates a hero who despite fighting in vain against the higher powers, but through his uncompromised battle for the truth shows that the humans have free will. His sufferings make an impression on the Gods, and they take the unhappy blind wanderer home. 'His end was blessed', it is said in Oedipus at Colonus.

    Oedipus' daughter follows her poor father in a wandering - filled with love, loyal - while his sons fight for the power after his abdication. They kill each other in bloody battles. The new regent, Creon (interpreted by Jan Grønli), announces his judgement over the sons: He who defended the country gets a magnificent burial, whereas he who fought against should lie unburied and without ceremonies. But Antigone (Stine Mari Fyrileiv) is not able to bend to Creon, she buries her brother and has to pay with her own life. The 2500 years old girl has remained a symbol of opposition against laws not building on humanity and love."


    The Norwegian Theatre,, 22.02.2013,