Princess Plays

Princess Plays (2012) by Trøndelag Theatre, the Norwegian premiere of the play by Elfriede Jelinek. The production was performed in the theatre's venue Studioscenen.

Hilde Brinchmann directed it.

Kine Bendixen received The Hedda Award 2013 in the best supporting actress category for the role of Jackie Kennedy in Princess Plays.


(Objekt ID 34744)
Object type Production
Premiere August 29, 2012
Produced by Trøndelag Theatre
Based on Princess Plays by Elfriede Jelinek
Audience Adults
Audience size 1830
Number of events 27
Language Norwegian
Expressions Theatre, Drama
Running period August 29, 2012  —  September 29, 2012
Duration 1 hour, 30 minutes, no interval

The Hedda Jury gave the following reason for the award to Kine Bendixen:

"The award winner presents a tragic lifespan with a mix of intelligent identification and cool distance. She finds the bizarre undertones of the play, its philosophical lectures and the clichés of popular culture. All of this she conveys with absurd humour and vulnerability. The writer's furious flow of words got through her an interpreter who was able to maintain the energy of the language, and the transformative, secretive in a text rich in associations. The award winner's interpretation of one of the icons of our time, a woman who made herself disappear in the role the media gave her, is a great achievement. The playwright says she wanted to create a daring response to the grand royal dramas. This year's award winner took the challenge; Jackie Kennedy, in Princess Plays, became in her interpretation a loved and betrayed, elevated and humiliated queen. This year's best supporting actress award goes to Kine Bendixen."

At the webpage of Trøndelag Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Princess Plays:

"Who doesn't want to be a princess? Wear huge dresses and have long, strong and healthy hair? Who doesn't want to be a prince? Ride white horses and save beautiful girls from towers, dragons and the existence as a single mother?

In Princess Plays we meet Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and their men. All are, each in their way, mythical creatures who have contributed to the images we have, of what a princess is supposed to be like. But this is not a theatre performance for little girls.

Namely, Austrian Elfriede Jelinek paints a somewhat different image of these characters than we know from cartoons, fairytales and weekly magazines. With Jelinek these characters are templates commenting on power and lack of power in relationships, through absurd comparisons, humour and a beautifully suggestive language. The princess dream came true - with all its side effects of pain, stepmothers and dead husbands.

Elfriede Jelinek is known for her exposed novels and trailblazing theatrical plays. She is hated as well as loved in her home country, and well acknowledged all over the world. In 2004 she won The Nobel Prize of Literature for her 'musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power'.

The recent years Trøndelag Theatre has been asked more than once if we are not to stage something by Elfriede Jelinek soon. Because of this it is a joy to present the Norwegian premiere of Princess Plays.

To direct this satiric contemporary drama we have hired Hilde Brinchmann Børresen. A young director visiting Trøndelag Theatre for the first time. She will take us into a magical fairytale forest in which not all is how it should be. Or is it just the way it should be?"


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

Trøndelag Theatre,, 21.05.2013,

The Hedda Award,, 10.06.2013,

Trøndelag Theatre's repertoire database, donated by Trøndelag Theatre, 21.05.2014

Performance dates
August 29, 2012Studioscenen – National premiere, Norway
Press coverage

Frida Holsten Gullestad, date unknown, Adresseavisen [Trondheim]:
"About fairytale princesses, laser swords and existence. Entertaining, serious-minded theatre with a healthy dosis of feminism and mass-cultural effects baked in. [...] We are entertained and we laugh, and the whole of it makes us wiser. [...] Kine Bendixen is masterful as the icon Jackie O. Kennedy."

Amund Grimstad, Mytar og røyndom (literally: Myths and reality), 01.09.2012, Klassekampen:
"Entertaining about myths and gender roles, but not particularly provocative. [...] Good acting is combined with a lot of both intelligent and surreal text."

Helene Hersdal, date unknown, Radio Revolt [Trondheim]:
"Director Hilde Brinchmann has done a marvellous job in compressing Jelinek's bible of a script down to a sufficing amount of text, while she has managed to mix humour, serious-mindedness and not least childhood nostalgia. [...] All the three princesses lead a dialogue, more or less, with themselves, about the great questions of life, and in particular Kine Bendixen is impressive in the role of Jackie Kennedy, in which she alone is able to keep the drive and the interest up for a whole half hour."