Embargo - 7 small exercises in the art of succeeding by Tore Vagn Lid:

The attempts at casting children and youth in a professional art setting have (most) often been done due to a wish for authenticity. Embargo- 7 small exercises in the art of succeeding, written and directed by Tore Vagn Lid for Hordaland Theatre (2009) went in the opposite direction. He staged the prejudice itself assisted by 11 18 year olds – 11 young hopeful – having spent two months in circular training within the cultural industry, that is, to hide their strategies and instrumental calculations and belittling techniques as well as they could, not least by taking advantage of their childish lack of danger and their authentic presence in the post-dramatic theatre. In Embargo the artistic material (script and storyboard) was adjusted for the young cast of 18 year olds.


(Objekt ID 355)
Object type Production
Premiere February 24, 2009
Produced by Det Vestnorske Teateret
Coproducers Tore Vagn Lid/Transiteatret Bergen
Audience Adults, Youth
Language Norwegian
Expressions Musical theatre, Theatre
Running period February 24, 2009  
Website Transiteatret-Bergen

Requirements to venue

Blackout Yes

Embargo - 7 small exercises in the art of succeeding by Tore Vagn Lid.

"Don’t be any more personal than others! You think you seem open and honest, but your manners will be regarded as inappropriate. Don’t be any less personal than others! You think you seem in control, but you will be regarded as shut-off and cold." (The magazine Woman, January 2009)

The word ’drama’ is a strange term. This or that is dramatic, one says in the theatre or at the movie set, referring to a text or a sequence from a well-written script. But is it really so? Haven’t the TV industry and the youth magazines long ago shown us where the modern drama really plays out? Hasn’t the intense, all-absorbing hunt for Idol stars, musical stars or Christmas stars long ago proved that what the young artist plays, sings or performs is way less important than what happens prior to it – and after our young ones have proved themselves; that the backstage drama is far more intense and far more real (and, hence, more sellable) than what is happening onstage? Who remembers with which dramatic text it was cried when the winner – with endless empathy – was allowed to continue from the first round (was it by Ibsen or by Strindberg)? But who forgets the tears running for the camera the week after? Is it the brilliant performance of Nora’s or Verdi’s intrigue shaking the nation – or is it the intrigue playing out in the thousand dressing rooms during the thousand broadcasting hours – the world over?

If it is like that, that so many modern dramas are played out backstage, on the audition chairs, during the afterparties, in the intimate hotel beds or the as intimate personal portraits, then why – I thought – why not turn these dramas into theatre dramas? One more thing: When so many of us want a spot in the final, somewhere where our voices can be heard, and when one of our closest persons – there, at home in the couch – wants to see just us stepping forth to the sound of gladiator music in the spotlight, then why not use an evening in the theatre to learn some more about how to do it – practicing the art of succeeding? In the youth magazines of today can one do exercises in how to break up in a stylish manner, or how to dominate a party without being annoyingly self-promoting. At the new career centres by the universities the students practice strategies to win the job interviews at the enterprises after graduating with a master’s degree. But how about the culture industry, the theatre stage, the movie, the concert or the catwalk? How about the arena now being a more popular choice of profession than ever? We who already cling to treading the boards, do we have anything to teach? Perhaps we do, for better and maybe also for worse.


Underskog, underskog.no, 01.08.21010, http://www.vagant.no/kalender/46402_embargo/forestilling/65122

Performance dates
February 24, 2009 – Worldwide premiere