Ocean (2014) was a theatre production produced by Bergen International Festival, The Norwegian Theatre, Hordaland Theatre and Bondeungdomslaget i Oslo (BUL). Ocean was the world premiere of Jon Fosses play Hav.

The world premiere took place during Bergen International Festival in the spring of 2014, with performances in Oslo the autumn of 2014.

Kai Johnsen directed it.

Jon Fosse has announced that Ocean will be his last play.


(Objekt ID 37634)
Object type Production
Premiere May 22, 2014
Produced by Bergen International Festival, The Norwegian Theatre, Det Vestnorske Teateret, Bondeungdomslaget i Oslo
Based on Ocean by Jon Fosse
Audience Adults
Language Norwegian Nynorsk
Keywords Theatre, Drama
Running period May 22, 2014  

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

"In Ocean Fosse returns to themes which have been important revolving points in his writing. Here people who do not know one another meet, but at the same time they are very close to one another. In a transition phase between life and death, in the uncertain, on a short journey aboard a ship, on an ocean, they experience situations from life over again, good memories, bad memories. It is a symbol-filled universe, but at the same time characterised by Fosse's playful and searching 'small humans' with a reconciling great light over their lives."


The Norwegian Theatre, www.detnorsketeatret.no, 11.06.2014, http://www.detnorsketeatret.no/index.php?option=com_play&view=play&playid=438

Contributors (16)
Name Role
Jon Fosse – Playwright
Kai Johnsen – Direction
Ola E. Bø – Dramaturge
Ingrid Tønder – Stage design
Klaus K Kottmann – Video/Film
Klaus K Kottmann – Lighting design
Ingrid Tønder – Lighting design
Morten Espeland – Actor (Mannen)
Kyrre Hellum – Actor (Gitarspelaren)
Birgitte Larsen – Actor (Kvinna)
Hildegun Riise – Actor (Den eldre kvinna)
Øystein Røger – Actor (Skipsføraren)
Svein Tindberg – Actor (Den eldre mannen)
Thor Brødreskift – Photo
Liv Hege Skagestad – Director’s assistant
Liv Hege Skagestad – Producer
Performance dates
September 26, 2014Bøndenes Hus / Nynorskens Hus, The Norwegian Theatre Show
May 31, 2014Haugatun, Strandebarm Show
May 22, 2014Ervingen Kulturhus Worldwide premiere
Festivals (2)
Press coverage

Lillian Bikset, Levende døde (literally: Living dead), 23.05.2014, Dagbladet [Oslo]:
"The ocean, or the fiord, operates in many of Jon Fosse's plays. To different characters it carries different meanings: Longing. Loss. Death. Life. Security. Eternity. Loneliness. Freedom. Distance. Sometimes it can also be 'just' an environment, a place a story takes place. A firm ground, however fleeting it is. In Ocean the ocean and the ship are vague ideas, not physical realities. (...) 'This is seemingly not a place and still it is seemingly a place', as it is said, 'that is and is not at the same time'. This is also a characteristic of the humans of the piece. They are in a transitional state where they are as well as are not. They know and do not know one another. They communicate and communicate not. They feel and feel not. Only wondering - in itself a kind of instability - is constant. How penetrating the spectator will feel it depends to a large degree upon how open one is for the same wondering."

Judith Dybendahl, Ved en grense (literally: At a limit), 02.06.2014, Scenekunst.no:
"Jon Fosse's new play Ocean contains both the existential solemnity and the absurdity of the existence: what seems to be the central themes for Fosse's exploration in his most recent plays. In Rambuku (2006) and Shadows (2007) loneliness, longing, death and the ability to transcend were examined. Where Shadows is characterised by a lasting existential solemnity it is as if Fosse to a larger degree lets the comical and the absurd find its place in Ocean, which according to the writer himself ends his work as a playwright. In Ocean everything is intangible. It is uncertain where and when the action takes place. The characters are in borderland, in transitional states."

Borghild Maaland, Festspillene i Bergen: Klokt fra Fosse (Literally: Bergen International Festival: Wise from Fosse), 22.05.2014, VG [Oslo]:
"Led by a seaman and a guitar player the ways of an elder and a younger couple cross. Some of them meet, some of them think they may be meeting, and whether they know each other or not is hard to tell. It isn't that important either. Thoughts and reality float together. But the strong feeling of something that has been hard, something that has been hurtful, something that provokes anxiety, and the great warm love, are present. The ensemble is like an orchestra in tune, operating in the same slow rhythm. At times they are surrounded by total darkness, with only their voices as instruments. This gives am awareness towards much of what is central in the text - we are at sea, and there is nothing. A state between life and death - perhaps. A state of melancholy, wonder and wise insights."

Karen Frøsland Nystøyl, Uferdig men fin (literally: Unfinished but fine), 26.05.2014, NRK:
"In this anguish Fosse's repetitive lines live. The lines look almost as poems, with open lines and everyday words, no punctuation - only the most important is included. This makes the text extremely open, and it provides the opportunity for endless moods and interpretations. This can be challenging at times. The great possibility for the small details may lead a Fosse play into many directions. Repetitive lines, such as 'I am the one who is steering the ship' and 'I am the guitar player' may make the audience laugh. And then the distance to the existential they can also represent may be large. To put it differently: They take the audience out of the Fosse flow, out of the text's conditions. It was like that at times, during the opening of Ocean. In addition the piece had a somewhat unspecific unfinished side. This was partly due to the stage design, two large constructions in wood, with similarities to window frames, which were placed on the ground and never really were given a function."

Therese Bjørneboe, Nølende Fosse (literally: Hesitating Fosse), 26.05.2014, Aftenposten [Oslo]:
"Ocean was originally written on commission from the festival, with a staging by Robert Wilson in mind. This may explain why the play to such a degree has the characteristics of a musical score, and contains so little narrative. But it also makes me wonder if the format of the intimate stage is the right one. As directed by Kai Johnsen, the almost 'everyday realistic' and the abstract parts of the text do not collaborate. First the proximity to the audience is cultivated in the bare room. Then the performance makes use of video, lighting and shadow effects, and instead of opening a room for association, this is experienced as detracting."

Note from Sceneweb: The above quotes from the play are not from an official translation of the text, but translated directly by Lillian Bikset as part of the Sceneweb translation.