Paradise Now

Paradise Now is a production by Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions in collaboration with Black Box Teater, Avant Garden and BIT Teatergarasjen, produced in 2014.

Fredrik Hannestad directs it.

The 2014 version was performed in Norwegian and Swedish, whereas the English-language version was first performed at Black Box Teater during Oslo International Theatre Festival 2015.


(Objekt ID 42554)
Object type Production
Premiere Navember 12, 2014
Produced by Verk Produksjoner
Coproducers Black Box Teater, BIT Teatergarasjen, Rosendal Teater
Audience Adults
Language Norwegian, Swedish and English
Expressions Theatre
Running period Navember 12, 2014  
Website Black Box Teater

At the webpage of Black Box Teater the following, among other things, is written about Paradise Now:

"We talked back and forth about the fascinating in that some of the foremost theatre gurus went to continents far away, visiting tribal cultures in the search for the original theatre. Within this context we stumbled across the movie My Dinner with Andre by Louis Malle from 1981, in which the main character tells about his meeting with the theatre guru Grotowski in a forest in Poland.

We decided to use the movie as a starting point for conversations with friends and associates, and invited each and every one to dinner. The basis for the conversations was a wish to re-establish the mysterious time in which determining choices were made. We circle the creation of the self, which idols have been determining in our lives and the rebellions or escape routes taken along the way."


Black Box Teater,, 12.09.2014,

Import from the list of openings 12.09.2014

Name Role
Fredrik Hannestad – Direction
Jon Refsdal Moe – Dramaturge
Signe Becker – Stage design
Per Platou – Sound design
Tilo Hahn – Lighting design
Saila Hyttinen – Co-creator
Vera Krohn Svaleng – Co-creator
Solveig Laland Mohn – Co-creator
Anders Mossling – Co-creator
Håkon Mathias Vassvik – Co-creator
Saila Hyttinen – Actor
Solveig Laland Mohn – Actor
Anders Mossling – Actor
Håkon Mathias Vassvik – Actor
Pernille Nonås Mogensen – Producer
Performance dates
October 24, 2015Studio Bergen , METEOR – Show
October 23, 2015Studio Bergen , METEOR – Show
September 1, 2015 , Bastard - Trondheim International Performing Arts Festival – Show
August 31, 2015 , Bastard - Trondheim International Performing Arts Festival – Show
March 24, 2015Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) , Oslo International Theatre Festival – Show
March 23, 2015Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) , Oslo International Theatre Festival – Show
March 7, 2015Atalante
  • )
– Show
March 6, 2015Atalante
  • )
– Show
Navember 23, 2014Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Show
Navember 22, 2014Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Show
Navember 21, 2014Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Show
Navember 20, 2014Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Show
Navember 19, 2014Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Show
Navember 16, 2014Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Show
Navember 15, 2014Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Show
Navember 14, 2014Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Show
Navember 13, 2014Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Show
Navember 12, 2014 19.00 – Store scene Black Box Teater (Marstrandgata) – Worldwide premiere
Press coverage

Therese Bjørneboe, Aftenposten, Humor og høytid (literally: Humour and sanctity), November 13 2015:

"Paradise Now is a performance about intense and ephemeral moments in life. Impressively conscious of its effects. (...) It is about private stories, memories from youth, moments captured because they were connected with fear and attraction. But what they were really about, was the relationship between the I and the world, the individual's feeling of insignificance and thirst for being part of a context. What makes this material theatre-friendly is that it is about threshold experiences, transitions, not leaving outer traces. The way theatre, too, is written in sand. This is a fragile performance, also because the youth of the stories seems so innocent. Not at least in its virginal faith in artistic transcendence. This the director and performers handle with a wonderful mix of humour and sanctity. The crux is yet that Signe Becker, who is present onstage, creates the stage design in the moment, as live painting. Thus the performance in itself reflects the need to give the ephemeral personal value, like a rite."
Inger Marie Kjølstadmyr, Dagsavisen, Paradis eller parodi? (literally: Paradise or parody?), November 15 2014:

"Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions aims high, but falls deep in its philosophical examination of the self. Verk has in its two most recent productions concentrated on the metaphysical. The artists have fantasised about a confrontation with God about the meaning of all things, and about spaces in which the laws of physics are not valid. In Paradise Now the self and the inner forces of the humans are next in line. (...) The best and the worst moment in the performance is a scene in which music by Bach is played. The music reminds me of all this production is not, that is, a consummated, impressive work with quality in all its parts. And when Bach has finally gotten there and moved me with something that is properly made, it only hurts to see the rest of this performance, in which one in all seriousness pours fermented milk on each other while telling thin stories from daily life. I feel like calling Paradise Now the turkey of this theatre autumn. And then not think any more about it."

Hedda Fredly,, Verk som verk? (several possible meanings, can mean: Work as pain? or Pain as Work? or Verk - the company name - as work//pain?), November 20 2015:

"In Paradise Now Verk looks both forward and backward. What do we bring into the future, what of what has affected us may develop us? To wonder about and to process past events may add new understanding to what is important now, so that we can move on. 'There are so few people one meets that really understands who one is'**, it is said in the performance, and perhaps this is a core theme: How to find where one belongs in a chaotic world? Through the way the artists of Verk present these in part fumbling stories, they also open for our recognition and thus for a feeling of being understood. This way we may feel more secure in our further fumbling through life. But in all its open and questioning presentation the themes may seem somewhat vague, and I have a sneaking feeling that this production is a link in an ongoing project. Perhaps there will be a trilogy about memories - with Stalker, Paradise Now and a third, coming production about a similar theme? Not to minimise this production in itself, it is not without direction, but to see it in such an imagined context sort of helps to accept that it is so open and so subdued in its expression."

**Translated into the English from the Norwegian quote for Sceneweb. The production also exists in an English-language version.