The Bird Tribunal

The Bird Tribunal is a theatre production by The Norwegian Theatre, produced in 2015 and based on the novel by Agnes Ravatn, in an adaption by Ingrid Weme Nilsen. The production was staged at The Norwegian Theatre's Stage 2.

Marit Moum Aune directed it.

Marie Blokhus interpreted the role of Allis Hagtorn. She won The Hedda Award 2015 in the best leading actress category for the role.

The Hedda Jury gave the following reason:

"The winner of The Hedda Award in the best leading actress category shows a rare courage, and a rare ability, to bare herself in the character she portrays. She gets the award for an extraordinarily nuanced interpretation of a character's inner thoughts and emotions. This bears witness to not only a deep understanding of the character she brings to life, but also proves a particular ability to be honest and open in conveying it.

The best leading actress award goes to Marie Blokhus."


(Objekt ID 46364)
Object type Production
Premiere March 21, 2015
Produced by The Norwegian Theatre
Based on The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn
Audience Adults
Audience size 12576
Number of events 73
Language Norwegian Nynorsk
Keywords Theatre, Drama
Running period March 21, 2015  

At the website of The Norwegian Theatre the following, among other things, is written about The Bird Tribunal:

"This is a psychological thriller about the historian and TV celebrity Allis Hagtorn and her flight from an embarrassing love scandal followed by a public airing of dirty laundry. A flight, one will see, from bad to worse. In an attempt to clean herself of shame and start a new life, she applies for the job as a housekeeper for a man who lives by himself in an old house far form civilisation. However, the simple, clean life in pact with nature turns out to be far more complicated than she had thought, and she is entangled in a dangerous drama.


Agnes Ravatn made her debut in 2007 with the novel Week 53. She is also known for her sharp, funny and consumer-friendly essays in Dag og tid and Dagbladet. The Bird Tribunal is the first book by Ravatn to be adapted for the stage."

The Bird Tribunal brought Agnes Ravatn the novel award of the P2 listeners in 2013, and it also won an award from Association Read!, called Ungdommens Kritikerpris (literally: The Youth Critics' Award), in 2014.


The Norwegian Theatre,, 11.03.2015,

The Hedda Award,, 20.05.2015,

The Hedda Award,, 21.06.2015,

Import from the list of openings 23.01.2015

Performance dates
March 21, 2015 17:30 – Scene 2, Det Norske Teatret, The Norwegian Theatre Worldwide premiere
Press coverage

Lillian Bikset, Frykt og forståelser (literally: Fear and understandings), Dagbladet 21.03.2015:

"She is the wing-clipped human. She is the shame. She is the drive. She is the survival and the sexuality. She is the loneliness and the scarily adaptable flexibility. She is the thirst, for accept, for goodness, for intimacy, for warmth. She is the damage that is done when this thirst is not sated. She is the physically expressed question about why traumatised people so easily become victims of new trauma. She is the answer to the same. As Allis Hagtorn, Marie Blokhus is all of this, and still a lot more. Her use of body, voice and face give place to an endless amount of precise nuances. (...) Ingrid Weme Nilsen's adaption and Marit Moum Aune's staging of Agnes Ravatn's novel expands and develops the understanding of Allis Hagtorn's mental state, and of the dynamics between her and Bagge.The intelligent hints of the book become image-rich, insightful complexity in the stage version."

Jon Selås, Dødsdans på bristepunktet (literally: A dance of death near the point of bursting), VG 21.03.2015:

"This theatre production is so heavily loaded with the novel's content that it is close to the limit of what a stage can take, especially towards the very end. But it carries; The Norwegian Theatre presents an exhaustingly good performance. (...) A stretchable genre mix is the result of this; part confessional literature, part (almost) comedy, part homestead poetry, part eroticism, part dream play, part thriller, part horror. Marie Blokhus is brave and perfect as Allis, Niklas Gundersen a veins-close-to-exploding athlete of a man."

Mode Steinkjer, Svart som havet (literally: Black as the ocean), Dagsavisen, 23.03.2015:

"There is always great uncertainty connected to adapting contemporary texts, but in the adaption of Agnes Ravatn's The Bird Tribunal most things fall into place. (...) The acting style gives Allis lightness, humour and sexuality. She is fragile and strong at the same time, and scared, anxious and scheming when she turns her back to herself and enters the unknown, as after a dangerous maelstrom. It is a solid and playful role interpretation of Blokhus, and the text is like the acting, circling the attraction and the hidden sexuality. There are no mitigating shortcuts out of a story as dark as the rebellious sea, and towards the inevitable end, the birds do not have just beaks, they have claws, too. This way, The Bird Tribunal an unusually gripping theatre experience, one that leaves lasting scars and marks."

Therese Bjørneboe, Fugletribunalet forfører ikke publikum (literally: The Bird Tribunal does not seduce its audience), Aftenposten 23.03.2015:

"The theatre version strengthens the chick lit factor in Agnes Ravatn's The Bird Tribunal. (...) Marie Blokhus has a befuddled acting style and the despair of a child. This strengthens the chick lit factor of Ravatn's novel, and makes the characters flatter. But it is not necessarily 'a faulty reading'. In the book, Allis' falling head over heels in love with Bagge is caused by him corresponding so totally to a male sex and fascination object. The clever part is that he is aware of his own effect, and that it gives him the upper hand."

Karen Frøsland Nystøyl, I fuglenes rike (literally: In the kingdom of birds), Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation 23.03.2015:

"There is something almost Ibsen-like in Agnes Ravatn's prize-awarded novel The Bird Tribunal. Secrets are painfully pulled into the light, secrets costing one dearly. To bring Ravatn's novel to the stage is not a bad idea to begin with. (...) Onstage Allis' inner life plays out, her drives and wishes are made clear. The physical play between Allis and Bagge are rich in nuances. The way they eat place the characters clearly. Bagge eats by licking up his food, Allis eats with manners. The hand represents the meal, and the scenes when Bagge hungrily almost swallows his own hand speak volumes. Allis' clarity and unbent back (even though she is a scandalised woman within a suppressing master-servant-relationship) makes Bagge's tone against her seem milder than in the book."

Tora Optun, Fuglene vet (literally: The birds know), Morgenbladet 26.03.2015:

"Agnes Ravatn's novel The Bird Tribunal has become vivid chamber theatre about the many nuances of shame and the desire to escape when things become difficult. (...) Allis doesn't seek refuge to examine herself, but to recreate herself into another person. (...) It is hard to imagine that anyone could have brought her better to life than Marie Blokhus. Her honest and open acting style works very well in this confessing narration form. Blokhus masterly show off the broad range of the character Allis in switching between humour and seriousness, insight in herself and lying to herself. She lets us sympathise with Allis and in an impressive way manages to express the joy in life that is, despite all, so characteristic of her self-destruction project."

Hedda Fredly, Hud og gråt (literally: Skin and crying=, Scenekunst 30.03.2015:

"But how easy is it, really, to leave everything to recreate oneself? In The Norwegian Theatre's stage version of Agnes Ravatn's success novel from 2013 it is even clearer than in the book how ambivalent Allis feels and things about every aspect of life: All the choices she must make or avoid making, how she perceives herself, what she really feels or ought to feel. Her retraction towards the house in the woods and the work for Bagge becomes a kind of Bergman-like vanishing point in which Allis sees her life in perspective: Her childhood, her adult life this far, her future - always switching between strong confidence in herself and vulnerability. (...) The constant switches between sacred convictions in her own choices and her endless vulnerability adds nerve to the book, and in the stage version it is masterly shown by Marie Blokhus."