Andre verdskrigen* (World War II)

Natt i verda* (Night in the World)

Andre verdskrigen - Natt i verda* (World War II - Night in the World) (2016) is a theatre production by The Norwegian Theatre. It is based on plays by Lukas Bärfuss, David Greig, Oleg Bogaev, Maria Tryti Vennerød and Joseph Goebbels. The performance lasted about eight hours, with breaks for food, and it was performed during nights and during days at The Norwegian Theatre's main stage.

Erik Ulfsby directed it.

Øyvind Wangensteen was nominated for The Hedda Award 2016 in the best audiovisual design category for his lighting design.

*Not yet translated into the English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.


(Objekt ID 52315)
Object type Production
Premiere February 27, 2016
Produced by The Norwegian Theatre
Audience Adults
Audience size 2554
Number of events 12
Language Norwegian Nynorsk
Keywords Theatre, Drama
Running period February 27, 2016  
Website Det Norske Teatret

At the website of The Norwegian Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Andre verdskrigen - Natt i verda* (World War II - Night in the World):

"Andre verdskrigen - Natt i verda is written and adjusted by four well-known playwrights from four different parts of Europe; Oleg Bogaev from Russia, David Greig from Scotland, Lukas Bärfuss from Switzerland and Maria Tryti Vennerød from Norway. In addition, documents, sound and images, music and stories from large parts of the world have been used. Some is fact, most is fiction.


We meet the mailman who carries terrible messages to the inhabitants of a small island far north. We follow the young girl Peggy who in conversation with a goose has to choose whether the soldier she loves should be shot down, of if his plane should bomb a whole apartment building filled with women and children. We are taken into the office of a doctor doing research on ideal humans and subhumans. The playwright Lukas Bärfuss came across a box of letters for a Jewish woman named Rebekka, and he presents some of these. We meet the competent oven builder who was commissioned to make ovens so large they could fit in many people. Did he have any suspicions? We get to look into the history of The Norwegian Theatre during the war, and experience excerpts from the Reich Minister of Propaganda Goebbels' play The Wanderer. We come with soldiers in Stalingrad who gather around the sight of an elephant in the midst of the war zone. We meet a family who, every year at the same date, goes to the railway station to wait for someone who never comes. A mother who talks to her dead children. We are read postcards with stories from past and present from Damascus, Leipzig, Beirut, Edinburgh, Shetland, Kuala Lumpur and Oslo.


Theatre can't reflect all aspects of war. Every story and situation also has several possible interpretations and backgrounds. War is part of our identity, we all own part of it. War has shaped rules and laws valid around the world, and we cling to the belief that something like this can never happen again. We hope to give an ambiguous image of the greatest human-made disaster of modern times. With the performance, the theatre wants to awaken reflection on the theme of evil: Was evil the driving force of those behind the theories that exterminated millions of people? Is war simply part of human nature?"


The Norwegian Theatre, 23.04.16,

Import from the list of openings 05.01.2016

*Not yet translated into the English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.

Performance dates
February 27, 2016Hovudscenen, The Norwegian Theatre Worldwide premiere
Press coverage

Lillian Bikset, Tilskueren pepres med inntrykk i Det Norske Teatrets Andre verdskrigen - Natt i verda (literally: The spectator is peppered with impressions in The Norwegian Theatre's Andre verdskrigen - Natt i verda* (World War II - Night in the World), Dagbladet February 28 2016:

"Long night's journey towards peace? No. There won't be peace. If there is one single message worth drawing out of Andre verdskrigen - Natt i verda this is it, there won't be peace. The production - a powerful mosaic, from midnight until breakfast, broken by common food breaks and a midway (in the undersigned's opinion unnecessary) contemporary-society-debate - is a manifestation of the human will to war. (...) The expanse, with the gradual exhaustion following from the night setting, breaks down the spectator's own defence. We leave ourselves vulnerable, or at least open to, the bombardment of sense impressions, reflections, factual information, symbols, destinies, questions. The production is massive, but it is far from complete. Natt i verda knows and shows it can't ever become complete. A selection is necessary. And still the production blows its own limits. It doesn't stay in World War II, but goes further in time, up to our own age and day."

Karen Frøsland Nystøyl, Gjennom krigens natt (literally: Through the night of war), Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation February 28 2016:

"The strength of the theatre's artistic director and the production's director Erik Ulfsby's marathon war project lies just in the small stories. The theatre succeeds in dissolving the divides between the victors and the losers. War had its price, and those are the stories to promote. Instead of placing the actors and the action in the trenches, the four playwrights let the postman, the oven builder, the mess girl and the gypsy boy be among those telling the war. Texts from the playwrights Lukas Bärfuss, David Greig, Oleg Bogaev and Maria Tryti Vennerød are intertwined and create a rich image of individual destinies. (...) In the large, grey scene image the effects are few, but filled with effect. The stage floor is covered by letters, and the lighting underlines the stories, among other things through efficient use of shadows on the walls."

*Not yet translated into the English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.