Martyr

Premiére date14 Apr. 2016
Produced byThe National Theatre
Based onMartyr by Marius von Mayenburg
AudienceAll
LanguageNorwegian
ExpressionsTheatre, Drama
Running period14 Apr. 2016  
WebsiteNATIONALTHEATRET ARKIV

About Martyr

Martyr (2016) is a theatre production by The National Theatre, based on the play by Marius von Mayenburg.

Anders T. Andersen directs it.

Lena Kristin Ellingsen acts in the leading role of Benedicte.

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    Press review

    Lillian Bikset, I Martyrer tar ungdomsopprøret form av religiøs radikalisering (literally: In Martyrs, the youth rebellion takes the shape of religious radicalisation), April 14 2016, Dagbladet:

    "If the spectator wants to see Benedicte's Christianity as Christianity, or as an artistic metaphor for Islam, is of lesser importance. Nor does it seem important that the main character on its way from von Mayenburg's text to Andersen's staging has changed sexes from boy to girl. In any case, Martyr is phrased so over the top that it is not meant to be interpreted literally, rather as an image of the impotent confusion the non-believer may meet the literal interpretation with."

    Jon Selås, En jævla manipulator (literally: A f*ing manipulator), April 14 2016, VG:

    "There are diagnoses for these kinds of things. Or one could simply call her a bloody fucking manipulator. In either case, she eventually crosses the limit from being an interesting type, to a vulgar and slightly useless phenomenon. What could be the reason? First and foremost, there is no explanation for what and who she comes from. Admittedly, The Bible contains enough of pure awfulness and practiced malice to drive the right kind of person toward madness. In particular for a type like Benedicte, who has never taken note or words such as love, mercy and forgiveness."

    Mona Levin, Martyrer: Lettvint, men svært velspilt (literally: Martyr: Lightweight, but very well performed), April 15 2016, Aftenposten:

    "In the newspeak of our time such is called 'radicalisation', whereas it really is the opposite - a return to an uninformed way of thinking belonging to ancient day and certain parts of the medieval period. Woman is beneath man, woman is to be covered, sexual life outside of marriage is a sin, divorce is a sin, being gay is a sin, joy is a sin, torture is the will of God, fire is to cleanse away all sinful life on earth. And everything is, bottom line, to blame on the Jews. What's new. (...) Benedicte isn't radical. Her war seems to be waged mostly against her own hormones. She can't stand the sight of a young girl's curves in a bikini, and she refuses to bath. She ends up a scheming, violent and cowardly person who blames everyone and all but herself, and destroys lives with a small smile across her lips. Benedicte performs no deadly act herself, she only gets the loneliest and most easily manipulated girl in the class to act for her. Here are many parallels to contemporary day."

    More about Martyr

    At the website of The National Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Martyrs:

    "One day a girl gets home and says she no longer wants to participate in the swimming lessons at school because it goes against her religious conviction. Gradually the mother understands that her daughter has begun to practice a very strict version of Christianity. She does not accept to be taught sexual education or evolution theory, she looks down at the image of God presented by the Christian RS teacher, and she finds that women are beneath men and should not teach. Eventually she decides that the biology teacher should get God's punishment.

    Images of the enemy are usually images of someone other than ourselves. The others are extremists, not we, even though history has taught us differently over and over again. Martyr is a reminder that Christianity, too, can present itself as a vengeful religion, glorifying violence. The main character's glowing Bible quotes prove that a religion is what you make it. The play also discusses how we react when youth are drawn to extreme thinking, which can ultimately kill innocents.

    In Martyr director Anders T. Andersen wants to turn the glance towards us. What do we do when someone inside our society rejects the ideas of democracy, equality and freedom of speech? Can we fight extremism while taking care of our democratic values? In the original version the main character is a boy. Through making her a girl Andersen wants to make it clear that women can be the worst enemies of women's liberation - and that extremism can rise where we least expect it."

    SOURCES:

    The National Theatre, www.nationaltheatret.no, 16.04.16, http://www.nationaltheatret.no/Martyrer.b7C_wRHMXN.ips

    Import from the Scenekunst.no list of openings15.02.2016