Enemy of the duck

The Wild Duck + An Enemy of the People

Enemy of the Duck - The Wild Duck + An Enemy of the People (2016) was a theatre production by The National Theatre, based on the plays The Wild Duck and An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, in a compiled version by Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson and Mikael Torfason. The production was staged at The National Theatre's main stage.

Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson directed it.

Mads Ousdal interpreted the leading role of Gregers Werle, whereas Eindride Eidsvold acted in the role of his brother Peter.

The production was part of The International Ibsen Festival 2016

Enemy of the Duck was nominated for The Hedda Award 2017 in the production of the year category.


(Objekt ID 54914)
Object type Production
Premiere September 8, 2016
Produced by The National Theatre
Based on The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen; An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen
Audience Adults
Language Norwegian
Keywords Drama, Theatre
Running period September 8, 2016  
Website Nationaltheatret

At the website of The National Theatre, the following, among other things, is written about Enemy of the Duck - The Wild Duck + An Enemy of the People:

"Tomas Stockmann has discovered that the local prestige project, in which his brother Peter is a member of the board, is a threat to society. He decides to go public, something Peter tries to stop. But Tomas has truth on his side. And the compact majority stands behind him - he thinks.

In another Ibsen universe Gregers Werle discovers a secret about his pal Hjalmar Ekdal's family, a secret involving Gregers' father, the wholesaler. The truth will be a disaster for the small family, if it gets known.

What happens if one combines these two universes? For the Icelandic Berlin-trained director Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson combining Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People and The Wild Duck has long been a dream. With a critical eye, he confronts power-hungry white middleclass men who are incapable of seeing themselves from the outside, as well as entering compromises.

The result will be an expressive, psychologically charged performance, in which Gregers Werle and Tomas Stockmann is one and the same man. Werle senior and Peter Stockmann are also joined in one character, Gregers' brother Peter Werle. Peter has everything to lose if both secrets get out, whereas Gregers is willing to sacrifice all to reveal the truth. This an Ibsenian Cain and Abel story is unrolled.

The action has been moved 130 years forth in time, to contemporary Norway. It is not about poisonous bathing water, but oil rigs belonging to the company Northern Oil & Gas, for which Peter is the managing director. With new music, The Wild Duck + An Enemy of the People will be a contrast-filled, passionate and aesthetic Ibsen montage raising the question: Is truth always the right way?"


The National Theatre, 26.04.16, www.nationaltheatret.no, http://www.nationaltheatret.no/?module=Articles&action=Article.publicOpen&id=5934

The Hedda Award, www.heddaprisen.no, https://www.heddaprisen.no/nominerte/2017

Performance dates
September 8, 2016Hovedscenen, Nationaltheatret, The National Theatre Opening night
Festivals (1)
The Ibsen Festival September 8, 2016
Press coverage

Lillian Bikset, Et konglomerat av sannheter, der ikke alle er sanne (literally: A conglomerate of truths, not all of them true), Dagbladet, September 9 2016:

"How much content and how many effects can a theatre production carry? The simplest summary one might well make of Enemy of the Duck is that it tries to figure this out. This is true, but it is also reductive. The theatre production also has a number of other purposes and effects than this. (...) Characters and plot developments from The Wild Duck and An Enemy of the People have been fused into one story. Both narratives have been modernised, with references to contemporary society, slang, spin and empty phrases. The director, Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson, who has also adapted the plays in collaboration with Mikael Torfason, has filled it out with a plethora of meta effects and metaphors. Tomas Stockmann and Gregers Werle have become one (Mads Ousdal). Håkon Werle and Peter Stockmann have become one (Eindride Eidsvold). Old Ekdal, doctor Relling and Morten Kiil have become one (Kai Remlov). Hedvig has become two (Kjersti Tveterås and Frøydis Armand). Tveterås can be said to cover the character's outward-directed attempts to keep her naivety and innocence, whereas Armand represents all she - unwillingly - sees and understands. (...) Enemy of the Duck wants to do so very, very much, and it tries to do so very, very much. In parts of the performance, sorting the different purposes falls easy, in others, the threads are tangled, inevitably, and without a doubt also deliberately. Enemy of the Duck is show and entertainment, and it is a reprimand of theatre wanting to be show and entertainment. It is psychoanalytic, and it is a reprimand of theatre wanting to be psychoanalytic. It is pretend-uncomfortable and actually uncomfortable. It is pretend-comical and actually comical. It is pretend-moving and actually moving. It is pretend-thought-provoking and actually thought-provoking."