Can't Pay? Won't Pay!

Can't Pay? Won't Pay! (1978) was a theatre production by The Arctic Theatre, based on the play by Dario Fo. The production was performed on tour, opening in Narvik.

Per Sandborgh directed it.

The run was interrupted March 12 1979, due to a national actors' strike. The strike lasted until April 3 the same year, and the tour continued from June 14.


(Objekt ID 67115)
Object type Production
Premiere Navember 12, 1978
Produced by The Arctic Theatre
Based on Can't Pay? Won't Pay! by Dario Fo
Audience Adults
Audience size 15000
Number of events 47
Language Norwegian dialect
Keywords Theatre, Farce, Political Theatre
Running period Navember 12, 1978  

At the webpage of The Arctic Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Can't Pay? Won't Pay!:

"The basis for Can't Pay? Won't Pay! was the economic crisis in Italy in 1974. Inflation accelerated, whereas salaries stagnated.The crisis led to spontaneous actions among the people. They turned out differently from the expectations from the government and the businesses: People did not pay what was demanded as rents or for food, but paid what they could afford. They called it 'self-reduction'."


The Arctic Theatre,, 31.08.2018,

Eilertsen, Jens Harald: Polare scener. Nordnorsk teaterhistorie 1971-2000 (literally: Arctic stages. Northern Norwegian theatre history 1971-2000), published by Orkana forlag 2005

Contributors (12)
Name Role
Dario Fo – Playwright
Ragnar Olsen – Translation
Per Sandborgh – Direction
Truls Kwetzinsky – Stage design
Maryon Eilertsen – Actor (Antonia)
Thor-Inge Gullvåg – Actor (Luigi)
Randi Koch – Actor (Margherita)
John Sigurd Kristensen – Actor
Frode Rasmussen – Actor (Giovanni)
Arne Skog – Extra
Siggen Stinesen – Photo
Arne Skog – Producer
Performance dates
Navember 12, 1978Hålogaland Teater før 2005, The Arctic Theatre Opening night
Press coverage

Astrid Sletbakk, date unknown, Verdens Gang [Oslo]: 
"It can be hard to review plays one has seen, but only partly heard. That was the case for The Arctic Theatre's premiere performance of Dario Fo's Can't Pay? Won't Pay!. Several times, the actors had to pick the acting back up in between cascades of laughter from the audience. The laughter had no end. (...) Can't Pay? Won't Pay! might be the most political play the theatre has ever performed."

Ellen Pollestad, date unknown, Nordlys [Tromsø]: 
"One can only conclude that The Arctic Theatre took Narvik by storm. The opening of Dario Fo's madcap comedy Can't Pay? Won't Pay! became an unconditional and definite success."