Overføring* (Transference)

Overføring* (Transference) (2017) was a theatre production by The Norwegian Theatre in collaboration with The National Theatre, based on a research project by scientific researcher and psychologist Marit Råbu. For the theatre project, it has been adapted by Tyra Tønnessen, in the form of a documentary text. The production was performed in The Norwegian Theatre's venue Scene 2.

Tyra Tønnessen directed it.

A team of Norwegian theatre veterans - Kai Remlov, Toralv Maurstad, Erik Hivju, Britt Langlie, Wenche Medbøe and Grethe Ryen - acted in the production.

Toralv Maurstad received The Hedda Award 2017 in the best supporting actor category for the role of John.

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


(Objekt ID 67611)
Object type Production
Premiere February 22, 2017
Produced by The Norwegian Theatre
In collaboration with The National Theatre
Based on Overføring* (Transference) by Tyra Tønnessen
Audience Adults
Audience size 8770
Number of events 53
Language Norwegian Nynorsk
Keywords Theatre, Drama
Running period February 22, 2017  

At the website of The Norwegian Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Overføring* (Transference):

"What, specifically, is psychotherapy? How does it affect the patients? How about the therapist? And how has therapeutic thinking influenced Norway for the past 50 years?

The foundation for Overføring is a research project performed by scientific researcher and psychologist Marit Råbu, based on interviews with thirteen retired psychotherapists about their lives and choice of profession. How have they been affected by working as therapists? What has it given them? What has it cost them? Was it worth the efforts?


A therapist needs to get personally and emotionally involved in the life and suffering of the client. Onstage, the experiences of the retired psychotherapists are acted out by six seasoned actors with much life experience. Some of the challenges and dilemmas the therapists face, can be compared to what actors struggle with in their work: To use their own experiences, knowledge and empathy for the sake of insight into other people's lives.


The therapists belong to a generation in which studying at the university was less common than it is nowadays, and they have practiced in a time when their profession, and societal economy, has gone through much change and development. The lives and experiences of these therapists form an expression for important post-war tendencies: Nazism was defeated, optimism regarding development and humanist values were given space. They have been pioneers in an age characterised by professional freedom and recognition. The profession of psychology was new, psycho analysis progressing. Individuals were to be liberated from suppressing ideologies, religions and norms, taboos were to be broken. Today, the seasoned therapists express unease with our contemporary urge for standardisation, reporting, control and increased 'production'."

The Hedda Jury gave the following reason for the best supporting actor award to Toralv Maurstad:

"When the actor's assignment is interpreting one of several roles on equal footing, particularly strong concentration is demanded those few minutes the character is in the limelight. If used right, experience can be the best platform. Here, the most experienced of them all choses to put many decades of routine aside, to remove all grandiosity, all glamour and honour. Former triumphs in the great roles of world drama make up the fundament for the creation of a new stage character; in one scene, the veteran BECOMES a small, aggressive four-year old in the sandbox. It is great art of acting."


The Norwegian Theatre, www.detnorsketeatret.no, 27.10.2016, http://www.detnorsketeatret.no/framsyningar/overforing/

The Hedda Award, heddaprisen.no, 19.06.2017, https://www.heddaprisen.no/vinnere/2017

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

Performance dates
February 22, 2017Scene 2, Det Norske Teatret, The Norwegian Theatre Worldwide premiere