Offentlige netter* (Public Nights)

Offentlige netter* (Public Nights) was a theatre production by Det Motsatte Prosjekt, produced in 1997. Offentlige netter was the seventh and last production by Det Motsatte Prosjekt. Jon Tombre directed it.

In the press release for Offentlige netter the following, among other things, was written:

"Offentlige netter is a production about attention and recognition.

Involuntarily, and driven by the wish to see and be seen, we move into the night to reveal our needs. One night three characters meet in actions ruled by longings and involuntary meetings with others. In a search for truth and attempts of seriousness, episodes ranging from the overdone to the embarrassingly silent arise."

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


(Objekt ID 7223)
Object type Production
Premiere May 21, 1997
Produced by Det Motsatte Prosjekt
Audience Adults
Number of events 9
Language Norwegian
Keywords Theatre, Physical theatre
Running period May 21, 1997  —  June 15, 1997

Requirements to venue

Blackout Yes

In the performance program of Offentlige netter* (Public Nights) by Det Motsatte Prosjekt text writer Elisabeth Hagen wrote the following:


I just want to see if you are happy, a recurring person says. Happy. Perhaps the faith in happiness belongs in another time. Perhaps it belongs with the youngster dancing through the night, the child who doesn't yet know. In Offentlige netter the wish to be seen and the wish to be invisible meet. The search and longing for being searched for. Among us who fall outside of the PR aesthetic, among those who have fallen and those who will fall. Among those who have seen and those who will see.

In risk of sounding like a repetition of former and present thinkers' self-recognition I allow myself to remind that the loneliness we all carry with us never leaves us. Not fully. But do we manage to embrace it when it thunders towards us in the collective rooms we try to create to escape it? Dreams we have dreamt and forgotten lay as repressed memories, making us stilt on, forget all we have learned, with the longing for what lays in the washed-out term of happiness.

In Offentlige netter we meet these dreams in a faggot (Hagen uses an offensive Norwegian word corresponding to faggot, translator's remark), a youngster and a woman. Each of their own they have found identities making it impossible for them to meet through more than a glimpse. Gender identity and sexuality, lived life, lay between them. But the longing is the same. Happiness and belonging. Somebody to dance with, somebody to talk to, somebody to make love to. Such is the way we repeat ourselves, live along with our dark sides, alone with the hidden rooms.

But sometimes it cracks, we expose ourselves to the glance of others and meet this bulldozer headed towards us, a force of our own mortality. What part of ourselves do we bring to the meeting with others, in the public nights, were the recoil is a glimpse of ourselves? A glimpse of the splintered mirror reflection in which the dream of happiness, the dream of who we could have been, meet our inadequacy in our own eyes.

Nobody can take to be self-consciously sober for long. Not all the time. Whatever we use to drug ourselves to escape it, or to dare, whether we medicate with alcohol or with God, we will always have the opportunity to meet our own glance. And to know that nothing is ever fully the way we had intended it to be."

Offentlige netter by Det Motsatte Prosjekt was supported by Arts Council Norway, Black Box Teater, Nordic Council of Ministers' committee for performing arts and the municipality of Bergen.


Jon Tombre's private archive, donated by Jon Tombre. 03.03.2009

Birthe-Lisbeth Ludvigsen: The University of Bergen paper Frie teatergrupper og prosjektteater i Bergen 1970-2006 - en kontekstualisert oversikt og beskrivelse (literally: Independent Theatre Companies and Project Theatres in Bergen 1970-2006 – a contextualised overview and description), UiB 2007

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

Contributors (20)
Name Role
George Bataille – Text
Elisabeth Hagen – Text
Søren Kierkegaard – Text
Torun Lian – Text
Tore Renberg – Text
Jon Tombre – Direction
Yngvar Julin – Stage design
Kristin Bredal – Lighting design
Celine Engebrigtsen – Actor
Vidar Hansen – Dancer
Ulf Nilseng – Dancer
Rune Klakegg – Musician (Piano)
Edle Grønningsæter – Singer (fra Oslo Domkor)
Morten Haug – Singer (fra Oslo Domkor)
Bernt Sverre Kvam – Singer (fra Oslo Domkor)
Håkon Standahl – Singer (fra Oslo Domkor)
Erik Årsland – Singer (fra Oslo Domkor)
Fin Serck-Hanssen – Photo
Per Gunnar Dahl – Producer
Elisabeth Hagen – Consultant
Performance dates
June 15, 1997Atalante Show
June 14, 1997Atalante Show
June 8, 1997BIT Teatergarasjen, Norsk Dramatikk Show
June 7, 1997BIT Teatergarasjen, Norsk Dramatikk Show
May 25, 1997Store scene (Vika), Black Box teater Show
May 24, 1997Store scene (Vika), Black Box teater Show
May 23, 1997Store scene (Vika), Black Box teater Show
May 22, 1997Store scene (Vika), Black Box teater Show
May 21, 1997Store scene (Vika), Black Box teater Worldwide premiere
Press coverage

Sveinung Ones, Alminnelig galskap (literally: Ordinary madness), 09.06.1997, Bergens Arbeiderblad [Bergen]:
"In the whole I understand very little of what the director wants to give us. I have no doubts he wants to, so there must be something with my antennas.[...] But there were a couple of sequences of stylish choreography (Yngvar Julin**) and stage design."

**Julin was the stage designer, Sceneweb's comment.