Dealing With Helen

Dealing With Helen (2008) was a theatre production by Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk ProductionsDealing With Helen was based on a play by Finn Iunker.

Fredrik Hannestad directed it. 


(Objekt ID 7627)
Object type Production
Premiere September 18, 2008
Produced by Verk Produksjoner
Coproducers Black Box Teater
Based on Dealing with Helen by Finn Iunker
Audience Adults, Youth
Language Norwegian, English and Swedish
Expressions Theatre, Vaudeville, Satire, Tragicomedy/Seriocomedy, Post-dramatic theatre
Running period September 18, 2008  
Website VERK Produksjoner

Requirements to venue

Blackout Yes

Dealing With Helen by Verk Produksjoner was the third Finn Iunker production by Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions. The company also staged the texts Iphigeneia (2006) and The Answering Machine (2008). During The Contemporary Stage Festival 2009 all three productions were performed as a series in Black Box Teater in Oslo.

In Dealing With Helen the material is partly from Euripides´ Helen, in which Paris has not run off with Menelaus’ wife Helen, who has, instead, gotten to Egypt, and part from the story of The Iliad about the argument between Achilles and king Agamemnon, leading to Achilles retiring, refusing to fight. Only after his dear friend Patroclus is killed he returns to the battle.

Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions is known for its epic and vaudeville-like acting style with satiric and political undercurrents. The Norwegian Ibsen Prize winner Finn Iunker is one of Norway’s most performed playwrights abroad, but only with the productions by Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions the Norwegian audience has been introduced to his work onstage.

Dealing With Helen by Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions was supported by the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs/MFA (travel grant/performing arts).


Bjørneboe, Therese (24.09.2008). Review titled Skranglete krigssatire (literally: Scrambling War Satire). Klassekampen,, 22.10.2010,

Black Box Teater Oslo,, 25.10, 2010,

Larsen, IdaLou (23.09.08). Review titled Meningsfylt og aktuell Helena-fabel (literally: Meaningful and contemporary Helen fable). IdaLou Larsen,, 22.10.2010,

Verk Productions.,, 21.09.2021,

Name Role
Finn Iunker – Playwright
Fredrik Hannestad – Direction
Fredrik Hannestad – Music
Per Platou – Music
Kristian Seltun – Dramaturge
Signe Becker – Stage design
Fredrik Hannestad – Sound design
Per Platou – Sound design
Tilo Hahn – Lighting design
Saila Hyttinen – Actor
Anders Mossling – Actor
Nils Petter Mørland – Actor
João Pamplona – Actor
Per Platou – Actor
Mona Synnøve Solhaug – Actor
Håkon Mathias Vassvik – Actor
Performance dates
The Contemporary Stage Festival September 19, 2009
Press coverage

"In direction by Fredrik Hannestad the production has a montage form opening for expansive use of anti-illusionist effects. But the question is whether the play gains from being staged so totally without elements of fiction."

Bjørneboe, Therese (24.09.2008).Review titled Skranglete krigssatire (literally: Scrambling War Satire). Klassekampen,, 22.10.2010,

"Where Iunker’s text starts like a game with genres, history and narrative techniques, the production continues in the same vein. Verk plays with the same elements. The mythical figures are caricatures – partly made so by Iunker and partly due to the different actors. Politics is reduced to individuals with private agendas. The war is seemingly pathetic and wasted and the references to ongoing wars in today’s world are present."

Pettersen, Anette Therese (22.09.2008), Dagsavisen. No,, 22.10.2010,

"Next the Greek’s stay in Egypt play out in the front area of the stage, partly also in stairs between the audience rows. Here the performance art-like acting by the actors gets the deserved acknowledgment. An imagination-egging body language fills out the lines, performed precisely and revealing, the contact with the audience is tight and close, and theatre magic arises."

Larsen, IdaLou (23.09.08). Review titled Meningsfylt og aktuell Helena-fabel (literally: Meaningful and contemporary Helen fable). IdaLou Larsen,, 22.10.2010,

"Dealing with Helen directed by Fredrik Hannestad is playful theatre, examining theatre and narrative theatre. First and foremost not realist theatre. The actors talk more to the audience than to one another. When you see the simplistic, rather childish effects, it can remind you of theatre the way you performed it for your parents when you were a child and naturally couldn’t afford neither costumes nor stage sets."

Strindberg, Lisa Kristin (19.09.2008). Dealing with Helen.,,, 25.10.2010,