The Last Cry

The Last Cry was the seventh and last theatre production by Perleporten Teatergruppe. The Last Cry is about the soothsayer Cassandra, who got the gift of clairvoyance from Apollo. We know her the best from Orestes.

Agustín Gomez-Arcos has continued the story of Cassandra, removed her from her classical background and put her in a timeless, bourgeois environment. Cassandra travels with salesmen who make good money from her abilities.


(Objekt ID 8851)
Object type Production
Original title Working title: Jeg har noe jeg må si dere (literally: There is something I need to tell you)
Premiere March 4, 1983
Produced by Perleporten Teatergruppe
Based on Det siste skrik* (The Last Cry) AKA J'ai á vous parler (I have talked to you) by Agustín Gomez-Arcos
Audience Youth, Adults
Language Norwegian
Keywords Theatre, Political Theatre
Running period March 4, 1983  —  April 15, 1983
Duration 2h 30 min

Requirements to venue

Minimum stage width 12m
Minimum stage depth 6m
Rigging time 240 minutes

In the program of The last cry Perleporten Teatergruppe writes the following, among other things, about the production:

"Agustín Gomez-Arcos' first novel The carnivorous lamb (Norwegian title: Det blodtørstige lam) was published by the Norwegian publishing house Gyldendal in 1977. This is where the history of the production begins. Next the novel Krypskytterstevne (original title in French, not yet translated into English: Scène de Chasse) followed. Our enthusiasm and curiosity for this writer wasn't lessened by the novel Ana No (Norwegian title: Mandelbrødet).

His involvement in society, his anger, his poetry and his love enchanted us strongly. We felt a relation between him and us. Despite the fact that he has grown up under totally different circumstances than us.

Prior to writing novels he had written plays. The idea was born: Perhaps he had a play our company could perform? At first we wrote a letter. Yes, he had, and we left for Paris in May 1980 to talk with him. He gave us a play he had written in 1972 - J'ai a vous parler (English translation title: The Last Cry, though the phrase literally means I have talked to you). It had never before been staged. It had been translated from Spanish into French by his friend Rachel Salik. He said that nothing would give him more joy than having it staged. The feelings of joy and gratitude were mutual.

The play was written and discussed, and then translated. The script was printed and copied. During the autumn of 1981 and the spring of 1982 we gathered the actors who perform the play today. In May 1982 we held an eight day seminar in acting exercises and improvisation for the involved. The seminar was led by our friend and colleague from France, the instructor Yves Liebert. We worked with physical acting exercises, approaching the material through improvisation, based on one of the scenes in the play. The company members got to know each other and the play better. Mette Brantzeg, who also participated during the seminar, accepted the job as instructor for the performance. The project was established and work could commence. We started rehearsals in October, and during the four month rehearsal period we contacted and made deals with everyone who has otherwise been involved in realising this production.

We have all felt great responsibility towards the play and its writer. Not least because this is the world wide premiere of the play, in Norway. Nevertheless there has been a vital tension in the meeting with all the demands and challenges the play placed in front of us, and this has contributed to how the work has developed into what you are to see today. A production we agreed must be given the title The last cry (Norwegian: Det siste skrik).

In the interview in this program folder, Agustín says, at the very end: 'It almost feels like the embarking point towards something that could be a new journey of exploration.' And that is how the work with his play has been to us. We hope that The last cry can be a positive contribution in our collective effort and fight to embark on something new. Something new, something that is born in us long ago, but yet hasn't come to live - enough. The Cassandra of our production has many sisters and brothers. Who know that umbrellas are no good when bombs are raining, and who really mean yes when they scream no.

And where words in a program leaflet only are words - the language of theatre is to speak for itself, yet again - anew. We hope you get a nice theatre experience today, and we wish you a heartfelt welcome!

Perleporten Teatergruppe,
Oslo March 4 1983."

In the program there is also an interview with Agustín Gomez-Arcos.

In the historical article Perleporten Teatergruppe. Gruppas historie Karl Hoff writes:

"The last cry became the last production of Perleporten. We performed the play in Bærum and Oslo, but the production turned out to be too grand and too expensive to tour with. [...] could nothing have been better than to give Cassandra the last word - the last cry from Perleporten."

Music used in The last cry:

Charlie Haden's Song for Che, arranged by Carla Bley, with Liberation Music Orchestra.

The last cry was performed 13 times at ABC-teatret (The ABC Theatre).


The private archive of Perleporten Teatergruppe. Donated by Karl Hoff, 10.05.2009

Press coverage

Erik Pierstorff, Underfullt teater (literally: Theatre filled with wonder), March 1983, Dagbladet [Oslo]:

"It is a strange play. By giving it its world wide premiere Perleporten has met the expectations one had reasons to confront them with after their first productions. [...] What could have been superficial and banal gets a deeper degree of content because everything is so precisely balanced. Mette Brantzeg has directed it. This is a style the members of Perleporten - in particular Karl Hoff and Birgit Christensen – master. But what is obviously needed to consummate the production is the contrast of Anitta Suikkari's Cassandra. She is to play the pure truth - uncompromised, contradictory and annoying. But she does it with an elementary poetry, making you feel that she is the very nature opposing the artificial - the nature, soft and hard, irrational and rich in imagination. One can only describe what she does with tangible images: Moss, wind, stone, the light between the trees, silence... The fact that she mixes some Finnish in gives her Norwegian a brave sensuality of its own. [...] - work filled with wonder has been put into this production through five months. And 3 - three! - days Perleporten has been granted a venue to perform it in. Tonight is the last time, in the Munch Museum. Be aware! Do not miss out on a theatre event such as this!"

Kirsti Grotmol, Folkets sult klinger ikke bra (literally: The hunger of the people doesn't sound well) March 08 1983, Klassekampen [Oslo]:

"An independent theatre company can't afford a failure. They need to put all their time and money at stake - and they need to win. Perleporten Teatergruppe really has thrown all it has into it this time, with the The last cry. It is the greatest effort by the company yet. And they make it. The opening at Henie Onstad Art Centre at Høvikodden this Friday fully showed how able this company is. [...] the text is always connected to present time - and so old and new myths are interwoven in a manner filled with effects. [...] The play also uses material from Christian mythology. At this point Perleporten has cut some from the original. Gomez-Arcos is critical to this Western faith, holding suffering so high. Still the Cassandra of the play has been given a number of the characteristics of the martyr. [...] Despite this, Cassandra is at the deepest level a rebel. And we follow her into the core of her rebellion. [...] For Perleporten Teatergruppe creates theatre in the real meaning of the word. Here the masks are perfect, the movements are studied and the stage design refined. Nothing is left to coincidence. The play is, in itself, literary, but Perleporten has recreated it into physical, exciting theatre. The only thing left to say is that Perleporten with this play has moved several steps forward. Let that be an incentive to our government when granting funds - that they need to take the independent companies seriously - also when it comes to money."