Shark Drunk

Shark Drunk (2019) was a theatre production by The Norwegian Touring Theatre and The National Theatre, based on the book by Morten Strøksnes, in a theatrical adaption by Ole Anders Tandberg. The opening took place at The Norwegian Touring Theatre in Oslo, prior to going on tour with its tour opening in Svolvær. After the tour, the production was performed at Amfiscenen (The Amphi Stage), The National Theatre.

Ole Anders Tandberg directed it. He received The Hedda Award 2019 in the best direction category for his work on the production.

Jan Sælid performed the production. He received The Hedda Award 2019 in the best leading actor category for the role.

Shark Drunk was also nominated to The Hedda Award 2019 in the production of the year category, and Joel Sahlin and Elisabeth Kjeldahl Nilsson were nominated in the best audiovisual design category for their music/sound design and lighting design respectively.


(Objekt ID 89441)
Object type Production
Premiere January 29, 2019
Produced by The Norwegian Touring Theatre (Riksteatret), The National Theatre
Based on Shark Drunk by Morten Strøksnes
Audience Adults
Language Norwegian
Expressions Theatre, Corona-production, Monologue, Movie
Running period January 29, 2019  
Duration 1 hour, 15 minutes
Website Riksteatret

The Hedda Jury gave the following reason for the award to Ole Anders Tandberg:

"When we know the basis for a production, we tend to think that we also know what to expect. But then theatre may surprise us completely and let us experience what we know as if we had never seen it. Daring effects can turn terribly wrong, but they can also at times give us art experiences of extraordinary quality. The director who gets the award has managed the extraordinary. Not just in his treatment of the text, but also by, down to detail, driving the production in waves between poetry and raw realism."

The Hedda Jury gave the following reason for the award to Jan Sælid:

"When one stands the most alone and lacks power the most, only the biggest issues remain. In this state, depending on the role, we find an actor who manages to transform from play to play, and who, in this particular instance, combines unpolished daredevilry with poetic beauty and daring humour. He is a master of detail, and he uses his full register and a director's finely painted vision to penetrate the role's complex being. From a fully personal perspective he conveys the mysterious wisdom that anchors the play's grandiose, yet sombre undertone, in stoic naturalness, untameable even by dearly bought historical experience. This way, he creates a tight and literally fabulous net of animal brutality and human folly, alone onstage in an unforgettable double role."

At the website of The Norwegian Touring Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Shark Drunk:

"From his harbour on the small island Skrova in Lofoten, Morten Strøksnes explores our relationship to the ocean. He has an endlessly rich material to serve up from, from legends, myths and old chronicles, to travelogues, scientific articles and poetry from many cultures. The result is a mix of lexica and fisherman's tales, and it has received a number of awards and terrific reviews all over the world. It has also been read by near 100 000 Norwegians, and it is translated into 30 languages.

To us, who live in this wonderful coastal country, the ocean has a meaning of its own, and to Strøksnes it becomes an indefinite source of wonder, insight and amazing adventures, while asking himself: Considering that more than two thirds of the surface of the earth are covered by saltwater - why don't we call our globe for The Ocean?

When The Norwegian Touring Theatre and The National Theatre join forces in turning Shark Drunk into theatre, Ole Anders Tandberg is responsible for the adaption and direction. At The National Theatre he has made a number of acknowledges adaptions, and at The Norwegian Touring Theatre he recently had great success with the theatre version of Karl Ove Knausgård's My Struggle.
Onstage in our theatrical version is The National Theatre's actor Jan Sælid - about to give life to human and shark alike!"

In a press release from The Norwegian Touring Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Shark Drunk:

"Morten Strøksnes has gotten almost 100 000 Norwegians as interested in the ocean as he is. Now, his book becomes theatre, adapted and directed by Ole Anders Tandberg. Tandberg's successes include making theatre from Karl Ove Knausgård's My Struggle. With Jan Sælid as the shark he lets the story about humans and ocean be told in a new way."


The Norwegian Touring Theatre, 20.11.2018,,

Press release from The Norwegian Touring Theatre. Blom, Mette Hægeland. E-mail; 13.12.2018

The Hedda Award,, 16.10.19,

Sceneweb on The Hedda Award,, 16.10.19,

The Hedda Award,, 16.10.19,

Performance dates
September 19, 2020The Norwegian Touring Theatre, digital offering – New opening
June 4, 2020Storegull – New opening
August 15, 2019Amfiscenen – New opening
February 6, 2019Lofoten Kulturhus – Tour opening
January 29, 2019Storegull – Worldwide premiere