Gufse and Skrotolf

From the production From Stolen Thunder (1978), The Norwegian Touring Theatre

Gufse and Skrotolf were two of the puppets, two inseparable trolls, in The Norwegian Touring Theatre's production Stolen Thunder, based on a play by Tor Åge Bringsværd. The play was based on the poem Trymskvida from The Elder Edda, and was written on commission from The Norwegian Touring Theatre. The stage designer was Alexandru Botez. The puppet design and creation of puppets were by Mona Wiig, who also directed the production. The world premiere took place at Dale in Sandnes April 16, 1978. The target group was school children.

The names of the two may have been different in Anthony Martin's translation of the play.


(Objekt ID 96964)
Object type Puppet
Production date April 16, 1978
Category Marotte
Themes Children
Size Approximately 55-60 centimetres tall

The Norwegian Touring Theatre. The photos belong to Mona Wiig's collection.



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Tor Åge Bringsværd wrote the following, among other things, in the playbill:

"Odin was the chief of the gods - the most powerful of them all. They always got advice from him when they were in real trouble. He was wise, beautiful and very strong. Odin had many sons, and one of them was Thor (Thor with the hammer), who is one of the main characters in our play. Thor was second in power to Odin. He protected the humans against all dangers, and in particular against the evil jötnar. When the thunder rolled across the sky, Thor was riding his bucks, people thought. One of the days of our week is named from him: Thursday (Norwegian: torsdag)."

The role of Gufse was played by Marianne Edvardsen and the role of Skrotolf by Knut Alfsen. 

Sceneweb refers to the other puppets registered from this production. These are Thor, Little Thor and Freyja.


Mona Wiig's private archive

Performance program

Donated by: Mona Wiig.

Transported 30.01.2020.

Types of materiale

The heads of Gufes and Skrotolf were cut from Styrofoam and fortified with several layers of cotton gauze and wood glue, after which they were polished, pasted and painted with a last finish.

Noses and eyes, giving character to the faces, were cut from wood and glued to the Styrofoam heads. The facial features were painted on at the end of the process. A wide band of rubber foam, drawn with fabric, was fastened to each of the heads. To both of the heads, tops made from coarse hemp yarn were fastened. The bodies consisted of simple pieces of fabric, decorated with threads and pieces of metal. Both of the textile bodies were open at the sides, at shoulder height, so that the puppeteers could hold onto them by using one hand. A rough knitted glove, with four fingers, was the puppet's hand and arm. Gufse was rusty red and Skrotolf greenish in colour. Both were decorated with metal and brown yarn from coarse hemp.


The puppets were constructed from the marotte principle. To each head, a round rod was fastened, and the length of the rod (the part that was sticking out from the head) was approximately 20-25 centimetres. Both puppets had shoulder areas of wood with a hole in the middle, to fit the round rods. A simple fastening mechanism kept the shoulders at the right height. The heads and shoulders of the puppets could be moved to the left or to the right, and all the way round, if one wished. The bodies and the heads could be moved independently of one another.

The bodies were two textile sacks with three openings: A small one for the round rod with the head, and larger openings at each side of the "shoulders", with room for the puppeteer's hand, to the right or to the left. The textile bodies were open at the lower end, for the puppeteer's arms, so that the puppeteer could move the head and the body, and use his or her arm to imitate the puppet's hand and lower arm. The marotte allows the puppeteer and the puppet to use the puppeteer's hand, and this gives opportunities, such as being able to grab hold of objects.

Affiliations (4)
Alexandru Botez (person) – Stage designer
Mona Wiig (person) – Designer, Puppet Maker
The Norwegian Touring Theatre (Riksteatret) (organization) – Creator
Stolen Thunder (production) – Rod puppet