Paradise Now

PREMIERE NOVEMBER 12TH 2014 // BLACK BOX THEATRE // OSLO

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“We’re flawed, because we want so much more. 

We’re ruined, because we get these things, and wish for what we had.”

Don Draper

 

We talked about the alluring fact that some of the foremost theatre gurus went to distant continents, and visited tribal areas, in search of the ancient theatre. In this discussion we stumbled upon the movie “My Dinner with André” by Louis Malle from 1981, where the main character talks about his meeting with Jerzy Grotowski in a forest in Poland. 

We decided to use the film as a starting point for conversations with friends and acquaintances, and invited each one to dinner. Approaching the discussions we desired a re-establishment of the enigmatic time in which crucial choices were made. We revolve around the creation of the ‘I’, which idols that have been essential in our lives and riots, or escape routes we have shaped on our way through life.

 

«We do utilize our processes to find out what we want. This time we have started with our fascina- tion in Artaud, Barba and Grotowski, because they were important for us when we began working with theatre. They represented an alternative, a counterculture, a riot. I wanted to find something that was important in my life. Probably because I felt so unimportant in the arenas I worked in at that time. There was just boredom, mediocrity and a feeling of slow choking without intensity. Fuck it, I wanted to go to war, even though I was a pacifist. I wanted to go to war against reality and theatre seemed a good alternative.

Now when I look back at that time I see how important these theatre pioneers were in my life, my choices, and my worldview. Paradise Now is a wish for restoring some of this intensity I experi- enced; and as Artaud writes: “It is the awe towards all that which once is created, however beautiful and meaningful it may be, that petrify us, stabilize us and prevent us from getting in touch with the underlying power”. But it is as much a question to ourselves today on how “whatever you call the energy of thought, the vitality, the upheaval determinism, the moon’s periods, or whatever you want” still is active?

 So what we are left with is some stories from friends which openheartedly tell us of their meetings with the moon’s periods, and an examination which is containing some texts from Artaud and Barba in an attempt to create reality all over again. Artaud might not have succeeded in this, but it’s worth a try.”

Fredrik Hannestad, Director

 

INSPIRATION AND AIM

Verk have in their latest performances been examining a search after meaning. In The Eternal Smile (2011) they went together on a long trip to confront God with the meaning of it all, in Stalker (2013) they observe that there is something incomprehensible in the zone, something beautiful and dangerous at the same time. In Paradise Now (2014) there is nothing outside, everything is here and now, we are focusing on the inner room and the room in between us and our choices that made our lives.

The whole idea for Paradise Now started as a question, why have we ended up here? Who influenced us in our existential choices in life, and why did we choose that? We were wondering. We talked about our forefathers in theatre, Artaud, Grotowski, Brook and Barba and their travels in search after an inner universal core in the actor, and found it pretty naive today. They really thought they could change the world. Why? And why does their search after a universal language sound so naive today? When we stumbled over the film “My Dinner with Àndre” they were talking about the same issues, and we decided to use the film as a reference to talk to friends about their choices in life. Approaching the discussions we desired a re-establishment of the enigmatic time in which crucial choices were made. We revolve around the creation of the ‘I’, which idols that have been essential in our lives and riots, or escape routes we have shaped on our way through life.

By and with: Anders Mossling, Saila Hyttinen, Solveig Laland Mohn, Håkon Mathias Vassvik, Signe Becker, Fredrik Hannestad, Tilo Hahn, Jon Refsdal Moe, Per Platou, Pernille Mogensen and Vera Krohn Svaleng. Co-producers: Black Box Teater, Teaterhuset Avant Garden and BIT Teatergarasjen. Supported by The Norwegian Art Council. Photo: Ingrid Eggen and Signe Becker.

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