REVIEWS

From the idea of people’s extinction, Verk Produksjoner make strong theatre. (...) A masterful theatrical moment, which ends an apocalyptic after-party you should not miss.

Per Christian Selmer-Anderssen
07. April 2016
Link to original (Norwegian)

Link to English translation

“Wishful Beginnings” is an atmospheric performance...

Therese Bjørnebo
08. April 2016
Link to original and English translation

In their new performance “Wishful Beginnings”, Verk Produksjoner tie the private together with the global and universal, and share stories about the future. With and without hope.

Inger Marie Kjølstadmyr
08.April 2016
Link to original (Norwegian)

Link to English translation

“At its best, Wishful Beginnings opens for an associative experience, where the relatively simple texts become an entry into one’s own thoughts about humanity and where we are heading. The exaggerated theatricality twists our common references, challenges us to make new connections, and to see ourselves in a new perspective. (...) Wishful Beginnings is an ambitious performance, daring to ask the bigger questions, and that succeeds in elevating everyday texts onto a highly artistic level.

Ole Hval
12. April 2016
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Link to English translation

Wishful beginnings is a visually strong experience (...) Seen from the audience’s perspective, Wishful beginnings is a comfortable inferno to be part of. It strikes me, more than ever before, how skilful Verk Produksjoner are - on a technical level. Both as performers, with an impressive presence and assurance, and as composers of material.

Anette Therese Pettersen
15.April 2016
Link to original (Norwegian)

Link to English translation

Where to draw the line between common, recognisable, well known, trivial and futile? (...)it is difficult to describe their work without resorting to clichés yourself. Verk combines high- and lowbrow, small and big, amateurism and professionalism. In the trivial they find their metaphors for the greater questions, through their big questions they express the trivial.

Lilian Bikset
06.April 2016
Link to original (Norwegian)

Link to English translation

When everything is connected to everything else, it is not so easy to know who is speaking, where somethings starts and ends, or what is more or less important. The question is whether it always is important to know that. Perhaps the need for these clear divisions are connected to our Western culture ́s division between body and mind, between you and me, culture and nature, man and technology. In the performance Beat The Drum, reflections upon these issues are happening concurrently and on many different planes. Such a situation could have become too much; quite overwhelming, incredibly confusing, or right out terrifying. Yes, we are on unsafe ground, but neither of these feelings occur when Verk are the organisers of the gathering. On the contrary; the atmosphere is filled with friendliness, quietude, openness and generosity, combined with a definite and decisive performance structure, and perhaps it is exactly the stringent disposition that contributes to the feeling of safety. (...) Throughout the performance we share the joy of mediating energy and emotions through music. Especially through long stretches of great drum-solos. We are invited in, into the rhythm, into a society, the traditional ritual function of the drums is taken into use for all it ́s worth. At the very end the invitation is emphasised as we are offered drinks, and we get a choice of beer or soft drinks. We are not only sharing music and stories together, having a glass together is a well known community builder. With this final act, the performance is framed by again activating the audience ́s bodies, this time through our pallet.

Grete Melby
05. November 2015
Link to original (Norwegian)

Link to English translation

...if art—as some of the voices suggested—reflects the condition of the times, the show captures a contemporary sense of artistic inertia: that while we decide what is to be done, we might as well be in good, agreeable company.

Andrew Friedman
Volum 6 2016
Link to original

Verk honors all its performers and contributors equally. Still, there is a sense that Scenographer and artist Signe Becker has left the biggest mark on the performance. It is through her filter we see the rest, but it is also the filter itself that leaves the most vivid impressions. From a visual perspective the same colors and shapes are reused and repeated throughout the performance in various ways. The white element of the room is disrupted by colourful details and the performers paint themselves in the same color scheme during the performance. One sequence in particular where the music, light and Becker's live-painting converge in a manner resulting in a great drama has etched itself in my recollection.

Anette Therese Pettersen
14. November 2014
Link to original (Norwegian)

It is a fragile performance, also because the stories of youth hood it tells of, appear so innocent. Not least when it comes to its virginal faith in artistic excess. This is checked by the director and the performers wonderful mixture of humour and reverence. Even so, the Crux lies with Signe Becker, who is on stage creating the scenography in realtime, such as live-painting. In this way the performance mirrors within itself the need to attach a personal value to that which is fleeting, like a rite.

Therese Bjørneboe, Aftenposten
13.november 2014

Darkness falls upon us with a crash of thunder sending chills down your spine, thundering and rumbling for several minutes. In addition you hear metal-like groaning all over. Suddenly it gets pitch-dark and damned loud. If you press screw your eyes up, you might see something. In the darkness of the backstage, something huge, a massive movement – or not? You feel as though you want to approach the stage to check – and the mere thought itself makes your hair stand on end.

Benedikt Wyss, Unruhe im Uberrang
30. November 2013
Link to original (German)

…a fascinating, cool dream-theatre play…

Doris Meierhenrich, Berliner Zeitung
28. November 2013
Link to original (German)


Therese Bjørneboe,
Norsk Shakespear- og Teatertidskrift
August 2013

A wonderful experience!

NRK Kulturnytt
15. April 2013

A subtle and ingenious performance
…a travelogue in rememberance of times past
…an extraordinarily moving performance

Therese Bjørneboe, Aftenposten
14. April 2013

Distressingly excellent theatre-ritual

Linnea Stara, Hofudstadsbladet
19. November 2011
See pdf of original (Swedish)

…the performance is a fountain of light

Anette Therese Pettersen, Dagsavisen
26. November 2011
See pdf of original (Norwegian)

Build Me a Mountain! is like a cold shower for our inner saloon philantropist to: Wake Up!

Sigurd Ziegler, Morgenbladet
2. - 8. December 2011
See pdf of original (Norwegian)

The Eternal Smile raises more questions than it could possibly answer. The disparity between satisfaction and crisis, fulfillment and self-doubt is beautifully unraveled. It is impossible not to find the language and performances enticing and beguiling – the sense of floating through eternity is achieved marvelously.

Stefan Nicolaou, One Stop Arts
6. April 2013
Link to original (English)

A metaphysical comedy
The two levels of acting provide the performance with a fascinating duplicity, culminating in a fantastic visualisation of the unexpectedly metaphysical end of Lagerkvist’s story, in which the dead who paradoxically are relatively happy with existence prior to and after death, rebel against the meaninglessness of life.

IdaLou Larsen, Klassekampen
22. November 2010
Link to original (Norwegian)
Link to English translation (pdf)

Here is nobody, and least of all God
Verk keeps the underlying unease in the text by Lagerkvist, but also promotes its humour. The artists break up the massive on our behalf and feed us with small bits of odd stories. With intense narrative voices and lifted eyebrows they show us how impossible the question posed by Lagerkvist is. The simple form suits the text and hopefully opens some new eyes to this recognised, but only to a little degree read, Nobel Literature Prize winner.

Anna Helene Valberg, scenekunst.no
19. November 2010
Link to original (Norwegian)
Link to English translation (pdf)

Dead souls in the rarity cabinet
For the first time The Eternal Smile is adapted for theatre. And that may have been the biggest surprise of the evening. During the performance associations lead to Strindberg, Dylan Thomas, Beckett and Fosse. In the staging by Verk it still is most natural to think about the most theatrical, high temperature side of Pirandello’s theatre. Which, of course, is due to the striking parallel between the dead souls of Lagerkvist and the six characters of Pirandello’s who are searching for a writer. Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions has perfected its own style, but all the theatre references give a sense of repetition. Yet the same it is an extraordinary charming performance.

Therese Bjørneboe, Aftenposten
19. October 2010
See pdf of original (Norwegian)
Link to English translation (pdf)

You, me, and the death
Their vulnerable appearance creates a devious and gently ambience, which they manage to hold on to throughout the performance.

Ine Therese Berg,
Norsk Shakespear- og Teatertidsskrift
No. 1 2011
See pdf of original (Norwegian)
Link to English translation?

Visually spectacular: Wonderful excessive performance that rebels against God and the institutional theater.

The special features of VERK productions are the quiet text performance mixed with a boundless physical style. In addition to the occasional overwhelming warning shots, pain, and drunken opera wearing skull masks.

Frida Holsten Gullestad,
Adresseavisa
30. September 2011
See pdf of original (Norwegian)
No English translation yet