Saturday, October 9, 2010

Long Day's Journey into Night

went to see a play two nights ago, in Lillehammer.  It was the traveling theatre "Riksteatret" who played "Long Day's Journey into Night" by Eugene O'Neill.  The Norwegian title is "Lang Dags Ferd Mot Natt" .
Wow, what a play.  What a story.  It's about a highly dysfunctional family, hiding dark secrets, not being able to communicate, crippled by drug abuse and alcoholism, sickness, guilt and regrets.

The story itself is very auto-biographical.  O'Neill has put a lot of his own childhood/youth into his writing, as a way of dealing with it, I guess.  He almost killed himself at age 23, but was able to sober up, continue to write, and actually win the Pulizer Price for Drama for "Long Day's Journey...", albeit posthumously.

It's hard being in the audience.  You feel you're in this family's living room, and you feel their pain.  I was actually tired, almost exhausted, when it finished...
This Norwegian version of the drama is played by world famous Liv Ullmann , Bjørn Sundquist, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen and Viktoria Winge.  Direction is by Stein Winge.
The stage is set as a living room, with a color palette in light browns and blues.  This reflects the mood.
"Riksteatret" is a theatre company who is traveling all over Norway, playing in cities, towns and villages, and this play may be their biggest success ever.  All shows are sold out.  They did schedule a couple of extra performances in Oslo and in Stockholm, Sweden, but there is no tickets left.  This is probably the very last time one gets to see Liv Ullmann on stage, so I'm very happy I was able to grab those seats!

Congratulations on an extremely well done drama!

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