“What I mean is this: our immediate need is to eat, but it is even more important not to waste the pure energy of being hungry simply on satisfying that immediate need.”
From the press release
The Theatre of Cruelty is – after 25 years of artistic activity – showing a world premiere of Henrik Ibsen’s unfinished work Svanhild 1860, from 14 March 2014. The company is in this seeing a sequel to their staging of Ibsen’s operatic fragment The Mountain Bird in 2009, a performance that still is traveling the world. Ibsen wrote Svanhild a year after The Mountain Bird. Thus he let two manuscripts remain unfinished when Love’s Comedy was completed in 1862. As in The Mountain Bird the female title role is crucial. Svanhild is a strong and independent character, pointing towards several of Ibsen’s later female characters.
Svanhild takes place on a bright summer’s day in the bourgeoisie of Skillebekk in Oslo, where people live sheltered an protected. The atmosphere is characterized by etiquette and conformity. Notions of the outside world is distorted or non-existent. This reflects a fascist idea that any violation of an illusory harmony must be removed at all costs. Can The Theatre of Cruelty by drawing a line from Antonin Artaud and through Mrs. Halm’s sheltered garden, 150 years back in time, give Ibsen’s play unexpected actuality?