VENUS & MARS - Grusomhetens Teater



by Judith Malina
presented in collaboration with THE LIVING THEATRE

«The beautiful non-violent anarchistic revolution»

The Living Theater was established by Julian Beck (1925-1985) and Judith Malina in 1947. This legendary New York based company is now led by the Co-Artistic Directors, Brad Burges and Thomas Scott Walker. The Living Theater’s social criticism and engagement combined with unconventional staging of poetic drama, and the frequent visits to Europe during youth protests led the company to gain very early worldwide interest. When Judith Malina passed away in 2015 she left behind the unfinished manuscript Venus and Mars, which Grusomhetens Teater is now going to premiere on the 14th of December 2017. The bond between the two companies is forged since 2011, through exchanging workshops and artistic strategies. A mutual trust, that was created not least due to the common contact with the tradition of the theatrical theorist Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), has made this staging possible. In addition to the veteran Thomas Scott Walker, the cast will include 13 actors from Grusomhetens Teater.

«As I said: masculinity is nothing. It preserves power. But buries me in power»
«The scream that I just uttered is a dream. But a dream that consumes the dream»

– Antonin Artaud

How can the two genders meet in a genuine understanding that prevents the world in becoming adrift? In the nature-religious societies the androgynous figure was highlighted and made holy. A symbol of the balance that is necessary for a decent path ahead. Here the metaphysical intervenes, and takes a natural part of the practical life. Cosmological principles defined from opposites are leading humanity through life’s many facets, and one measures himself with fate instead of submitting to it. This is an active and interesting idea about human’s presence on Earth. The famous picture «Mars disarmed by Venus» by the painter David, is a strong vision. It is David’s last work, his last message. The man who lets himself be disarmed. In the motif of the picture the figure of Venus seems to use a type of sensual cunning, but the seriousness of the situation is mirrored in her face. What is needed is a form of a backward dance for the humanity, that takes the right path forward.
– from director’s notes


”In that perspective “Venus and Mars” becomes an interesting production of current interest, and once again Lars Øyno proves himself to be an undaunting, unconventional and creative stage artist. It’s real fun seeing how the actor’s intensely physical style of play – not many words are exchanged during the all of an hour long play – actually also manages to express intellectual issues. There is every reason to rejoice in the fact that the theatrical perspective of Antonin Artaud lives on in Grusomhetens Teater.”

IdaLou Larsen, Klassekampen
Les hele–

”The reason this works, is the Grusomhetens Teater’s insisting
on a scenic expression that in Norwegian context is exclusively theirs. It is a back-to- basic-
expression that comes through as anything but outdated. What do we have? The actor’s body
and voice. What are we left with? The actor’s body and voice – in addition to an experience
that no other in this country has zealous ambitions to provide.”

Chris Erichsen, Scenekunst
Les hele–


Judith Malina


Lars Øyno


Thomas Scott Walker


Thomas Scott Walker
Hanne Dieserud
Miguel Emilio Dobrodenka Steinsland
Odille Heftye Blehr
Sara Fellman
Henriette Blakstad
Gaute Næsheim
Kristiane Nerdrum Bøgwald
Jade Francis Haj
Benedikte Sandberg
Marianne Rødje
Maja Skogstad
Gisle Haas
Ingrid Liavaag


Mariann Rostad


Gjøril Bjercke Sæther


Jan Skomakerstuen

Directors assistant

Claudia Lucacel

Tech crew

Thomas Sanne

Press images and videos

Claudia Lucacel


Claudia Lucacel

Production year