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by Nikoline Werdelin
This is a tragicomic play about dying and different ways of dying: In each of the five brown hospital beds on stage, five dying men are sleeping. One after the other, they wake up and discuss women, victories, losses and the sorrow from having to leave early. However, by the time the sun sheds its first rays, most of them have given up their struggles.
Nikoline Werdelin is a cartoonist and director and was born in Copenhagen 1960. From 1981-84, she studied at the design school, with drawing and graphics as her main subjects. In 1984 she won a comic competition in the Danish newspaper Politiken, in which her comics have succeeded ever since. It all started with the award winning series Café during the same year when with a loving although cynical insight she hit the thriving café culture of the nineteen eighties on the nail. Other comics, of which many have been published in book form, include Homo Metropolis, Laura and Nugga and Her på bjerget (Here, on the mountain), in which the types and syndromes of our time have been awfully originally displayed. Werdelin is not a misanthrope, but rather “the stubborn seismograph of lifestyles”. In 1997, she was awarded the Danish publicist award for her writing, which primarily revolves around comics, but which has evolved throughout the years, particularly to include the writing of plays. Werdelin made her debut as a dramatist with the manuscript and set design for the pop vaudeville UNDER DE GULE MÅNER (Under the yellow moons), 1987. Her breakthrough came ten years later with the lifestyle comedy LIEBHAVERNE (1997), in which the consumption-oriented generation keeps an open house for the big, egoistic staging of oneself. With DEN BLINDE MALER (the blind painter), 1999, Werdelin made her debut as a director in her tragic sex comedy about the narcissistic, women-consuming man. Once again, Werdelin shows off her personal talent for the witty, revealing dialogue, which has been the strength of her work since the comic strips. Furthermore, Werdelin has been very successful with the plays MINE TO SØSTRE (My two sisters), 2001 and BOBLERNE I BÆKKEN, (The Robin-Anthems) 2003. As a result of these two plays, she was awarded the price for best Danish playwright. MARTHAS TEMA (Martha’s theme) 2005, takes place, partly in the 1870’s Copenhagen – partly in the present day, whilst AKVARIEFUGLEN 2005, tells the story of a middle aged woman with a strong father fixation, and virtually no sexual experience.
by Jokum Rohde
In the city of Königsberg, where the river runs through, a ban of art was made 12 years ago in order to strengthen the intellectual level of its inhabitants. In the streets the bonfires are still smouldering from burning books and artwork. In the outskirts of the city lies the old and now former amusement park, where the oracle used to predict the future of the people. In order to keep up the ban informers are sent out to locate any practices of illegal art. Marc Dutroux is such an informer and he discovers an old Pinocchio doll in the workshop of the cabinet-maker, Werner Bruun. The district attorney, Alexander Trocchi, puts Werner Bruun at trial accusing him of practising art. The judge Wolff, who has a motto saying “I don’t know the laws that well, but I know people,” sentences Werner to have his right hand cut of.
Werner’s business is ruined, and he goes to see judge Wolff to ask for some money for him and his mother to live of, his mother being the former oracle, Miranda. Wolff is in a strange way seduced by Werner to reveal his own urge to practice art and he declames some of his own and very banal poems. But Wolff also discovers that he has a certain power over Werner. A power he begins to use challenging the society and the laws he as a judge are working to enforce. Suddenly crimes begin to take place in the city, the first being a fire, that causes the death of some poor people sleeping underneath the old magenta bridges. Werner is accused of the crime and taken to trial. But this time Wolff let Werner go which makes him very popular with the people but not with Alexander Trocchi. Wolff begins to loose control of the situation and the next murder, a child murder, brings the whole city to a state of revolt. The chase for the murderer begins. But who is the real villain?
Jokum Rohde was born 1970 in Copenhagen, Denmark and theatre history, philosophy and theology at the University of Copenhagen. Rohde debuted as a novelist in 1994 with Jonas´ Book. In the following years he has had his breakthrough as a playwright with a number of plays, among these the play Nero which opened at the Royal Theatre and has since been played widely in Germany.
In May 2004 Rohde was asked to write a play celebrating the marriage of the Crownprince of Denmark to the Tasmanian born Mary Donaldson. This resulted in the play Tasmanian Night which played at the Royal Theatre while being transmitted on television.
Jokum Rohde has also done a number of dramatizations and reconstructions of classics, among these a reconstruction of the unknown drama The Church by the very well known and notorius french novelist Louis- Ferdinand Céline.
In 2003 he had a huge popular breakthrough with his dramatization of the Walter Scott novel Ivanhoe which the Royal Theatre produced in the woods outside of Copenhagen. In June 2006 Rohde will follow up on this outdoor theatre format with a dramatization of the Thor/Ragnarok- mythology also in a Royal Theatre production.
In 2003 he wrote what is claimed as a modern European masterpiece Pinocchio's Ashes. It opened in the spring of 2005 to rave reviews at the central stage of The Royal Theatre and has since sold to other large theatres in Denmark and to the national theatre of Sweden, Dramaten in Stockholm Sweden.