The International Ibsen Festival

The programme is launched 14th June on ibsenfestivalen.no
Ibsen foran Nationaltheatret Foto: Gisle Bjørneby

What does it mean to the theatrical tradition of a country as small as Norway to receive such concentrated impulses from outside as during the Ibsen Festival? 


It is 200 years since Norway gained its constitution and with time became a democracy. A cultural institution like the National Theatre came about to strengthen this national identity – now we could have theatre in our own language. Few people have played such a major role for the theatre and for Norwegian literature in those 200 years as Henrik Ibsen. The International Ibsen Festival is a celebration of Norway’s most important playwright and his ground-breaking work with the theatrical conventions of his time.

Because Ibsen still plays a role. Never before has so much Ibsen been presented. And never before has Ibsen been performed in so many parts of the world. That is an image the International Ibsen Festival wants to reflect. The opportunity to experience the same play with such widely differing approaches is significant for how we in Norway treat our national icon on the stage. 

«When the Ibsen Festival was established, Ibsen could no longer be produced in the same way.»

Frode Helland and Julie Holledge, Researchers at The Center for Ibsen Studies at The University of Oslo. 

But the festival also intends to show international theatre what the Norwegian stage has to offer. Every other year the festival opens the autumn season at The National Thea¬tre. And thus the autumn programme of 2016 bears the mark of the Ibsen Festival. The complete programme for the autumn season and for The International Ibsen Festival is launched spring 2016.

The Festival opens September 8th  and ends at September 24th 2016.  From September 2015 we will welcome suggestions of guest productions who might fit the bill. 

Please contact us on ibsenfestival2016@nationaltheatret.no

The complete program will be published in June 2016.