Thursday, 9 December 2010

Sea Costumes

Margit tried on some costumes for her Elisabet Flensberg story - maybe she was influenced by the cold weather outside?

We also found out that Iva's costume was inflatable...

Snow and Cold

It has been very cold here in Norway - last week it was -20 degrees and Elke went for the full winter look

As did I....

It was so cold that I cried and shouted with Margit when we sat in the van - our fingers hurt that much.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Rehearsals in Asker

We are working in the old trasformer house next to Asker Station and now the weather has turned very cold, today it was -10 outside.

We have been working on the music for the show, singing and playing some great songs from the sea.

Today we worked on the story of Sandsundvar - the island that sank into the sea.

We have also been trying out some ideas for the start of the show and finding ways to tell our own story, about the journey on the CMA-CGM Fort St Louis

We experimented with some ways to get Kieran very wet and miserable.

This is Sjon (the writer from Iceland) helping Kieran to explore the experience of an Atlantic storm...

This post was created by Alex Byrne - Artistic Director of NIE.

The Deserted Island

We picked up our work on Tales From a Sea Journey with a week of further development on a deserted island in the Oslo Fjord, it was very beautiful but very very cold...

The view was amazing and we were surrounded by water, and boats, I went to the shops in a small boat with Kienran, we bought wine and bread and milk. We also saw the Oslo to Germany car ferry.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Dafne Prize for MLWD in Kristiansand

NIE focussed on Norway after the fantastic performances of Tales from the Middle of Town in Peterborough UK. Some of the actors went from Peterborough straight into the Østfold school tour of Everything Falls Apart. Starting with a camera crew for an item on Norwegian NRK TV, followed by a radio interview the next day. It were early mornings for everyone to get to the venues on time, but the school children very much enjoy Everything Falls Apart, because they can go around the room and explore every little set and every little detail of the show from their own point of view. Also, as you can see in the previous post, some experimental ways to relax and rest were discovered. We played in Fredrikstad, Halden and Moss before driving the van with the set to the coastal town of Kristiansand for the next series of performances. After setting up and rehearsing at Agder Theatre, it was definitely time for a walk along the Fish Market, which was closed. We did get to see the makings of the new Agder Theatre though.

The Assitej Theatre Festival for Children and Youth programmed both Everything Falls Apart (3x) and My Life with the Dogs (2x). I came in on Friday 29 October, in the middle of preparations for My Life with the Dogs. The show hadn´t been played since May 2010 in Recklinghausen Germany, and this time even two of the actors hadn´t played it for almost a year. So some rehearsals were in place. It was weird setting up, warming up, do a run thru and not play on Friday evening. All the more energy for the 2 performances on Saturday.

And it paid off: we won the Assitej Festival Dafne Prize with My Life with the Dogs! NIE won the Dafne Prize before, in 2004 for Past Half Remembered. The timing was brilliant, as this was handed out to us in the festival cafe full of dressed up young people during a Halloween party. Not a coincidence.

Alex and Kjell are off to Trondheim now, for some serious workshopping on 3 and 4 November in AvantGarden.

Written by Marlou Beulens, producer at NIE.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Tour in Østfold- Norway

We are back in Norway and have been touring the region of Østfold for the last week. Winter is slowly coming and the first snow has already been here and disappeared this week. Some of the performances on the tour are played in the daytime so there have been several different strategies to cope with the early mornings over the last week.

Strategy one: More rest !

Here in a communal lie down after a communal meal.

Strategy two: Push Thru With Intensity

What seems to be the best strategy so far is a morning swim in the freezing fjord. This morning Iva, Jolita, Unai and David decided to have a proper go just close to our house, and it was so could that the ducks wouldn’t even bother to move. Air temperature: -1 Water: +4

The frozen ground:

The ducks:

Straight in there:

A man with a warm heart and cold feet:

From tomorrow after playing in Moss we head of to the Norwegian Assitej festival in Kristiansand

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Tales From The Middle Of Town

Behind closed doors of the shopping centre, hidden away in what used to be a busy book shop are NIE-ers hard at work...

"Be careful of your imagination, it can get you into trouble..." If this quote is true then the children who wrote the stories to fill up this show should be in very big trouble...

Rehearsals were magical as the words of the children literally transformed before our very eyes. I loved every second from start:
To finish:

But the shop opening had to be my favourite part. Not only did i get to pretend to be a shopkeeper for a while, but i also got to see gleeful children peek in through the shop door and the inquisitive look on the face of every passer by. As a born and bred citizen of Peterborough, i know how much the city is desperate for something like this to happen. And thankfully it did happen.

It was beautiful and magical.

I feel so priviledged to have worked alongside NIE on this production and to have witnessed their magic first hand. And i just hope that this show has some influence over the generations of Peterborough. I hope it encourages them to always love and cherish stories. So stories in this area will always continue to "be in progress".
Written by Lianne Harvey.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Finland- Helsinki Festival

When we visited the Helsinki Stage Festival last time 4 years ago, the founder of Korjaamo Raoul Grünstein took us in to the tram museum next door and said: ” Next time around I will have made this into a great theatre space ” And so he truly did. There are still some trams left on the edge of the space.

The new space of Korijaamo is not only a good space, but also its got fantastic technical equipment and the fastest and nicest technicians in Europe so far this year.
Here is a picture of Elke and the crew. They are so superfast that my Iphone hardly managed to make a capture of them.

We were playing Everything Falls Apart on our visit to Helsinki Festival and it was the opening of the season for us. I do not know if it was because of the long holidays for some of the actors, but someone came up with a new exercise called Pac Man. Simply based on the classic computer game. It’s a great way to do something silly without spending too much energy.

We are now off to Peterborough for the final rehearsals on Tales from The Middle of Town.
Please follow our webpage for further updates.

Kjell Moberg- Associate Dircetor

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Japan -Kijimuna Festa

The final festival before we take a break for summer in our touring is the Kijimuna Festa on the island of Okinawa. We play Past Half Remembered from the 23rd to the 25th of July in the The Chamber of Commerce (!) in Okinawa City. Since the festival only have two venues they have converted a lot of other buildings into theatre spaces the time of the festival.The Chamber of Commerce is a made into a nice venue and I think its a good example for other cities to convert their Chamber of Commerce into a theatre for a while.

Here is Iva talking thru the final details with help of our very kind translator Misa.

Most of us flew in via Helsinki and Osaka and spend about 21 hours of travel to get here. We got some help to translate the menu before our first meal in Japan.

The festival host a lot of companies both from Europe and Asia and there has been a lot of good exchange both artistic and for network building. The head of the festival invited us all to a barbecue on the beach on the second day here and we learned to read some new and unusual signs.

We play our last performance in Okinawa tomorrow afternoon and most of us are heading back to Europe already on Monday. Our next performance is Everything Falls Apart in Korjaamo, Helsinki on the 29th and 30th of August. I will therefore wish all our readers a nice summer with a picture of the setting sun in the Pacific. And also a thanks to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo for their kind support to bring us to Japan.

Written by Kjell Moberg- Associate Director of NIE

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Hradec Workshop 2010

The Hradec workshop is over now and everyone has made their way back home. We had more people there than ever before and did 5 days of really great work. There were some new faces as well as the usual suspects.

Most people stayed in the fabulous Hotel Garni which I am told
has the worlds smallest towels, "towels" I hear you cry - "what western decadence."

We had good weather but not too hot as in some previous years and we ate lunch outside everyday.

We also played our shows B61 and Everything Falls Apart in the festival and these went very very well.

Some of us spent some time watching the football in the sports bar as well.... I got the England - Germany score wrong in my predictions, which was embarrassing but not fatal. I should have listened to the magic octopus...
All I can say here is bad luck Germany, who, like England, just were not quite good enough to go all the way.

The Past Half Remembered team are off to Japan soon, so good luck to them and maybe one of them will stick up some pictures of the trip???

This post was written by Alex Byrne - Artistic Director of NIE.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Table Tennis and Football in Germany

We played four shows in Recklinghausen as part of the Ruhrfestspiele Festival. And we played in a tent… it was a very nice tent but was a bit hot sometimes. I had to dry clean my costume twice when Cat (our producer) told me that I was smelly. We had four really good shows with a bit of a small audience on the Thursday (but still a great show).

We were worried about the audience for the show on the Friday as we were competing with the opening of the World Cup in South Africa which was a big event in Recklinghausen but in fact it was our best show and biggest house.

On Thursday we bought Table Tennis bats for Euro 1.50 and played on the table in the school-yard where the tent was pitched. We found this 4 way table and sort of worked out how to play on it. It’s a bit like the four-square game that we often play in rehearsals. When we left I donated the bats to the tech crew who were brilliant all week (at teching not at table tennis – they might be good at that too but they would not play us – scared of my killer serve I think)

On Friday night we packed up My Life With the Dogs and headed off to watch France – Uraguai in a bar – as you know it was 0-0 and a bit boring.

Back home now but off to the Czech Republic next week for the festival in Hradec and a big workshop.

Posted by Alex Byrne - Artistic Director

Thursday, 3 June 2010

A Bristol Sandwich - Lund/ Bristol/ Stamsund

10 - 23 May 2010

Loyal readers of the NIE blog might notice a few new authorial voices in the mix as we share out some of the blog reporting for NIE over the next few months..

After Lund we headed to Junges Ensemble Stuttgart (JES), Germany to play both Berlin 1961 and Everything Falls Apart as part of their anniversary celebrations. These went really well and the company really enjoyed seeing and meeting performers from some of the other shows in the festival.

After a days rest, NIE headed off to the UK to play Everything Falls Apart as part of Mayfest - an annual festival of contemporary theatre in Bristol. We were performing at one of our favourite UK venues, the Tobacco Factory and those who had been there before look forward to coming back.

Volcanic Ash and airline strikes did not hamper our travel endeavours so everyone got from Germany/ Belgium/ Norway/ Czech Republic to Southville in Bristol by Thursday for the set-up and get-in of the show.

Before we arrived we weren't sure how the height of the space would affect the show and if we would need to modify some bits, but once we had carried all our stuff into the space, we found ways and a spot to make Unai's scenes on the fridge work. The industrial building lent itself to the urban feel of the show, so once we had everything prepared the show looked great. Unai, Liz and Cat headed off to Bristol Radio for a quick interview explaining the show and the company.

After the get-in on Thursday we explored Bristol a bit more and saw some other shows as part of Mayfest - the ever-brilliant Will Adamsdale in The Human Computer at Bristol Old Vic studio and the massive installed outdoor performance Electric Hotel by the waterfront. Both shows are highly recommended so if you get a chance to catch them elsewhere I would get a ticket!

We had a great couple of show days in Bristol with 2 of the shows sold out - audiences seemed to really enjoy the promenade style and the story, appreciating the new ways we make shows without losing the NIE style. By Saturday night, we were once again packing up in our newly decorated van and heading over to Norway for the Stamsund International Theatre Festival next week.

Posted by Cat Moore, UK producer for NIE

Monday, 31 May 2010


I thought long and hard about this, and despite the fact that I was originally not planning to write this post, I now feel I have to.
As you may or may not have noticed, I stopped writing this blog.
The reason for this is that my insurance company have used previous posts to find ways not to cover my losses of the Malmo theft.
This means I have now been robbed twice, all as a result of doing a friend a favour. I will not stop doing friends favours, but I will stop writing this blog.

I've stopped feeling sorry for myself, but I haven't stopped being angry.
I don't feel like writing anonymously, just as much as I don't feel like closing down the comments system just because there seems to be a persistent Chinese spammer.

But for the moment I don't feel like writing publicly any more.

My colleagues will take over for a while until I've recovered everything I've lost.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Second trilogy in Lund

When I arrived at the theatre at 11am on Thursday, a woman was waiting by the door. As I got out the keys (they gave me the keys to the theatre), she asked if I could put her on the waiting list.
I said the show didn't start until 1pm, but she replied she wanted to be early so she had a better chance of getting a ticket.
There was nothing I could do, so I told her the people from Bibo would be around later, and she'd have to wait until then to find out from them what her options were.
Ten minutes later, another woman appeared - same request.

The whole day passed like this. But once the first show started, the people from Bibu tried to organise it. They left a waiting list behind in between the shows, and the list got longer and longer.

We tried to get as many people in as possible, crammed some extra chairs where we found space, and filled up the steps with more audience members. But we still couldn't fit everyone in.

After My Long Journey Home, Tomas and David made lunch for everyone.

With ice cream for dessert...

After Past Half Remembered the ushers told us there had been a fight over waiting list seats.
We had a long discussion about what to do, but there was simply nothing we could do. We did get many more people in then there were seats, broke all health and safety rules and they still didn't fit.

For us it was amazing to play to such enthusiastic audiences. I'm sorry if people didn't get a seat, even more so since we won't be playing the trilogy for a while now.

So take our cue: book ahead. Book now for any of the shows you see listed in the right column. And don't say I didn't tell you so.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

One trilogy down, one more to go

This is where we are. Lilla Teatern Lund. We were here 4 years ago, and this is where we were invited to go to Japan. 4 years later, Japan is approaching fast and our Japanese hosts are back to see us again.
It's been a while since we played the trilogy, and everyone is in great shape.
On Tuesday we rehearsed a bit (it's been since last February since we played My Long Journey Home and The End of Everything Ever), and we unpacked everything. It seems like the only thing we've lost on our travels was the red umbrella for Past Half Remembered. My guess is that it's still in the hold of the SAS plane we took from Stockholm to Oslo.

Yesterday morning we got to the theatre at 11am and the boys set up for My Long Journey Home. There was the thrill of excitement and nerves. This is our oldest show, the one that is being performed the least at the moment (since it has been played the most of all of our shows).

Kjell and David went back to the old job of making snow.

Good old Marcella was ready to go.

Since Bob moved to Berlin, his german has become too good for the german scene...

And then some singing to warm up the voices.

It all kicked off at 1pm, with a full house waiting to take their seats.
Full is actually not the word. Over-full seems more apt. People were sitting on the stairs and I honestly think we couldn't have gotten one more person into the theatre.

Tomas was on fire, and even though I have seen these shows many times, I have to say that this performance was probably one of the best I've seen. The audience roared with laughter and gave us a standing ovation.

After the show we had a short break before the next one was up.

5pm. Past Half Remembered. Tea and vodka. And again a lot of people in the Lilla Teatern.
The others had been in to see My Long Journey Home and it seemed like they took on that energy and kept it all going. The crowd laughed and laughed.
I spoke to some people who we've met before at other festivals, and got the impression that most of our audience here has seen at least one of the shows before, and came to the trilogy to catch up with the shows they hadn't seen yet. As the trilogy is becoming a rare event, it becomes clear that a lot of people who have seen one of them, want to see the others.

After another short break we started again at 9pm. The End of Everything Ever.
The audience laughed and laughed until they cried.
I always find it interesting with the trilogy to notice the slight delay in applause with the last show. It almost feels like people don't want to break the silence.
Another standing ovation and then it was over.

We start again at 1pm today. Same schedule, same shows.

Six shows in two days. I'm pretty sure this must be a record for us.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

All means of transport in one weekend

So we're off again.
To say I've recovered from my new-found paranoia about parking, would be wishful thinking, but it doesn't stop me from looking forward to hitting the road again.
We have a very exciting spring ahead of us, and it all starts next week.
I will take the ferry to Oslo tomorrow, then the bus to Torp, then the plane to Stansted, train to Cambridge, bus to Bedford, taxi back to Cambridge, train to Stansted, bus to Oslo, van to Lund.
Lund is very close to Malmö. Maybe I find my stolen goods.
When I was driving to Trelleborg last week (as a replacement service for my ash-covered flight), I scanned all passing cars for a bright orange suitcase. I know, that's ridiculous, but hope dies last.

here's what we have lined up in the spring.
LUND - we will play the trilogy twice. I've been told the shows are already very full, so hurry up and get your tickets as the trilogy is becoming a rare event now that we have newer shows waiting to be played.
STUTTGART - our friends at JES are organising a great festival called Schöne Aussicht, where we will play two shows: Berlin 1961 and Everything Falls Apart. Again, get your tickets soon, because one of those shows has a very limited capacity.
BRISTOL - Bristol is hosting a Bristol-wide festival called Mayfest, where we can be found in the Tobacco Factory. 4 shows in 2 days. Limited capacity. Book now, UK friends.
STAMSUND - north north north, and I will be going there with the van from Bristol. It will be a magnificent journey, and I'll tell you all about it when we reach that point. Follow us north to the midsummer sun. We only play once, and there is only space for 80 people, so again: get your tickets now.
RECKLINGHAUSEN - back to the tent with the remote control roof, this time with My Life With the Dogs. Last time we were there it was very sunny and lovely, so all the more reasons to visit the Ruhrfestspiele.
HRADEC KRALOVE - two shows again: Berlin 1961 - in English for the first time, and Everything Falls Apart.

After that we take a short break and then we're off to Okinawa.
As you can see, wherever you are, we will travel towards you. And if we don't reach your hometown, maybe you can travel a little bit towards us to?

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Daylight robbery / Grand Theft Auto

How I wish the final post of this rehearsal period could have been a joyful one, but alas, today has been a hideous day.

After we dropped everyone at Copenhagen airport, Liz and I headed off towards Oslo. We decided to stop in Malmø for lunch as we had a long drive ahead of us.
Drove around the main square/parking space in the old town three times before a space became available, found enough Swedish crowns to pay for half an hour of parking and headed to a Swedish fast food place. Came back half an hour later to find the van empty. (****)

There is no embellished version of this:
some fuckwits got into our car, stole three accordions, two suitcases, two bags with laptops, cameras etc, a projector, an espressomachine and a binbag full of white secondhand termal underwear.
The only things they left were a guitar, Kieran's glasses and Liz's plastic bag with three Kinder surprise eggs and some secondhand liquor glasses.

In broad daylight (between 12.30 and 1pm) on a very busy carpark in the middle of the most touristy area of Malmø.



And of course the things that are of no use to anyone else, feel like the biggest loss at the moment (notebooks, the earrings Elisabet got from her grandmother, the keyring Sasha gave me,... the list is endless). All of those things, probably still inside our suitcases, will most probably end up by the side of the road somewhere. My suitcase is made of orange tarpaulin, it should be easy to spot.

(**** - imagine all the swearwords I can think of in any language I can think of)

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Danish birthday

Today we played the story of the flotilla of rubber ducks that went around the world...

The story of the Icelandic family who were on a boat that couldn't stop...

And the story of captain Ivarssen...

Kjell bought a great new jacket in the local secondhand shop.

After lunch, when the announcements were made, it was someone's birthday and everyone sang a Danish birthday song, which was very interactive and much longer than any birthday song I know.
It ended with clapping our thighs, then clapping our neighbour's thighs, followed by banging the table. Then everyone headed over to the birthday girl whilst blowing into the palm of their hand.
It was quite an event, so I decided that I would like to be in Denmark on my next birthday.

The headmaster also announced that as the students had all been doing some great work, they'd be treated to the first ice cream of the year. We were invited to take part.

Since they opened their show on Sunday, lunch and dinner times have shifted. We now have lunch at 2pm and dinner at 5pm, and today we had ice cream in between. A lot of eating.

Still, we had some time left to work with some new text Sjon had written for us.

Tomorrow is our last day here, so we invited the students to come and see our work in progress. In the evening we'll head over to Haderslev to see Margit in The Three Sisters.