Norwegian puppet theatre. The Oslo Nye Dukketeatret was created in 1959 by integrating the oldest professional company in Norway (that of Jane and Agnar Mykle) with the Oslo Nye Teatret (Oslo New Theatre) founded after the Folketeatret went bankrupt (see Norway). Julian Strøm and his daughter Birgit became its directors in 1953.
In 1969, Arne Mykle (son of Agnar) took over as artistic director. He formed a new ensemble by providing a group of young people a three-month course on puppetry. This group of students then took over the management of the theatre as an independent collective in 1970.
It was with Kjersti Germeten, one of the ensemble’s first members, an exceptional puppet builder and the stage director of Den hvite selen (The White Seal, which she adapted for the puppet stage based on Rudyard Kipling’s story) that won for the company the Norwegian Theatre Critics award in 1983. In 1992, Germeten adapted the fairy tale, Jenta som gikk til jordas hjerte (The Girl Who Went to the Heart of the World), which won UNIMA Norway’s prize of honour.
Up until the early 1990s, the Oslo Nye Dukketeatret had dedicated itself to puppet theatre for children. But in 1994 it presented the critically acclaimed adaptation for the puppet stage of Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, designed for adult audiences. Lisbeth Narud, puppet and set designer, created puppets that were both suggestive and also satirical of the characters: Assessor Brack is a snake; Eilert Løvborg has a lion’s mane but the body of a bottle of port; Mrs Elvestad lives in her own handbag; and Hedda is tall, rank and pale like a ghost.
In 2002, the Oslo Nye Dukketeatret moved to its own space, the first permanent site puppet theatre in Norway.
- Helgesen, Vibeke, and Ragnhild Wang. Den magiske hånd [The Magic Hand]. Oslo: Pax Forlag, 2000.
- Vindsetmo, Bjørg. “Hedda Gabler på Dukketeatret” [Hedda Gabler at the Puppet Theatre]. Ibsen og figurteatret. Figurteatret og Ibsen [Ibsen and Figure Theatre. Figure Theatre and Ibsen]. Ed. Anne Helgesen. UNIMA Norway, 2005.