Fundamental questions asked by humankind for thousands of years: Where does everything around us actually come from? How is everything connected? Why is the world the way it is? And what role do we play in it?
Today the sciences have the answers to many of these questions. Some of these answers seem no less astounding and improbable than the ancient myths people at opposite ends of the earth have always used to make sense of the world. One of the oldest collections of these kinds of myths is the Edda, which was written in Old Norse and combines various Scandinavian tales of gods and heroes. Basic truths are presented under a cloak of symbolism.
In a time when many people are searching for orientation while at the same time being cynical of the universally accepted narratives and ideologies, these ancient myths have an existential significance – in their heterogeneity, their deep contrariness, their coarse humour, their mystifying yet surprisingly descriptive nature. The similarities – down to the minutest details – between the ancient stories from the most diverse cultures are uncanny.
Together with the Schauspiel Hannover ensemble, the Icelandic theatre makers Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson and Mikael Torfason transposed the Edda into the present day using powerful, diverse images. This work earned Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson the 2018 German Theatre Prize Der Faust in the “Best play director” category. Now, together with the Burgtheater ensemble, they are developing their production further for the Viennese audience – with a number of new texts and Scenes.
Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson is the director of the Volksbühne in Berlin and is also directing the production of Peer Gynt at the Burgtheater in the 2019/20 Season.
The Edda is a production from Schauspiel Hannover.