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Reading: Progression and Return in Västanå Theatre’s Retelling of the Edda (2019)

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Progression and Return in Västanå Theatre’s Retelling of the Edda (2019)

Author:

Anna Swärdh

Stockholm University, SE
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Abstract

In 2019, Västanå Theatre staged Jon Fosse’s Edda, a theatrical adaptation of myths from the Poetic Edda. This essay focuses on a number of formal devices used to adapt the Norse myths at Västanå, the dumb show convention perhaps offering the most stylized form of expression of these. The essay shows how the production helped the audience negotiate between a linear and a circular understanding of time, through formal and structural means: staging, selection and ordering of episodes signalled a strong initial focus on the inevitability of Ragnarök, while circularity and return were highlighted through the ending in which the world was reborn, but also through other features that stressed repetition and retelling. The essay argues that the dumb show convention could be taken as emblematic of the production’s negotiation between the two timelines, but it also shows how the device helped adapt female characters into more powerful agents, how it added hope in the form of young love, and how it functioned to draw attention to narration, words, and poetry.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.599
How to Cite: Swärdh, A., 2020. Progression and Return in Västanå Theatre’s Retelling of the Edda (2019). Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(4), pp.1–25. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.599
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Published on 22 Nov 2020.
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