“Through children’s faces and children’s voices they hit a pure existential nerve» – Elin Hoyland, Morgenbladet
“The result is scenic poetry, existential wonder and an almost meditative contemplation – mixed with a little enraptured amazement at how well children’s readings of text can work. It becomes a thought-provoking, different theater, as if from somewhere else, given to us here and now. ” – Andreas Wiese, Dagbladet
“Through advanced artistic means, it is brought forth a new understanding of an old message: you can reach many key insights only when you again become like a child” – Jan Bachmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Shadows has its own universe, open, clear and at the same time disturbing and enigmatic. ‘Everything is now and everything is always’. The fact that time and space are dissolved allows me as a reader to identify with the turmoil. They exist in an immaterial room in a kind of zero, where memories of a life together become the only reference points. The text challenges us to ask existential questions and wonder who we are and how we leave traces in each other’s lives. “- Director Kari Holtan.
De Utvalgte performed Shadows at Black Box Theatre in February 2009. The production was invited to the Bergen International Festival the same year and has since been on tour both in Norway and abroad.
Shadows is the first written play that De Utvalgte performed in its entirety. Jon Fosse’s writing, however, has accompanied De Utvalgte since they in 1995 produced the show “Erosion”. The textual material in this play was based on several of Fosse’s novels. This was before he had his breakthrough as a dramatist. The meeting with his texts at the time became a stirring experience that created a fascination that has been there since. Time was therefore ripe to realize a desire to work with his textual universe again when we produced Shadows in 2009.
The drama seems to unfold in an abstract landscape that stands in stark contrast to the text’s physical quality. The outer storyline is almost absent. The characters are connected with each other in different ways: Children-parents, marriage and infidelity. That which is buried in the shape of emotional memories comes to the surface as sensual sensations. It is also unacceptable and frightening because there is no longer a motive for action. In the play, all text is performed by children aged 6 -10 years on video. During the production period De Utvalgte recorded children’s faces while they were instructed to perform the text in the various roles. This footage was later edited and projected over six cocoon-like heads cast in plastic. On stage four elderly people walk around without saying a word.
Kari Holtan was nominated for The Hedda Award 2009 for best director for Shadows.