Ibsen Under the Radar - Censorship and the practice of a global theatre classic
It seems obvious that explicit systems of state censorship of the arts will necessarily influence the films and theatre productions made under such circumstances. Less obvious, however, are the answers to questions like: What are the specific traces of state censorship, how can they be discerned and analyzed in the cultural productions themselves? Two artistic strategies will be emphasized: adjustments (cuts, rewritings, shifts) and additions, or what I call parallel supplements. They both point to the interesting fact that censorship is more than repression, i.e. that it can lead to genuine innovations, new forms of expression where artists smuggle the "forbidden" into the cultural product, under the radar of censorship. The chosen examples will be a theatre production of A Doll’s House from Vietnam, a film adaptation of A Doll’s House from Iran, and a theatre production of The Master Builder from China - all of them strong and important artistic expression in their own right.
Professor Frode Helland is director for the Centre for Ibsen-Studies at the University of Oslo. He has written on Scandinavian literature, theatre and theory - in addition to social and political topics such as race and racism. His latest publication is the book, Ibsen in Practice. Relational Readings of Performance, Cultural Encounters, and Power, Methuen/Bloomsbury 2015.