Norway? Yes it’s true, here I am directing the Norwegian version of White or Hvit as it is now known. I have been here in Alesund for about a week now and I am settling in rather well. Shona Reppe (designer) and Craig Fleming (production manager) came out to oversee the set and production and will return again in the final week. Everyone has been very welcoming and I kind of feel like I’m in my own version of The Shipping News – finding out the local gossip and goings on. Though, as Roy the technician at the theatre pointed out, I am now likely to be part of that gossip. In fact by Thursday we had a full page spread in the local paper, accompanied by a picture of Shona and I rather seriously inspecting bird-boxes.
We have been brought over by Eva, the producer at Barneteatret Vart who is the person most fittingly described as irrepressible. I have also never known a mobile to ring or beep so often. She takes a swim most days in the sea with her friend Endra, I have been invited to attend so I suspect a fjord dip is likely some point soon.
The two actors, Jonas and John, are great and playing the respective parts of Bomull and Rynke. We all seem to be enjoying rehearsals and are currently competing in the tricky Olympic Sport of egg catching. We are still in training. At the same time, yes we can multitask, we are trying to work out a local equivalent of the word play Wrinkle/Pinkle. Any Norwegians reading – any suggestions for word plays gratefully received.
Alesund itself is unbelievably beautiful. It’s actually a series of islands in amongst the fjords. It is a regular stopping point for many of the cruise ships and about 5 o’clock most days you hear the ship’s horn, as it pulls up anchor and sets sail again. On Saturday I scaled the local viewpoint which has a well-placed coffee shop at the top. I opted for a coffee and a svele (literally means swell) a kind of sugar filled pancake. I do struggle with the Scandinavian cost of food, it seems incredible that a salad can be fifteen pounds but there it is. Maybe there is a Norwegian black market using lettuce as currency?
Anyway, otherwise all is very good and I am enjoying working in and exploring this beautiful part of the world. That’s it for now. Look in again for the next Tales of Norge!