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and we 'll never be parted

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director ivo van hove
from jon fosse
duration 1:25
premiere 10 Feb 2011


A woman sits waiting for her husband/lover to come home. She contemplates the long hours of sepa-ration, his dalliance with a younger woman, his return and their conversations. Reality, memories and imagination run seamlessly together, revealing her loneliness, fears and deepest yearnings.


Nooit van elkaar (‘And never we’ll be parted’, 1994) is as much a mantra as it is a play. Norwegian author and playwright Jon Fosse manages to blend subtle reality with pure imagination, creating a world of associations, memories and fantasies in which the characters are revealed as anxious, lonely people who hanker after love and attention. Following the publication of several short stories and poetry collections, Fosse first came to the attention of the literary public in 1983 with his novel Raudt, svart (Red Black). He was already an established author when, in 1996, he won the prestigious Ibsen Award for his play Namnet (‘The Name’).

Translated into over forty languages, his dramatic works quickly conquered the European stage, Fosse himself becoming one of the most frequently performed playwrights of his generation. Suggestion and ambiguity typify his work. His dialogue is like a musical score in which he seeks a balance between sound, silence and repetition. Fosse is particularly con-cerned with the unspoken, the gradual breakdown of relationships and the subsequent restoration of a fragile equilibrium between his characters. It is often left to the audience to determine who these people are, their precise relationships and what they seek from each other. Fosse’s work explores a state of mind between life and death.

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