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When We Dead Awaken

Written by
Henrik Ibsen

Directed by
Kjetil Bang-Hansen

Produced by
The Coronet Theatre & The Norwegian Ibsen Company


When We Dead Awaken is a strange, beautiful and bitter play about art, love, ambition and freedom. Like a musical quartet, 4 people, 4 elements, 4 voices, 4 instruments play different songs in a complicated melody. It is a play for our time, as they find themselves living in a changed world. Bewildered, how do they move forward?” – Director Kjetil Bang Hansen

The acclaimed The Norwegian Ibsen Company returns to The Coronet Theatre, after its award winning The Lady From The Sea, with a new adaptation of When We Dead Awaken, Henrik Ibsen’s enigmatic final play.

It is rare that anyone gets the chance to rediscover a lost love.

In the depths of a winter Rubek, once a celebrated sculptor, returns to Norway with his estranged young wife Maia – only to bump into his great lost love and muse Irene. Is this their opportunity to return to a world where there is meaning, hope and happiness – to awaken from the dead?

The production is directed by celebrated Norwegian director Kjetil Bang Hansen, in his first production in the UK. It will have a Norwegian/British cast, and be performed in a mixture of Norwegian and English with surtitles. The production will tour Norway after its UK Premiere.

The production brings with it an inherent knowledge of Norwegian culture, where Ibsen is celebrated both for his insight into the human condition, and for bringing to his work the humour and biting irony people use to get through the most difficult situations.” – Kåre Conradi, Artistic Director of the The Norwegian Ibsen Company



Maia Rubek
Andrea Bræin Hovig

Arnold Rubek
Øystein Røger

Irene von Satow
Ragnhild Margrethe Gudbrandsen



Kjetil Bang-Hansen

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Additional Information

Kjetil Bang-Hansen is one of the most revered, critically acclaimed and accomplished directors in Europe. Throughout a career spanning over 60 years he was appointed Artistic Director of The National Theatre of Norway, been the recipient of every major theatre award in Norway and published several books and writings about art of theatre directing and stagecraft. Kjetil has undoubtedly made one of the most significant contributions to Norwegian theatre in the last century as he continues to create new work and direct through Europe.


The Norwegian Ibsen Company last performed at The Coronet Theatre in February 2019 with The Lady From The Sea, which followed the UK’s first visit by the Norwegian National Theatre with Little Eyolf in 2018 is the most performed dramatist in the world after William Shakespeare. However Norway did not have a professional Ibsen Company until ten years ago, when one of Norway’s leading actors, Kare Conradi, founded the Norwegian Ibsen Company. It’s aim is, by producing Ibsen’s work in both Norwegian and English, to create a theatrical bridge with the rest of the world and Ibsen’s homeland.

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