Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: ET GLASS TIL Opens at Christiania Theater

Review: ET GLASS TIL Opens at Christiania Theater

The play raises a toast to the redemptive power of live theatre.

Review: ET GLASS TIL Opens at Christiania Theater Tragedy, comedy, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard and Kierkegaard crash together like the highs and lows of an alcohol binge in "Et glass til", the theatrical adaptation of Oscar-winning Danish film "Druk", which has been a great international success, garnered rave reviews and, not least, won the Oscar for best international film. The production at Christiania Teater is one of the first in the world to perform this as a play. All the performers give it their all during this "90 minutes experiment" into of the joys and pitfalls of alcohol. Sven Nordin, Ingar Helge Gimle, Nader Khademi and Christian Skolmen are all first rate actors in their own right, and the combination of the quartet results in a performance you're not wanna miss.

Review: ET GLASS TIL Opens at Christiania Theater

The plot follows the film. The four colleagues and friends, the history teacher Martin(Nordin), the psychology teacher Nikolai (Skolmen), the music teacher Peter (Khademi) and the physical education teacher Tommy (Gimle) teach at local high school. All four middle-aged men struggle with mid-life crises, unmotivated students and think that life has become repetitive. At a dinner on the occasion of Nikolai's 50th birthday, the group begins to discuss the hypothesis that humans are born with too little alcohol in the blood, and that an alcohol content of 0.5 per thousand in the blood makes the person more creative, more relaxed and able to perform more. While the other three reject the hypothesis, Martin, who is depressed due to problems in his marriage, is inspired and starts drinking alcohol during work hours. The rest of the group eventually decide to participate in an experiment to test the hypothesis. They accept a set of rules: During working hours, the target blood alcohol level is not below 0.5. Furthermore, they refrain from drinking alcohol after eight in the evening. Within a short period of time, all four members of the group find both their work and personal life more comfortable. Martin in particular is very happy when he finally manages to reconnect with his wife and children; just as his teaching goes better and thus gives him more self-confidence. The four friends agree that the experiment must be taken to a higher level. And I will not spoil anymore...

My main gripe with this adaptation, by Thomas Vinterberg, is that there is little time for reflection during the few scenes where characters are alone, often speaking to characters we cannot see. There are plenty of opportunities and talent to make us feel more for the tragic cases they all are in the midst of. The few places where the writing allows for such things are quite moving, such as when Nordin's Martin is told by his wife that he is not the man she fell in love with. I would have liked to see more character development like this throughout, and it would also enhance the comedy of the piece. The adaptation is thought provoking and behind every laugh from the audience there are also a sense uneasiness and rightly so. This binge makes you sober up, and fast.

Sven Nordin as Martin is the heart in the piece and, like so many times before, Nordin gets to show off his acting chops in a big way. He has a sensitiveness in his take on the role, which makes us care for the character. Ingar Helge Gimle also plays up the constrained masculine oddity that hasn't evolved with the changes in society. Tommy is both hilarious and sad to watch as he cascades out of control. Christian Skolmen's Nicolai functions really well both as an emcee (often talking and explaining things to the audience in borderline stand-up) and a talkative babbling, slightly neurotic psychology teacher. Nader Khademi as Peter is perhaps the most normal and down to earth character on stage, and works great as a counterpoint to the other three.

Review: ET GLASS TIL Opens at Christiania Theater

Mattis Herman Nyquist's direction is inspiring. Both to the point and abstract in equal amounts. Without a clear plan this could easily have become chaos and cluttered. I love the choice of breaking the fourth wall and making the audience a part of the show, without it escalating into silliness. I am curious to know what is Nyquist's inventions, and what is already decided by Vinterberg's text. But as of now a am give the credit to Nyquist. Also the very simple stage- and lighting-design by Øyvind Wangensteen is very efficient.

It is a joy to see acting on this level. It's a brilliantly indefinite affair, woozy but precise, profound yet playful, confronting matters of life and death with equal energy, while ultimately raising a toast to the redemptive power of theatre.

Direction: Mattis Herman Nyquist
Writer: Thomas Vinterberg & Tobias Lindholm
Adapted for the stage: Thomas Vinterberg & Claus Flygare
Norwgian translation:
Lars Berge
Stage design/lighting design: Øyvind Wangensteen
Sound design: Lars Hareide Swenson

Composer: Hanne Hukkelberg
Costume design: Alva Brosten

Choreography: Josephine Gracia Slåen
Assistent director: Agnes Melinder Stoklan
Producers: Over Norge & StarWorks

All photos credited: Øyvind Ganesh

Review: WE WILL ROCK YOU at Oslo Spektrum Photo
What did our critic think of WE WILL ROCK YOU at Oslo Spektrum?

Isák: Opprør i Operaen Comes to Den Norske Opera This Weekend Photo
ISÁK har siden debuten i 2017 etablert seg som et av landets beste live band, med sitt energiske liveshow og intense tilstedeværelse. Trioen har opplevd en overveldende respons i Norge, og er kritikerrost og prisbelønnet. Musikken har nådd verden, og bandet har de siste årene besøkt og spilt for sitt stadig økende publikum verden over.

Den Norske Opera Presents PORTNER/KYLIAN/BALANCHINE Photo
A new work is on its way: Some Girls Don’t Turn, where Emma Portner re-imagines dance beyond the spectacle of man or woman. 

The National Theatre of Norway returns to The Coronet With DANCE OF DEATH Photo
Three of Scandinavia’s most celebrated actors will perform together on stage when The National Theatre of Norway returns to The Coronet Theatre, following its sell-out Little Eyolf, with Strindberg’s savagely comic domestic drama, Dance of Death. The production is currently playing to sell out audiences at the National Theatre of Norway.

From This Author - Christian Ranke

Christian Ranke is a writer, singer, actor and graphic designer. He has translated several musicals, such as EVITA (Rice/Lloyd Webber), THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK (Dempsey/Rowe), PETER PAN – A M... (read more about this author)

Review: WE WILL ROCK YOU at Oslo SpektrumReview: WE WILL ROCK YOU at Oslo Spektrum
March 20, 2023

What did our critic think of WE WILL ROCK YOU at Oslo Spektrum?

Review: ET GLASS TIL Opens at Christiania TheaterReview: ET GLASS TIL Opens at Christiania Theater
January 16, 2023

Read BroadwayWorld's review of 'Et glass til', the theatrical adaptation of Oscar-winning Danish film 'Druk' at Christiania Teater.

Review: SISTER ACT at Chateau Neuf, OsloReview: SISTER ACT at Chateau Neuf, Oslo
September 18, 2022

'Sister Act - The Musical' based on the 1992 movie has landed in Oslo. 'Sister Act,' which opened last night. While the original creatives is only partly successful in adapting the 1992 movie to the stage, it is a feel-good crowd-pleaser worth seeing.

Review: MATILDA at FolketeateretReview: MATILDA at Folketeateret
September 10, 2022

'Matilda - the musical' has wit, intelligence, heart and soul. To see this again in its Norwegian incarnation is, as the opening song says 'A miracle'. Many young stars were born yesterday at Folketeatret in Oslo.

Review: KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER at Akershus Festning / KarpedammenReview: KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER at Akershus Festning / Karpedammen
August 23, 2022

There is much to love about this show. While this is an epic set in 14th century Norway, a lot of what is depicted rings just as true today. Choosing who to love, the bonds family holds, love, hope and despair. It's all there. While this musical is far from perfect, it has beautiful melodies and lyrics, while the book struggles as it has so much story to tell, and never really allows for time to breathe. But all in all it has enough going for it that the end result is really pleasing.