“Shadows has its own universe, open, clear and at the same time disturbing and enigmatic. ‘Everything is now and everything is always’. The fact that time and space are dissolved allows me as a reader to recognize my own unease. They exist in an immaterial room in a state of zero, where memories of a life together is the only evidence. The text challenges to ask existential questions and wonder who we are and how we leave traces in each other’s lives.”- Director Kari Holtan.
De Utvalgte set up Shadows at the Black Box Theatre in February 2009. The production was invited to the Bergen International Festival the same year and has since been on tour in Norway and abroad.
Shadows is the first written play that De Utvalgte set up in its entirety. Jon Fosse’s writing, however, has followed with De Utvalgte since 1995 in the performance “Erosion”. Text material in this performance was based on several of Fosse’s novels. This was before he had his breakthrough as a dramatist. The meeting with his lyrics then became a harrowing experience which created a fascination that has been there since. The time was ready to realize a wish to work with his text universe again when we produced Shadows in 2009.
The drama seems to unfold in an abstract landscape that stands in strong contrast to the text physical quality. The outer storyline is almost absent. The characters are interconnected in various ways: Child-parenting, marriage and infidelity. It is now buried as emotional memories come to the surface as sensual experiences. It is also unacceptable and frightening because there is no longer a motive for action. In this play all of the text is performed by children from 6 to 10 years, exposed in video projections. During the production period De Utvalgte Video recorded the children’s faces while they were instructed to perform the text of the various roles. This footage was later edited to be projected at six cocoon-like heads casted in plastic. On the stage four elderly people are wandering without saying a word.
Kari Holtan was nominated for The Hedda Award 2009 for best director for Shadows.