Being Norwegian

Being Norwegian is a play that follows Sean and Lisa as they talk throughout the night, gradually getting to know each other and growing as confidants. It’s billed as being “a tender and funny one-act play, from acclaimed Scottish playwright David Greig” so it’s fair to be excited about it. Unfortunately the production doesn’t manage to live up to any of the hype – though there are funny moments it’s unclear whether any were intentional.

It’s not clear what Axon theatre hoped to achieve from staging this, frankly, uninspiring play

To be brutally honest, it’s not clear what Axon theatre hoped to achieve from staging this, frankly, uninspiring play. David Greig is an excellent playwright but Being Norwegian is definitely not his strongest. In fact, one is left with the feeling that they just decided to put on a play for the sake of it and thought “This will do.” I’m sure there are multiple valid reasons as to why they chose this play and that they thought long and hard about their aims and intentions, but none of them have come across in the lacklustre performances.

Actors Tom Hurley and Sarah Bennington seem to suffer from a distinct lack of direction, rendering much of the dialogue incredibly awkward to sit through. Though there’s a lot of subtext to be played with, they’re never given a chance to shine. Neither of the characters seem to listen to each other, with Bennington providing a lifeless litany of what “being Norwegian” means, which just turns into a list of national stereotypes, as Hurley awkwardly shuffles around the stage not knowing how to react. It’s difficult to tell if this dynamic was a decision or not by the director, Peter Scott, and it’s a shame because there are moments - albeit fleeting ones - in which the actors show potential. This is compounded by the fact that the production has nothing else to rely on but the quality of the script, actors and direction – none of which seem to be on the same page. The result leaves very little idea of what “being Norwegian” actually means.

Reviews by Liam Rees

Pleasance Courtyard

Bible John

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

America Is Hard to See

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

CONSPIRACY

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

UNCONDITIONAL

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Signals

★★★
Summerhall

Everything Not Saved

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Having just met at a nearby pub, Lisa and Sean stand awkwardly in his cluttered apartment. They don’t know a thing about each other, but a curious attraction has pulled them together. As they begin to reveal pieces of their history, Sean becomes increasingly unsettled. Can he trust this beautiful stranger with his innermost secrets? 'Being Norwegian', she says, 'We know how to live with the dark'. A tender and funny one-act play, from acclaimed Scottish playwright David Greig. Transferring from the Cardiff Fringe, Axon present their acclaimed production of Being Norwegian for a limited late-night run.

Most Popular See More

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets