Among “goodies” offered by the Norwegian government in its state budget proposal for next year is an allotment of NOK 8 million (USD 1 million) to create a new, small theater for performing plays by Norway’s legendary Henrik Ibsen. The theater will be constructed inside the historic building that also houses the Ibsen Museum and the apartment where Ibsen and his wife lived for the last 10 years of his life.
“This is fantastic news,” exclaimed investor and philanthropist Christian Ringnes, who owns the building on Arbins Gate, just across from the Royal Palace’s park in Oslo. Ringnes has promised to contribute funding as well to the project that will be headed by the museum, Norway’s National Theater in Oslo and the Norwegian Folk Museum.
“We haven’t been good enough at making Ibsen’s works available for tourists and others who visit Oslo and want to see Ibsen plays,” Culture Minister Linda Hofstad Helleland told newspaper Aftenposten. “If you come here in the summer, all the theaters are closed.” She wants the new theater at the Ibsen Museum to be open through the summer, offering performances both in Norwegian and English.
The new Ibsen Theater is due for completion by 2020, when the National Theater itself is due to close for extensive renovation expected to take three years.