Our style of direction varies depending on the needs of the narrative. We start with the question, “What is the best way to tell this story?” and then we follow wherever the answer leads us. Jeff has worked in many countries – Norway, America, England, Scotland, Tunisia, Morocco – and in many mediums of performance – theatre, dance, film, television, radio, and video games. Jeff directed his first opera, Hans og Grete (Hansel and Gretel) at Opera Nordfjord in 2019. The production received wonderful reviews, and a fantastic response from its audience.
We find the unique and the universal in each story and explore the best way to communicate it to our audience. We are not afraid of challenges. The Yellow Wallpaper (Det gule tapetet på norsk), an extremely ambitious combination of modern dance and physical theatre, was first performed at Harastølen, an abandoned tuberculosis asylum on top of a mountain in Luster kommune. Ten sold out performances were well received by press and audience. We were then invited to be part of the Bergen Fringe Festival and were chosen by Bergens Tidene newspaper as one of their top five activities in Bergen. The Yellow Wallpaper is an intimate psychological horror centering on the damage caused by ignoring and isolating the vulnerable, and the dangers of uninformed good intentions. The Yellow Wallpaper, originally written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892, follows the story of a woman suffering from severe postnatal depression, before there was such a diagnosis – when it was just dismissed as female hysteria. The Yellow Wallpaper had never been translated into Norwegian before. The play featured an original soundtrack composed by Selma Stang, set, costume and video design by Tormod Lindgren, and lighting design by Marianne Thallaug Wedset.
2015’s site specific production, Staveneset.Krig, had seven sold out performances and was invited to be part of the Fjaler International Theatre Festival. Staveneset.Krig tells the true story of the telegraph agents who hid in a cave on the coast of Norway, and the young engaged couple, Oddny and Anton, who supported them. Staveneset.Krig was performed in a cave in Staveneset which was used by the agents. Seating for 130 was built in the trees at the cave’s mouth – the entire audience supported by seven spruce trees. In addition to the play itself, we hosted a WWII-themed swing dance, a book signing by Arnfinn Haga – author of Nødrop fra Staveneset – and a storytelling event for the elderly. We also had a visit from the WWII-era warship Hitra, which fired its cannons to start the show.
Jeff has worked at Det Norske Teater, Sogn Og Fjordane Teater (now known as Teater Vestland), Bergen National Opera, the Old Vic Theatre and other institutions. Jeff directed the world premiere of Nasjonal Prøve with Sogn og Fjordane Teater in 2018, written by Maria Tryti Venerød, and in partnership with Firda VGS. Jeff also directed Julekrybba for SoFT, a unique retelling of the Nativity, focussing on magic and light, and performed by Reidun Melvær Berge together with talented children from Sogn og Fjordane. Darkness fills the old Norwegian churches where we performed, until it is split by candlelight and Middle-Eastern musical tones.