An Enemy of the People in Oslo

by Rimini Protokoll



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Name: Gerhard Bjelland

Age: 76

District: Frogner

Nasjonalitet: Norsk
For the most part I live in a house on Tjøme, but I also live in my flat on Frogner in Oslo.

I have been employed with the Nationaltheatre for 45 years. For me it has been, and still is, a pleausre to work as an actor.

I belong to the actors, the ones who have kissed, killed and been killed on stage, the ones who love gardening and the ones who love the theatre and sees it as central in their life but I do not belong to the ones who can sit still, the ones who like to be interviewed or the ones who enjoy sunbathing.

I moved from Tjøme to Oslo because I wanted to become an actor. I left for the city early in the spring in 1958 to prepare for the auditions at the State Theatre School. I read with the actors Knut M. Hanson and Rolf Sand. Among the parts I used for the audition was Shakespeares Romeo. I was twenty-two when I startet my acting-training and for a young man it was very exciting to live in the city. My Oslo consists of the citycentre with the Nationaltheatre. First someone in the family lent me a room on Skillebekk, and then I moved around to different places. I lived mostly in the western parts of the city, but I never sought to live only there. It was very difficult to find rooms to rent in those times, and on the westside it seemed easier to find rental rooms. Then I inherited a flat, and continued living here until I retired. When I didnt have my daily routine at the theatre anymore, I found it easier to move back to Tjøme – this always felt like home to me, and now I live in the family-house here, with a big garden and a private beach to keep me occupied.

I know the Enemy of the People well, but I have never acted in it. It is not among my favourites, I much prefer Vildanden. The quote «the strongest man in the world is the one standing the most alone» feels like a slogan – Ibsens words somehow become sacred.

I can't say I have experienced a turningppoint in my life – already as a child I knew that my goal was to become an actor and work at the Nationaltheatre. My father was a fisherman, and my mother was a seamstress, and they thought it a bit strange that I wanted to become an actor. But they never tried to stop me from pursuing my goal.

For the performances I am taking the tram down to the theatre, or maybe I will take a stroll through the Castle Park. I would never use my car in the city.