What if you discovered something rotten in your city? What if you had proof of its origins, but knew that the truth would affect everybody’s lives, and could harm or even ruin them? What path would you take? Would you share the truth, but contaminate society? Would you risk your own life? Do you agree that in matters of right and wrong the individual should take precedence over the multitude? Is "the strongest man in the world the man who stands most alone"?
Rimini Protokoll have developed a performance system in which 100 individuals are chosen from a population to represent the whole. In "An Enemy of the People in Oslo" each person on stage represents 5,995 inhabitants of Oslo (the population of Norways capital city is 599,509). The cast is selected according to a matrix of statistical criteria (gender, age, neighbourhood, country of origin, living arrangements).
The project can thus reflect the ways how public opinion is formed: in the public eye, by the media, or through the actions of individuals.
Rimini Protokoll invite 100 people on stage creating a representative assembly of citizens from all levels of society as a blueprint for a theatrical adventure. The stage of the National Theatre is given over to a statistical subset, who has no acting experience. The hundred people must make decisions on behalf of all of Oslo’s inhabitants, live on stage. They are a collective that plays the role of a city, a chorus that has never rehearsed before, an inconsistent entity that combines and recombines in an endless combination of dynamic interactions; they form ephemeral portraits of contrasts and conformity. A sea of voices in a geometric body on one hundred square meters of stage.
"An Enemy of the People in Oslo" is not only an investigation of how public opinion reacts to the “truth” of the fictional Dr. Stockmann, it is about an individual’s responsibility to their own relationship with that truth. It is a new way of exploring the irrational tendencies of the masses, and the hypocritical and corrupt nature of the political systems that they support.
It will show how the principles of democracy can affect the integrity of each individual.
Opening Show of The International Ibsen Festival 2012