Tales from the Norwegian Wood: “Staaloe – to Fight a Giant”

An Incredible One-Woman Performance Demonstrating the Importance of Myth and Legend

Myth, legends, and fairytales have been around for hundreds of years. You may have had a fairytale passed down through your family, or maybe you grew up hearing myths from your friends in the playground, or maybe you used to beg your teachers to remind you of that one scary legend over and over again. The production, Staaloe – to Fight a Giant reflects on the wonder of storytelling, the fantastical world of magic and monsters, and the lessons we can learn from characters we never actually meet.

Before this one-woman performance began, the Director came out to explain that the entirety of the performance would be in Norwegian but that, if anyone had any questions, they would have the opportunity to ask them after the show. I was nervous about watching a performance in a foreign language but I was put at ease as soon as the Actor stepped onto the stage.

© Åarjelhsaemien Teatere (South Sami Theatre)

A one-person show is a marathon for an Actor. Portraying various characters to convey the plotline, sustaining the energy and mood in the audience, and having the entire weight of the play on your shoulders – it is by no means an easy task.

Right from when the play began, I was encapsulated by the story unfolding in front of me. Our Actress played four characters that were distinguished from one another by voice, physicality, and props. These characters are Staaloe, his wife, the storyteller, and the heroine. Through puppetry, physicality, and theatre magic, Staaloe – to Fight a Giant stands as a classic example of great, traditional storytelling. It reminded me that we can always make more room in our work for the fantastical myths, the daunting legends, and the truthful trolls.

Staaloe – to Fight a Giant was produced by Åarjelhsaemien Teatere (South Sami Theatre). It was directed by Leammuid Biret Rávdná and Cecilia Persson, and acted by Marianne Kappfjell.

Hana Holloway is an experienced young American educator and theatre artist. Her passion for writing, puppetry, and devising theatre has led her to diverse opportunities in the Performing Arts. She was invited to be a Porter Fellow for the 2019 Theatre for Young Audiences USA conference and was accepted into the apprentice company for the 2017 Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is now a Programme Director for ​‘Lights, Camera, Learn!​‘, a nonprofit that educates and empowers children through the art of filmmaking which has recently brought her to Tunisia, Jordan, Palestine, and Dubai. Hana sees theatre as a transformative art form that has the power to impact change in the world.