Brattberg Returns With a Dark Comedy

at The Royal Norwegian Embassy

Prepare to be both provoked and amused, as Norwegian playwright and composer Fredrik Brattberg returns to the UK in a rehearsed reading of his play The Returning by The Presence Theatre Company. A dark comedy that takes the audience on a hilarious and unpredictable ride.


The play opens with two parents mourning the tragic loss of their son. While grieving, the parents are moved by the support of the community and the people who turn up to share their loss. However, after the funeral the couple struggles to build a new life together, until one day when there is an unexpected knock on the front door. The lost son has somehow returned. But as he disappears a second time, and then a third, the parent’s sorrow and relied turns to frustration and anger, as the tone of the play swings between tragedy and farce.

Translated by Henning Hegland, The Returning is a poignant and effective dramatization of the grieving process, with its repetitions and reversals, laying bare the tensions between everyday mundanity and the unpredictable flow of human emotion as the cycle of mourning begins, again and again and again.

Following on from successful scratch performances at Backwell Festival and the Free Word Centre as part of Nordic Drama Now, a rehearsed reading of The Returning by director Jack Tarlton, will take place at the Norwegian Embassy in London.

In 2012 Brattberg was awarded with the Ibsen-award for The Returning. This was only four years after his playwright debut in 2008 at Chateau Neuf, with the play It Knocks, Amadeus. Since, Brattberg’s work has been performed at various theatres in Norway, including the National Theatre in Oslo. His plays are translated into several languages and have been performed at theatres in France, Denmark, Indonesia and New York. Apart for his work as a playwright, Brattberg is also a composer. He has studied with Wolfgang Plagge and written a broad range of choral, operatic, chamber and orchestral music that has been performed worldwide. It is probably this musical background that is the reason why Brattberg’s plays frequently follow the same principles of musical composition – evident in the rhythms, repetitions and intensity of The Returning’s dialogue.

Space is very limited. The reading is aimed specially at people working in theatre, if you wish to attend please contact the Embassy at


The Royal Norwegian Embassy in London






4 March at 7PM






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