Breivik show will go on

Director says he has no plans to drop play based on mass muderer’s manifesto

Christian Lollike, the artistic director of Café Teatret, says he has no plans to drop the play based on the manifesto written by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

A story that appeared Monday afternoon on the website of public broadcaster DR seemed to indicate that Lollike was planning to cancel his controversial piece, 'Manifesto 2083'. Lollike seemed to indicate that he felt Breivik’s public trial had accomplished what the director had stated were the goals of the play, namely to “demystify” Breivik and allow the public to hear the murderer’s own voice.

But Lollike now says that was a misunderstanding on the part of DR.

“There is nothing to the story, and DR has promised to correct it. We are not cancelling the play," Lollike told Berlingske newspaper. “The trial obviously affects us, but I will only drop the play if I cannot write anything interesting.”

'Manifesto 2083', which is scheduled to premiere in the autumn, was to be based on a manifesto Breivik published containing his personal philosophy, racist propaganda, diary entries and bomb-making instructions. Lollike said the point of using Breivik’s own material was an attempt to show how a seemingly normal man could turn into a uniform-wearing mass killer that killed 77 Norwegians last summer.

Lollike said he now plans to change the play to include material other than the manifesto.

"All I can say right now is that the entire play will not be based on the manifesto," Lollike told Politiken newspaper.  

Lollike has been the subject of controversy since he announced in January that Café Teatre would stage a play about Breivik. He was accused of being insensitive to the victim’s families and giving a mass murderer attention in a crass effort to sell tickets.

Pia Kjaersgaard, the leader of Dansk Folkeparti, was one of the most vocal critics of the play and she remains opposed to its production.

"It is insensitive and distasteful even to think about turning this unspeakable tragedy into a play," said Kjaersgaard to DR Kultur.