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Maren was sentenced to death



Tonight I had a cultural experience. I attended a play that not only is played out in real Norwegian nature and athmosphere. But the story itself is very strong. And where I am so lucky to know one of the leading roles.


The play is called "Maren was Sentenced To Death" or the original title as it`s called in Norwegian, "Maren dømt til døden".

This is the story of the young girl Maren Olsdotter Jektvik who was born in 1811, on the beautiful island Hitra on the outskirts of Trondheim fjord in Norway.
In 1833 she was married to Ola Pedersen from the same island.
In 1834 they lost a child when she was pregnant.
In 1848 John was fishing and when he came back he was very ill. He died after a short illness.
Because of rumors and gossip among the locals was his body autopsied and Mary was accused of having murdered her husband.
She was tried, but was acquitted in two courts.
The case was appealed by the prosecuting authorities and the same year she was sentenced to death for having murdered Ola.

This is a story that not only tells about a case that took many people at the time it happened.
If you see this in a historical perspective, one can see that everything that happened at that time also is as relevant nowadays.
It's about jealousy, rumors, gossip, and what individuals think, not what they knew.
It is also about not to accept a woman who dared to stand out from the crowd and was not A4 as their neighbors in the small village.

Maren was attributed characteristics and motives that never was hers!

She admitted never having caused her husband's death!
And in retrospect, shows all the knowledge about this matter that she was the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice when she was beheaded by the executioner on June 11 1848.

This is the story of a miscarriage of justice that occurred at the time, but might as well have happened today. Only with the difference that beheading fortunately not a way to enforce judgments on.
Though to be beheaded, a human being still in the figurative sense, purely human, if you are the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
This has happened and happens in Norway, even today!

The play of Hitra is set up by Hitra Theatre Company. It is an amateur group.
They do a fantastic job, where local actors of all ages is to bring the theater to heights one would otherwise only find in professional theaters.
The lighting is perfect, the music is present and to set a mood of the piece that can not be better.
And when talking about the location of this theater piece is completely unique. Middle of the Norwegian archipelago nature, in the atmospheric middleage Dolmen Church, where one not only finds the medieval atmosphere that creates the unique atmosphere around such a play.
The sound and acoustics of this church is unique and is to bring this performance to exceptional heights.

Then we have to talk about two of the play's only professional participants.
The two leading roles Kristina Kiberg (Maren), and Tov Sletta (Andres Persa).
Kristina is known from several theatre performances around.
Tov as well, but his main performance so far have been his main role in the Norwegian media coveraged movie “Nokas”, about the great bank robbery in Norway.
They have a presence and empathy that gives this piece a whole new dimension. Do not doubt that Hitra Theatre Company has done it exactly right by focusing on these two this year.
Director Arnulf Haga has done a good job of putting together a play in which many live audience so into the action that they are crying.

The fact that this theater piece is set up in a Norwegian environment that is completely unique. At the end of the ocean where the ocean banks against the rocks and the islands creates a unique backdrop is not negative for either theater or the atmosphere.

This was the 25-year "Maren Sentenced to Death" was set up.
It is a tradition that is sure to continue.
For those who want to experience real Norwegian culture, and environment. So one can safely recommend a visit here.

The play will be listed in 2011 until Sunday 17 July.
For those who miss it this year, a visit next year is reccomended.


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