A history lecture
To get a better understanding of the history of the theatre and how the sceneries of Fredrikshald theatre were used, the students had the pleasure of meeting Jon Nygaard, a professor at the Center of Ibsen Studies in Oslo.
Some of the frames show still some remnants of the old spruce Wood.
From the stage of Fredrikshald theatre he lectured about the start of the theatre and the important role it played in the history of Halden.
Fredrikshald is the last remaining theatre in Norway that has an original baroque stage. This type of stage has a slanting floor and perspective sceneries. The scenery of “the Wood” is fitted to the proportions of the stage in Fredrikshald and cannot be used in a common theatre.
It became clear that the sceneries under treatment are based on Ibsen’s vision of how a theater scene should look like and be used by actors. Parts of the scenery are originally from Christiana Theatre, present day Oslo, and were given to the theater in Halden. Nygaard told that the decorations have been reused and changed over time. “The Wood” started out as a spruce wood, but was overpainted in 1897 and the motive became a deciduous wood. In 1916 the scenery was drastically changed by Krogh. The 10 single flats (wing parts) became 5 double wings and one new double wing was created. Krogh repainted the deciduous wood as well as a new backdrop and 4 borders (a narrow strip of painted canvas hung above the stage masking the lights). The scenery in its present state is 100 years old.
The backdrop ,which is being conserved at the moment, was painted by Gustav Gjøs in 1847 and depicts a 19th century landscape. It has been used together with the side wings and borders from the wood. The last time being 1988, when the theatre celebrated its 150 year anniversary.