We chew on the bones of time

Four people, a guitar, some mud and some melancholy

Terrosims Oslo pic

Throughout 2013 and 2015, all the theatres participating in the TERRORisms project presented an original play, specifically written for the project. These series of plays conveyed the means of theatre to put forward a certain aspect of the issue and nurture both an artistic and scientific reflection.

We chew on the bones of time is an absurd and humorous performance about searching for one’s place in history.

In the old days, people could be happy. Before the nuclear family, the state and private property. Everyone knew one another, and everyone shared everything: Bacteria, skin diseases, lice, intestinal flora and cousins. You were always a part of a community. Either everyone was sick, and all died at once, or people fought the same battle against each other to survive on scarce resources. Language was not contaminated by foreign words. There was no crime because there were no laws. Therefore, no one made boring TV shows about it. Nobody wasted time learning to read or going to school, because there was only one book, and someone read aloud from it on Sundays. People looked forward to hearing news about doomsday and the torture that could be expected in hell all week.

Four young people meet at a seminar that lasts for 40 days and 40 nights. They cover themselves in mud, play the guitar, dance to salsa music and talk about everything from gardening to loneliness and human development through thousands of years. They reflect on whether humans have a core and how it may have evolved with world history. Maybe life was better a hundred, a thousand and maybe one hundred thousand years ago?

In a two-hour drama, we meet people from history, near and distant, and become acquainted with the conditions they lived under. Is it really something to yearn for? Or should we rather be happy that we live here and now, despite the fact that violence, accidents and illness may strike us at any given time? The director Jonas Corell Petersen is the one asking the questions. He will be one of four permanent directors at the National Theatre for the next four years. He wrote this piece in collaboration with the ensemble.

Our life is a split second in the history of the universe, but we are free to live a long and happy life. The only thing we know for sure is that death is waiting, and that is why we try to cram our lives with experiences. This is a paradox: The more packed our days become, the faster time seems to pass. We are chasing time, and suddenly death overtakes us.

WE CHEW ON THE BONES OF TIME (Jonas Corell Petersen) from UTE on Vimeo.


We chew on the bones of time

By Jonas Corell Petersen

In cooperation with the ensemble of the National Theatre of Oslo

Director | Jonas Corell Petersen

Dramaturgy | Olav Torbjørn Skare

Stage & costume design | Nina Damerell, Thale Kvam Olsen

Music | Gaute Tønder

Lights | Øyvind Wangensteen

Make-up artist | Wibke Schuler

Cast | Ole Johan Skjelbred, Olav Waastad, Ebsen Alknes, Sigurd Myhre

Produced by the National Theatre of Oslo, Norway

In the context of the TERRORisms project of the UTE

Opened on 15 January 2015

At the National Theatre of Oslo, Norway

Photos © Marte Garmann / Nationaltheatret

With the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union



Jonas Corell Petersen

15 January - 21 March, 2015