The paper analyses the production of Ludvig Holberg's Masquerade put on by the Danish director Kim Bjarke at the Norwegian National Stage (Den Nationale Scene). The first, retrospective part of the article stresses the importance of Holberg's work for the development of Norwegian-speaking theatre and describes the tradition of staging the comedies of the Bergen-born author. The second part of the article discusses some of the elements with which the authors of the Bergen production, following the text of the 18th century comedy and initiating a dialogue with the local staging tradition, have visualised the processes of making the world a place of carnival merrymaking and theatricality. The article suggests that the newest interpretation of Masquerade onstage is not only a praise of youth and vitality. An evident meta-theatrical dimension of the production - which is not contrary to Holberg's text - has turned it into an apology for theatre itself. It presents the stage as a place that is unreal and at the same time makes it easier for the audience to see the truth.
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