The National Theatre in Bergen, Norway

A production of Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM) is being presented at the National Theatre in Bergen, Norway from January 27 to March 19, 2024.

The auditorium of the National Theatre in Bergen, Norway

Den Nationale Scene (English: National Theatre) is the largest theatre in Bergen and also one of the oldest permanent theatres in all of Norway. 

The theatre has a long and colorful history. First opening under the name Det Norske Theater (English: The Norwegian Theater) in 1850, the theatre was created to develop Norwegian playwrights. Henrik Ibsen was one of the first writers-in-residences and art-directors of the theatre.

In February of 1909, the current building, Den Nationale Scene (The National Theatre), opened its doors to the public. It was rooted in the 19th-century theater tradition and is one of Norway’s most characteristic buildings in the art nouveau style. Audience capacity was 800, with standing room on the balcony.

A fire in 1930 and the WWII era dropping of a bomb in 1940 significantly damaged parts of the theatre building, leading to a total rebuild. Changes to the space in 1967, 1981 and 2001 resulted in a change from one large auditorium to a reconfiguration featuring three performances areas in the building.  The largest, the Main Stage, was restored to its original 1909 appearance and seats 450 people.

Between 120,000 – 140,000 people visit the building every year. It presents approximately 20 productions each year, both international and national classics, musicals and contemporary drama, as well as children’s theatre. Since 1993, the theatre has been state property.

Billy Elliot The Musical 

On 8th November 2023, it was announced that The National Theatre would be mounting a production of BETM as part of its upcoming Winter/Spring season. It was also announced that it would be directed by Lars Jacobsen and co-produced by Fyllingsdalen Teater, which is another theatre in Bergen.

At this point, preparations were well underway for the show, with three boys already cast to share the lead role — Christian Bakke De Mello, Josva Bereket George Kiserud and Fredrik Halvorsen. By opening night, they will have been preparing for the show for a year.

The Norwegian Billys: (l-r) Christian Bakke De Mello, Josva Bereket George Kiserud and Fredrik Halvorsen

When the new director of the National Theatre, Solrun Toft Iversen, took up post in 2023, she expressed her desire to produce BETM.  Colleagues were sceptical at first, as they weren’t sure that they would find the talent needed to play Billy.  However, Iversen didn’t give up, but contacted Fyllingsdalen Teater, and asked them to help with the search for their Billys.

Here is the trailer for the production: 


To learn more about the three Bergen Billys, click on the Billy Profiles button (below) to be taken to their detailed profiles. 
billy profilesTo see a complete listing of the rest of the The National Theatre cast, just click on the Cast Information button.

cast info


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