Beyond Human Power
Beyond Human Power
The Norwegian playwright, the great advocate of small nations, humanist and theatre maker Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson has written drama that continues to address current issues. I explored the world of petty bourgeois families, addressed education, the status of women, politics, religion, and particularly morality and hypocrisy. Yet his dramatic works present, at the same time, fundamental contemplations about responsibility and competency and, particularly, humanism. His drama Beyond Our Power is among his most significant and, in Norway, most frequently staged. Directed by Ján Luterán, Beyond Our Power is making a comeback on SND stage after 90 (!) years.
Well then, what it is that proves to be beyond our power? It might be beyond our power to reach a compromise and accept responsibility. Beyond Our Power is a story of coexistence, love, as well as terrorism. And about utopia. A group of workers decide to go on strike and agree proper conditions with the company owners. Yet neither party considers the proposals of their counterpart to be good, though there are good people on both sides. The tension raises, everyone is looking for their way out of the challenge and their solutions. As a matter of fact, both parties mean well. Or is it mere concealed egotism and advocacy of one´s interests? Each party choses their own strategy how to “fight” for their own and advocate better conditions. Individualism and own objectives affect the lives of the majority, Bjørnson creates a whole range of familiar characters, across the spectre of social strata. Pragmatics, not driven by idea, but benefits; those afraid who opt for conformity; and eternal utopians who believe in good ends and rightness of human conducts; those who want to preserve their status; as well as determined rebels who want to stand firm to the end. Yet, what does the end mean in this case? Where is the line when the good become the evil? What might happen if the social pressure proves unbearable and no agreement is reached: What, then, is beyond our power?