Nothing Personal by Alan Lucien Øyen at The Norwegian Opera

Foto: Erik Berg

The following is a personal review and interpretation of the show “Nothing Personal” as shown at The Norwegian Opera House/Oslo 13.11.2023

She opens the computer. Who would have thought, a voice says.
The world coming to an end, something about to “…destroy everything I cannot have”
…After the day of retribution., everyone will ask, I am the real victim, I am the good guy, he says, we meet an elderly academic in crisis, a mother, a kid.

At first I feel the manuscript is rough, is it AI-generated? I wonder, but it also feels somehow very honest. This feeling that it’s mechanical quickly fades, as I read from the Opera themselves, that the text was recently developed just the last few weeks before the show (1) We’re all doing our best, she says, maybe this was all intended.

For a while there is an on and off of dancing and talking and dancing and talking along.

She insists he use a Kindle so he doesn’t have to reach for books. He can’t bring it all, it’s too heavy, takes up too much space.
Without these stories you wouldn’t be alive, he says. I nod on the inside, it’s practical. I’ve exhausted two kindles and given one away to a bookfriend myself, of course he won’t use it. I read more on the Kindle, it sure makes it easier when you don’t have to pick which book to bring every time.

The scenography is really impressive, with secret rooms, cabinets, basements and attics, always disappearing or reappearing in a new, unexpected space.

Like Narcissus, You can do anything but never meet yourself
Nemesis a little
Memetics a little again like

and Credit, to believe, really means

Who ended the goddess Hera ?
You can’t tell yourself from the game
Orange background
Wall foundations

Alan, older Alan?

Kid makes emergency map. The kid understands The Works (1) better than the adults. The adult is very impressed.
Don’t understand the role of the sixteen gray dancers. Fillers? They feel a little like fillers in a story that otherwise would have been 15-20 minutes shorter and it wouldn’t have been any less good an all-nighter.

Intimacy councillor
Representation in kinder garden scene
Dragons, Drag queens Chopped off her tongue, But sewed a carpet of her own blood to tell the truth too awful to be spoken if
Phulomela I to a nightingale escaped, she had it all didn’t sheeeee.

Elevator, Button, Long corridor, Business speech

Old woman watches her life in review
Soulsick by eternalife. This is the life of Alan kawonski. He wants to die, but he is not allowed to.

What’s The Point? The show is the point?

Mother tells son to not mention father
Emergency map

Books burn not the ideas
You can’t burn the internet

Judging requires something over and above perception – Descartes . In philosophy class I was in a group full of informatics and tech students, and the seminar leader was astonished by the quality of the papers this year, he didn’t have much to add.

Good. Very good. But too long. Will we be happy when life is over when we now die at 90 or 115, will it be good, will it be good, but a little too long? Wil it at all matter what you yourself think or feel , about living until you’re 115?

Weeks later I remember the kid singing, the mass grave, I try and remember what the kid was singing, he was singing a phrace on repeat, it got me for some reason, I don’t remember what he said. I remember the big dancer in the tiny tiny tiny micro house, I could almost, just almost, feel the walls and the floor and the ceiling around the dancers body. References to your single bedroom apartment ( room. Nice room…).

Nothing is personal anymore
The conclusion at the end of it is, The individual Is dead.


  1. Ikke Noe Personlig – artikkel – Den Norske Opera og Ballett
  2. Anmeldelse av NRK/ Nothing Personal i Operaen av Karen Frøsland Nystøyl :
  3. Review by Backtrack: Powerfully Moving:
  4. Ingrid Lorentzen om Nothing Personal

This text is written by Ingrid Sørensen for The Choreologist.