A new musical stage show inspired by the atrocities carried out by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is to open in the U.K. this summer.
David Greig wrote The Events to explore why certain societies respond differently to tragedies. The acclaimed Scottish playwright visited Utoya Island and Oslo three months after lone gunman Breivik slaughtered 77 people there on July 22, 2011.
(PHOTOS: Explosion and Shooting Rock Norway)
“I was most interested in how Norwegian society was feeling,” Greig told the Guardian. “Oslo is not a huge city and everybody pretty much knows everybody else, so almost everyone we spoke to had been affected.
“Some people asked us not to write or talk about Breivik. I am not at all certain whether we give him a victory by ignoring him or trying to understand him. That is what I wanted to question.”
The Events, which opens at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, will be set in Scotland and centers on a female character who is coping with the aftermath of a tragedy, according to GlobalPost. Breivik will not be mentioned by name at any point.
Actors Touring Company (ATC) will perform the play with a score composed by John Brown that features a community choir. After a run in the Scottish capital, the production will move south to the Young Vic theatre in London.
Breivik is currently serving a 21-year sentence for mass murder, causing a fatal explosion and terrorism. The 34-year-old bombed government buildings in Oslo, claiming eight lives, and then shot and killed 69 people, mostly teenagers, at a camp of the Workers’ Youth League of the Norwegian Labor Party. The killings were apparently motivated by far-right ideology.
ATC released a statement on Tuesday to emphasize that The Events remains purely a fictional production that “examines the nature of forgiveness, the limits of human empathy and the need to understand extreme acts of violence.”