“This Icelandic version has overpowering visual and aural bravura, showing how Büchner‘s masterpiece can be turned into an assault on contemporary capitalism“
Micheal Billington, The Guardian

”Ablaze with imagination”
Nicholas de Jongh – Evening Standard

“Water, water everywhere in this astonishing Icelandic production”
Michael Coveney – The Independent

”The stage is full of eloquent visual images and sizzling coups the theatre, underpinning always by a sence of danger and by Nick Cave’s haunting, melancholic score”
Sarah Hemming – Financial Times

WOYZECK by Georg Buchner

A Vesturport and Reykjavik City Theatre production
Directed by Gisli Örn Gardarsson

The excitedly physical staging of Georg Buchner’s tragic and fragmented play about a young man struggling to make the best from what life has dealt him.
A hostage to fortune, class and his sadistic superiors, Woyzeck’s fate is played out in a series of nightmarish encounters. He stumbles through a world of macabre carnival, sexual betrayal and cruel oppression, pursued by the demons of his own paranoid fantasies. Pushed beyond breaking point, Woyzeck’s last love- crazed act destroys the only thing he truly cares for.

With haunting original music by cult rocker Nick Cave and Warren Ellis of the Bad Seeds, the music reflect and emphasize both Woyzeck’s misery and the Drum Major’s ascendancy.

This unique production is directed by Vesturport’s own rising-star Gisli Örn Gardarsson. Water abounds in Gardarsson’s gleefully physical staging of Büchner’s masterpiece which is played out on an industrial set of gleaming pipes, green astroturf, and water-filled plexiglass tanks. With acrobatics, aerial ballets, and underwater sequences, the production’s hyper-athletic cast infuses this fragmented tragedy with unrestrained energy.

The Guardian (UK) noted that “this Icelandic version has overpowering visual and aural bravura, showing how Büchner’s masterpiece can be turned into an assault on contemporary capitalism.” On Cave and Ellis’ bitterly witty and hypnotic score—which blends heavy rock, whimsical love songs, and church choir purity—The Times (UK) declares, “Cave’s blood-soaked lyricism and noisy trash-can blues lend a thrilling extra dimension to the staging.”

Woyzeck is a joint production of Vesturport and The Reykjavik City Theatre. Woyzeck premiered at The Reykjavik City Theatre in 2005 and was presented at London’s Barbican Theatre in 2005 as part of their Young Genius series where its sold-out run received critical acclaim. The production returned to the Barbican in 2006.
It has since been performed in Germany (Ludwigshafen), Holland (Amsterdam), Spain (Salamanca), South Korea (Uijeongbu/Seoul), USA (BAM – New York) and Denmark (Aarhus).

Running time:     90 min, no interval


Ingvar E. Sigurdsson

Nina Dogg Filippusdottir

Vikingur Kristjansson

Harpa Arnardottir

Drum Major
Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson

Olafur Egill Egilsson

Arni Petur Gudjonsson

Erlendur Eiriksson

Olafur Darri Olafsson

Swan/Doctor’s assisstant
Johannes Niels Sigurdsson

Haraldur Agustsson
Ivar Orn Arnason
Bjarni Bjarnason
Haraldur Bjorn Halldorsson
Thorsteinn J.Karason
Karl Erlingur Oddason
Hjalti Thor Thorsson
Karl Sigurdsson

Creative team

Gisli Örn Gardarsson

Original Music
Nick Cave
Warren Ellis

Nick Cave

Assistant director
Jon Atli Jonasson

English Translation by
Ruth Little
Gisli Örn Gardarsson
Jon Atli Jonasson

Set designer
Borkur Jonsson

Costume designer
Filippia Elisdóttir

Lighting designer
Larus Bjornsson

Lighting on tour
Halldor Orn Oskarsson
Kari Gislason
Thordur Orri Petursson

Sound designer
Olafur Orn Thoroddsen

Choral arrangements
Petur Thor Benediktsson

Voice / Text coach
Ellen Newman

John-Paul Zaccarini

Original Producer
Rakel Gardarsdóttir

Current Producer
Dyri Jonsson



London, UK
Barbican Theatre London Premiere 12 – 22th  October 2005

Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavík City Theatre Premiere 28th October 2005

London, UK
Barbican Theatre 5-15th July 2006

Ludwigshafen, Germany
Theater im Pfalzbau 27 – 28th November 2006

Amsterdam, Nederland
Het Muziek theater 18 – 22th April 2007

Salamanca, Spain
Center of scenic arts 1st June 2007
Festival Internacional de las Arts de Castilla y León

Uijeongbu/Seoul, S-Korea
Uijeongbu Music Theatre Festival 22 – 24th May 2008

New York, USA
BAM, Howard Gilman Opera House 15-18th October 2008

Aarhus, Denmark
Aarhus Theater Festival 2009 15th & 16th June 2009