The Saga of Norwegian-based Actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson

The Saga of Norwegian-based Actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson

He was never accepted admission to the Academy of Theatre in Oslo. However, that did not prevent Icelandic actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson from being accepted at Broadway or in West End and working closely with Nick Cave. Today the Norwegian-based actor is acclaimed by international producers.

Earlier this year, when an actor was unable to do the English version of a new comedy TV series titled One Night Stand due to a death in the family, Gardarsson was ready to step in.

The Saga of Norwegian-based Actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson
Norwegian-based actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson

“He did it in 3 days’ notice, which must be regarded as extremely brave,” says director Øystein Karlsen.

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The Saga of Norwegian-based Actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson
Gardarsson interprets Robin Hood

Norwegian-based actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson is an international star
Following the recent success of Norwegian television series like SkamOne Night wanted international attention. For that reason, they chose to shoot in English. It is already creating buzz, having been named one of the top ten foreign ‘must see series’ by Deadline.

London audiences got their first glimpse of his restless ingenuity in 2003, when his rapturously received adaptation of Romeo and Juliet played at the Young Vic, before transferring to the Playhouse Theatre.

The Saga of Norwegian-based Actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson
Vesturport is performing Faust

In 2005, the Reykjavik-based Vesturport theatre company, which Gardarsson co-founded with a group of friends while they were still at theatre school, was bringing an equally ambitious production to the Young Genius season, a collaboration between the Young Vic and Barbican BITE.

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Critical successes

“Gisli Gardarsson’s shows have been such critical successes, doing what is almost impossible in today’s multimedia society; attracting a new young audience to the theatre,” wrote BBC News and continued: “He made his directing début with a circus-themed production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Reykjavík City Theatre in 2003, also playing Romeo. The production’s success led to a transfer to the Young Vic in London, from where it moved in 2004 to the Playhouse Theatre in the West End. He has since directed further stage productions all over the world, including an adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis in association with David Farr.”

Büchner’s Woyzeck at the BAM Next Wave Festival, directed by Gísli, was his work’s first appearance in the US. He has since been to Boston, Toronto, Winnipeg, New York and San Francisco with his work.

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The Saga of Norwegian-based Actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson
In three days’ notice Gardarsson stepped in and took a role in a new TV series titled One Night Stand

Travel between Oslo and London
He has acted in, written and produced many theatre, film and TV productions, winning numerous awards, such as the Broadway World and Boston theater awards for The Heart of Robin Hood and Metamorphosis and the prestigious European theater awards in 2011. In 2007 he received the European Shooting Star for his acting in the film Children.

His productions of Woyzeck, Metamorphosis and Faust had the music specially composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Gisli continuously works across the Globe, mounting productions of all sizes to a very broad audience. He is an associate director at the National Theatre in Oslo, Norway and at the Young Vic Theatre in London.

The Saga of Norwegian-based Actor Gisli Örn Gardarsson, written by Tor Kjolberg

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.