Length: 2 acts
BASED ON NOVEL BY SIGRID UNDSET’S
© 2008 Kārlis Anitens
© 1961 Zvaigzne
© 1922 Aschehoug Agency
For full information about rights and full text of play please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Norway, the 13th century. At the age of fifteen the happy early youthful years of Kristine are shocked by the death of her childhood friend Arne, and the mother of the boy blames Kristine for it. To find peace of heart, Kristine travels to a nunnery in Oslo supported by her parents Lavrans and Ragnfrid, betrothed Simon, godmother Ashild and priest Friar Edvin who is close to her soul. However an accident in the city brings Kristine together with knight Erlend who has a disgraced reputation in the eyes of public. Their affair grows into an unstoppable and contradictory passion that erases Kristine’s spiritual values leading the main character to a deep inner conflict regarding her attitude towards life. When desire between Kristine and Erlend becomes evident, the previously strong relationship between the father and the daughter is irreversibly shattered with Lavrans taking the side of her lawfully betrothed Simon. This watershed leads to a true insight and actual disruption of the interrelationship between Lavrans and Ragnfrid.
In order to escape disapproval from people and family, Erlend and Kristine decide to flee to Sweden, involving also her godmother Ashild in this plan. However, the secret trip is interrupted by Eline, the previous concubine of Erlend’s and the mother of his two children. A quarrel arises, Eline kills herself, but manages to carve an irremediable wound between Kristine and Erlend. In order to hide what has happened godmother Ashild decides to sacrifice her life for Kristine and Erlend which alienates Erlend and Kristine even more.
A year later when Kristine is already pregnant, her spiritual teacher Friar Edvin dies in her hands. Affected by the tragedy, Lavrans stops opposing the relationship between Kristine and Erlend allowing them to become lawful husband and wife. Wedding takes place, however there is no emotional connection between Kristine and Erlend anymore, and it isn’t revived by the birth of their child. As the only way out for her life in the future Kristine sees the rejuvenated connection with God. Although it seems that she has succeeded, the wounds of the soul do not heal, and Kristine’s life further on turns into an endless ball of inner anger, and there is no beginning or end to it. As the black thread in this ball of yarn is her husband Erlend’s successful career and his reconciled relationship with Lavrans which annoys Kristine. Only when Lavrans dies there is a possible ray of light in Kristine’s life.