Alexander Rybak – The stars attract people to the canals

Travelling from Belarus for a small dose of Rybak

KIlde:, published 29.06.15  Authors: Rune Fredriksen/Remi Drageset

Text to header photo: Alexander Rybak`s part as Ole Bull in the Soot-Play was supposed to have been five minutes long, but it got extended when he accepted the part. More value for the money says Anneli Sollie.

The canals in Ørje get a visit from faraway countries this week. The play about the founder of the Halden Canal Engebret Soot has a supporting role played by a particularly popular artist: Alexander Rybak as Ole Bull.

The Fairytale effect has far from ended in Europe. That was proven by the s the surprise the project manager Annelie Sollie got when she checked where the ones who bought the tickets came from.

– You get a bit curious,  says Sollie. When I checked with Billettservice I noticed one foreign address after another. We have people from Russia, many from the Netherlands, people from Germany and Denmark. And of course from Belarus.

The Fairytale effect

400 tickets have been sold to foreigners, but several have bought tickets to more than one performance, says Sollie.

– I noticed several faces from the premiere and the performance yesterday. Obviously they want to see Rybak more then ones when they`re in Norway.

Alexander Rybak, who has Belarusian roots, won as we know an overwhelming victory in the Eurovision Song Contest for Norway in Moscow on May 16 2009. People haven`t forgotten about that says Sollie.

– Definitely. They bring along gifts for him.

– I think he appreciates it a lot, says the project manager.

Rybak was excited after the premiere and commented that he had met foreign fans.

– I was about to speak German to some German fans who came from Germany and the Netherlands, Rybak told NRK right after the premiere.
– It`s going to be a great week, after a perfect beginning for the play.

– He has dreamt of playing Ole Bull for a long time, Sollie continues.

– It was originally a small part of the play, but when Rybak accepted it we made the role a bit bigger. So they get to experience a bit more than the original five minutes he was in the play.

– Both the audience and we get more value for our money!

The stars attract people to the canals

Many of the foreigners have bought tickets to several performances, says the project manager of the Soot play Anneli Sollie. Photo: Remi Drageset/NRK

3180 tickets to the Soot-Play were offered for sale, and everything sold out a long time ago. The producers had to place an extra bench in the amphitheatre for the audience. And a little more than 10% of them are there to see Alexander Rybak. But there are several other big names on the cast list, both Skjærgårdsdoktoren himself Samuel Fröler and not least Dennis Storhøi in the main role as Engebret Soot.

– People are coming from all over the country, not least the relatives of Soot himself. Engebret had many children, and relatives come from faraway places to see their ancestor, says Sollie.

Want to create a tradition

Those who don`t get to see the play this year will have an opportunity next year, and several years after that, says the project manager to calm people down.

– We have advertised this as an annual, historic play. So we`ll take three-four years at a time, we’ll see if we will manage to create a tradition.


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