The magic of “Trolle” – Alexander Rybak

Source: Kilden Teater og Konserthall.
Translated by TessaLa, revised by Anni Lowett

Text to photo: Important to write “Trolle”: With the musical “Trolle” Alexander wants to tell the children that they are not alone feeling different. Photo: Jon Petter Thorsen / Aptum


Melody Grand Prix and “Fairytale” were fun. But at the same time, I was working on something else, something completely different, something that could be about us all. About bullying, about not fitting in. About magical places and mysterious creatures that one can choose to believe in or not. But most of all about friendship.

Many children know the feeling about being lonely, being frozen out of the gang or – worst of all – just being overlooked. I remember back to my own childhood and how strongly I wanted to be understood. I still feel a bit like that as an adult. The more people I have around me, the more lonely I can feel. Then I appreciate the few friends I have and who know me as Alexander from Bakkegårdsveien 6.

For me, writing the story of Trolle has been important. It is important for me to tell children that they are not alone in feeling different. That they must not stop believing in good friendships, although it can take a long time.

Finding a friend may take even longer than publishing a book. Through five years of looking for a company that would publish both book and music, I have been both frustrated, discouraged and sorry. Until Cappelen Damm embraced the project wholeheartedly.

Alva, a young and brave girl, goes into the darkest forests to cheer up Trolle, and becomes his only friend. She convinces the others in the village that Trolle is not as dangerous as everyone thinks. Together, they go on adventures and overcome the darkest magic with their friendship.

When the book was published in three editions and received fantastic reviews, I continued to work on the musical. I was lucky and got Norway’s most exciting director, Jostein Kirkeby-Garstad, to develop the script. It might have taken just as many years to get a theater deal in place, but with Jostein by my side, it was fun to wait!

Now, ten years after I started writing the story and the music, it’s finally time for the premiere in the fantastic Kilden in Kristiansand. Who knows, it could have taken another ten years, but I like to think I wouldn’t give up anyway: The point is that things take time, but are usually worth it.

If it takes that long to develop a book, an album, a musical – how long does it take to develop a friendship? One week? A year? A lifetime? Or is it enough with a ; “Hello, what’s your name”?

I hope many kids, of all ages, will be inspired by the musical, will find a friend to encourage and get to know, and embark on adventures together.

Enjoy, and thank you very much!

Text: Alexander Rybak

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