Ragnar Eikelund, the head of a local victim support group whose son Tore was killed in the July attacks, said Café Teatret’s project was “so objectionable that words fail me”, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.
The theatre’s artistic director, Christian Lollike, told newspaper Politiken the play will feature an actor playing Breivik presenting his manifesto, a document he posted online shortly before setting off a car bomb outside government buildings, killing eight people. Breivik then went on a murderous shooting spree on Utøya island, where he killed a further 69 people at summer camp for young Labour Party followers.
Explaining the rationale behind the play, scheduled to run from August 23rd to September 15th this year, Lollike said understanding Breivik’s mindset was essential in order to avoid a repeat of the tragedy.
In Norway, however, the theatre community was quick to distance itself from the Copenhagen project.
“Breivik’s main aim was to spread the message in his manifesto, and he did that by killing all those people. He actually succeeded in that,” said Erik Ulfsby, head of Det Norska Teatret, a major Oslo theatre.
“Anyone creating more awareness about the manifesto is a useful idiot dancing to Breivik’s tune.”
The proposed play has also come in for criticism in the director’s native Denmark, where politicians from the Liberal and Social Democrat parties expressed serious concerns.
Per Balch Sørensen, a Dane whose daughter Hanne Annette died at Utøya, described the project as “a really bad idea”.
“It comes far too soon after the tragedy, and to me it seems someone is trying to make money off it,” he told newspaper Politiken.
In the manifesto, which he spent years writing, Behring Breivik describes himself as the "Marxist Hunter."
In the tract , titled "2083 — A European Declaration of Independence," he reveals his admiration for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and calls for adherents to spawn large families of white European 'jihadists.'
"If you are not willing to sacrifice your own life, then I would strongly advise you to make babies and ensure that they will be willing to sacrifice theirs when the time is right," he says at one point.
"I will be labelled as the biggest (Nazi-)monster ever witnessed since WW2," he acknowledged in the document, signed using an anglicisation of his name: Andrew Berwick, with the epithet: Justiciar Knight Commander, Knights Templar Europe, Knights Templar Norway.