Battle at the Dairy 1933 : Meierislaget 1933
In Grenland Friteater’s new big outdoor performance about the Battle at the Dairy in 1933 we follow striking dairy ladies, local youths, police officers and curious spectators at Meieritorvet when the brutal state police arrive in Porsgrunn, ready to attack people with their truncheons raised.
The Menstad battle is well-known as the most important and violent conflict in Norwegian labor history. Less commonly known, the Battle at the Dairy, which was at least as politically inflamed, was equally violent and happened around Meieritorvet in Porsgrunn in early November 1933.
What happened was that a few dairy girls, shop ladies and one driver at the Porsgrunn Dairy Company in the summer had formed a trade union and began negotiations on a collective agreement.
On November 8, the Board of Directors of the Dairy company rejects a recommended mediation proposal and strike is a reality. The next day (!), a large-scale police force arrives from the state police in Oslo under the leadership of Jonas Lie. The state police want revenge on the “Rabble-city Porsgrunn” after the fatal defeat at Menstad a year and a half earlier.
The police presence attracts large numbers of spectators. Thousands of people gather at the Meieritorvet, in the middle of Porsgrunn, in support of the strike and in protest against the police. Under the motto “Remember Menstad, boys!” the state police attack the crowd with the truncheons raised and chase both protesters and casual passers-by around the streets of Porsgrunn.
In the play we follow some of the striking dairy workers, the local police – who is between a rock and a hard place – as well as youngsters and citizens of Porsgrunn in confrontation with the brutal state police and local Nazis.
The Battle at the Dairy 1933 is performed outdoors at the Porsgrunn Maritime Museum in Porsgrunn in connection with the Porsgrunn International Theatre Festival: PIT 2018.
Performed in Norwegian.
Don’t forget that evenings can be chilly so early in the summer. Bring some warm clothes.
Tor Arne Ursin
Hadle Lavold Reisæter
Kjersti Posti Høgli
Lena Barth Aarstad
Anette Röde Hagnell
Jean Vincent Kerebel