Theatre in Iceland
TYRKJA-GUDDA (Tyrkja Gudda)
A play by Jakob Jónsson frá Hrauni
Originally produced at the NT in 1952 this is an epic play about the extraordinary life of Tyrkja-Gudda, a common woman of the seventeenth century. She was one of the great number of Icelanders who were captured by Algerian sea-warriors during a raid on the Vestmann Islands and several other fishing communities and consequently spent many years as a slave and concubine in Algeria. She was one of the few who returned to Iceland when the Danish Government finally paid ransom for them. The captives returned via Copenhagen where a young student of theology, Hallgrímur Pétursson (later to become a major Icelandic poet of the age) had the difficult task of leading this stray herd back to Christianity. Tyrkja Gudda and Hallgrímur fell in love and married. Once back in Iceland the couple had to face the prejudice and stupidity of the common people and had to fight hard for their love and dignity as well for their faith. She was looked upon as a whore and heathen from the Barbary and the fact that she was twice the age of young Hallgrímur was considered a disgrace.
Director: Benedikt Árnason
The National Theatre 1983