243 West 47th Street
New York, NY 10036
Elling follows two unlikely friends who meet as roommates in a mental institution. The title character is a reclusive man who struggles to function on his own after the death of his mother. His roommate, Kjell Bjarne, is a virgin in his 40s who is fascinated with sex and overeating. When the pair is released from the institution, they are placed in government housing where a social worker occasionally checks in on them to ensure they are capable of living in society on their own. At their new apartment, Elling befriends a local elder man, while Kjell Bjarne sparks a romance with their pregnant neighbor.
What Is Elling Like?
The show takes place on a fairly minimal set with the actors frequently moving around furniture to change scenes. While the characters suffer from differing mental illnesses, the play is full of offbeat humor that examines their friendship and how the two men help each other. There are serious moments, but they are mostly balanced with comedic bits. As the play is based on popular series of Norwegian novels and their film adaptations, the characters have Norwegian names and Norwegian music is often played.
Is Elling Good for Kids?
This is definitely for adults only. Elling’s best friend Kjell Bjarne is addicted to sexual thoughts, which he often makes vocal. He frequently makes references to getting erections and spends time on the phone with a sex hotline. In one scene the characters, one of which is pregnant, drink and smoke heavily. There is brief nudity.