Lars von Trier became an international sensation with this galvanizing realist fable about sex and spiritual transcendence. Bess, a simple, pious newlywed in a tiny Scottish village who gives herself up to a shocking form of martyrdom after her husband is paralyzed in an oil rig accident. Breaking the Waves, both brazen and tender, profane and pure, is an examination of the expansiveness of faith and of its limits.

“Breaking the Waves” is based on Lars Von Trier’s Grand Prix Du Jury (Cannes) winning film. The play takes place in the early 70s in a tense and religious society located on a distant coast in Northern Scotland. It is about the story of Bess, a young, naive and innocent girl and her encounter with love. Bess lives in a narrow, Calvinistic world, well protected by her family. She falls in love with Jan, an experienced and mature worker at a drilling platform; he is also a man of the world. Despite the resistance of the locals they marry and Jan returns to the drilling platform while Bess is counting the days until his return. She is certain that their love is blessed from above; especially because she is convinced she can communicate with God on a mental level. When Jan is paralyzed following an accident, he fears that Bess will cut herself off from a normal life. Chained to the bed, he convinces her that he will recover sooner if she finds a lover and talk to him about the sex they have. The play is adapted for the stage by Vivian Nielsen.