COPENHAGEN The hate-filled, racist views of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik are the subject of a new play which premiered in a small Danish theatre this week.
Less than two months after Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison for killing 77 people, director Christian Lollike shines a spotlight on the killer's 1,500-page manifesto in an effort to explore Breivik's views and consider whether he is part of a new radical right-wing movement or a deviant loner.
"I think it is very important to see his action, this tragedy, in the light of growing anti-Muslim attitudes throughout Europe," Lollike told Reuters.
The 90-minute monologue, entitled "Manifesto 2083", ends with the actor pointing a rifle at the audience.
Lollike has received hate mail and angry Internet postings - including criticism from support groups for Breivik's victims - but said he believes it is important to understand how such a tragedy could happen.
"It can happen again," he said. "He is not a lunatic. The thoughts of Anders Breivik - his political views - are not different from right-winged parties in Europe."
Some notions touched on by Breivik in his justification for setting off a bomb in Oslo and shooting dozens of teenagers dead on an island retreat - that Europe and its indigenous cultures are being weakened by immigration and multiculturalism - have been helping reshape right-wing continental politics for years.
Breivik was jailed for a maximum term in late August when judges declared him sane enough to answer for a shooting rampage in July last year, Norway's bloodiest day since World War Two.
The play, which will also be shown in Oslo, has received mixed reviews, with daily Berlingske calling it a sober attempt to get into Breivik's head and Jyllands-Posten saying theatre-goers were none the wiser about the man after the play.
The play opened in the same month as German theatres feature a Turkish-German actress reading Breivik's bizarre courtroom speech in an effort to highlight the widespread prevalence of far-right ideology in Europe.
(Reporting by Mia Shanley, editing by Paul Casciato)