Past Entertainment

For the week of 3/9/09

August Strindberg's Easter, Klarascenen variant

A Play Review By Cozmic

Image copyright of Aftonbladet.

Usually, I try to review stuff I enjoy, and steer clear of things that suck until they are no longer somewhat new, but seeing as how my last game purchases have been bargain bin finds, I haven't felt like I have acquainted myself with Street Fighter IV or Killzone 2 properly due to my lack f a Playstation 3, and CDs are at a standstill. So what does a poor penguin do? A theatre review!
For those not familiar with Easter, it is a play originally written by August Strindberg, and it turns 109 this year, which is an accomplishment, I guess, although just why it has lived for so long simply has to do more to Strindberg's name than any inherent quality in the play.
There, enough berating for the moment, what is this thing about?
Well, as the title suggests, it's Easter, and Easter opens up for a whole lot of complaining, at least if your father is in jail for embezzling and everyone hates you because of it.
So in this, we meet all five characters, just sitting on a stage, which looks something like this.
I do believe scenographer Kari Gravklev must be incredibly proud of her achievement. Note that picture is still sort of special in that it's a very rare thing to see that much movement on stage, and they actually change the text behind them between acts, and otherwise it is invisible. Note that it basically consists of five people sitting on chairs, complaining in various ways for about an hour and a half. People who thought this was a play and not a rehearsed, and highly off topic, boardmeeting, will be highly dissapointed.
The main character of the thing can be said to be Elis, convincingly played in this rendition by Sven Ahlström, who does the part of sitting there talking with almost no feeling at all pretty well, to be honest. Hey, at least you can hear what the guy is saying, and it only barely feels like he just drones on and on and on. Okay, so this goes for pretty much the entire cast, I guess. Bonus points to the fact that the sister, Eleonora(Maria Salomaa), not only manages to be crazy, Christian, walk around a bit (in this play, it is actually an accomplishment), but also manages to have a Finnish accent somehow.
If one is to point out the good parts, at least they seem to be trying to make it interesting, and the romance between Benjamin(Dan Turdén) and Eleonora, while never mentioned, becomes clear simply because you have to pay attention to what those two are doing while Elis whine from his chair, and that the not-too-subtle-but-not-meant-to-be-obvious lightning sometimes does a good job.
The best one can say is that Deus-Ex Machina Sten Ljunggren at least brings a smile of recognition in a cast where one recognizes just about nobody except the mother, Katarina Ewerlöf. The fiancé of senõr whinybottoms, Kristina, played by Helena af Sandeberg, manages to weigh up all the negativity somewhat, at least. There, now I've mentioned the entire cast, too! Now if I could just get the name of the guy who tossed stuff up on stage then I'd probably have named the entire production, or maybe that was Gravklev?
I do believe I've picked enough on the production, an interesting experiment that simply fails to grab my attention, and now not even people who visit Sweden while this is playing probably won't go to see it (even if they spoke fluent Swedish), but the production, as I said, was at leats an attempt to make something unique to the theatre. Besides, the whole thing might get bogged down by the fact that clearly Strindberg was at times a horrible playwright, which the ending makes far too evident, unless the director Erik Stubø simply screwed up more than I imagined. In summary, two eyelids closed.

 Really Pathetic Productions 1997-2009 Menu Bar by Albatross.