Shakespeare tribute hits Stockholm stages

Fans of Shakespeare in Stockholm are in for a treat this June, as the Stockholm English Speaking Theatre Company takes to the stages of the city to present “Shakespeare, As You Like it” – a tribute to the bard himself.

Shakespeare tribute hits Stockholm stages
The Stockholm English Speaking Theatre Company in action

The troupe will present a potpourri of scenes and passages at two of Stockholm’s most spectacular outdoor venues.

They grace Hallwylska Palatset on June 14th for three nights of “Shakespeare at the Palace,” before moving on to the gardens at Observatoriemuseet for “Shakespeare on the Hill” on June 29th until July 1st, returning again on July 13th and 14th.

Preparations have been underway since January for the summer production and actor and co-producer Kristina Leon is looking forward to the challenge such an array of genres will present for the cast.

“We thought it would be more interesting for people of Stockholm to see the best of the bard, through his comedies, tragedies and sonnets combined together in one production,” Leon told The Local.

“As an actor it is this combination which is most exciting as it requires so many different energies. In one scene we may be playing male characters, in the next we may be female.”

The acting cast, Ingela Lundh, Cheryl Murphy and Kristina Leon herself will be looking to bring the traditions of Shakespeare to Swedish and English speakers alike in their outdoor show.

“Shakespeare, As You Like it” follows on from their production of Ted Hughes’ “Ovid” – a modern interpretation of a classical play the bard is said to have drawn much inspiration from.

“We are looking to create a production that a mixed audience of Swedish speakers, English speakers and tourists will be able to enjoy,” Leon told The Local.

“Shakespeare can be a challenge at the best of times for native speakers, but through our physical theatre accompanying some of the most well-known passages in English verse, we will be hoping that all will be able to enjoy the richness of the bard.”

The production is being directed by Italian Samuele Caldognetto, who moved to Sweden in 2009 and has since become the founder of SEST, along with Italian group, Teater Pi. The scenes will be collaborated with the live music of classical guitarist, Carl Bruno.

To win a pair of tickets for one of the Stockholm English Speaking Theatre Company’s productions this summer, be the first to send the correct answer to the following question to [email protected]:

Which of William Shakespeare’s plays is sometimes referred to by superstitious actors as “The Scottish Play”?

UPDATE: This competition is now closed

Joe Lynskey

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Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).