Stina, Lena and Ingela in faecal drama Presidents

By on September 29, 2016

In Werner Schwab’s Presidents dress three maids of each other life lie after life lie in a grotesque, humorous and meandering conversation. Directed by Staffan Valdemar Holm. Premiere on Dramatic Theatre, the small stage, on 22 October.

– This is of course a dream ensemble in a play that offers three roles that are far from the usual female roles. It has been going on for many years but only now is therefore Stina Ekblad, Lena Endre and Ingela Olsson for the first time together on stage, ready to take us out on a pleasure trip into a central European inferno. Gute Fahrt !, says director Staffan Valdemar Holm.

Stina Ekblad, Lena Endre and Ingela Olsson playing three maids from the bottom of society layers in a single long and winding conversation undressing each other life lie after life lie. It is brutal, grotesque and humorous and operating over Schwabs deeply original language, Swabian” which has been described as expressionistic brutal prose. Hypocrisy, pettiness and uncontrolled service life are some recurring themes in his plays, which always has a socially critical sting.

Presidents (Die Präsidentinnen) is included in Schwab Collection Fäkaliendramen, translatable fekaliedramer. But Presidents are both faeces and deadly serious.

Feces has a central role in the play and is obviously a metaphor. But the feces itself is also interesting, not least politically. 2.1 billion people lack toilets in the world. And I counted a little on how much we poops in Sweden. Average European poops about 100 kg a year. 10 million people will be 1 million tons. To make understandable the amount is about 30000-35000 trucks or 800 000 big bags filled with crap. If you count the entire population becomes immense quantities. In our part of the world, we need not think of poo, but somewhere does it go way. Just because it is invisible to most people it does not mean that there is not. On stage we see some of those who have the task of taking care of shit, says Staffan Valdemar Holm.

Werner Schwab was punk playwright, according to director Staffan Valdemar Holm, and in this piece contrasted the mendacious clean and beautiful European house against those who have to clean the latrine. Schwab look to those who are at the bottom of the food chain, they do not have a voice in society, and gives them a language. But he does it without being distanced pitying and exotiserande. Schwabs own mother worked as a cleaner.

The Austrian playwright Werner Schwab died only 35 years old. From the breakthrough with Presidents from 1990 to his death in 1994 he wrote fifteen plays in a furious pace. His short-lived career, made a deep impression on the German-language drama: in 1991 he was named the year’s newcomer playwright and 1992 to this year’s playwrights of the prestigious journal Theater Heute. In 1992-1993 played the whole 70 different sets of Schwabs plays in Europe.

Erna: Stina Ekblad
Grete: Lena Endre
Mariedl: Ingela Olsson

Directed by Staffan Valdemar Holm
Translation: Linda Östergaard
Sets and costumes: Bente Lykke Møller
Light: Egil B. H. Hansen
Wig and mask: Sofia Ranow Boix Vives

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