Tragic farce with Johan Ulveson and Kicki Bramberg

By on October 1, 2018

One of the real classics of the postwar and one of the premier examples of the absurd theater – The chairs – by Eugène Ionesco are set up at Dramaten under the direction of Tobias Theorell. The roles as Gubben and Gumman are played by Johan Ulveson and Kicki Bramberg. Premiere at Målarsalen on October 11th.

The doorbell rings. To Gubben and Gummans delight and surprise begins the imaginary guests to come. Chairs are picked up. The door rings again. And again. As the invisible guests fall in, the chairs are picked up. Everybody is here and now, they are just waiting for the speaker to convey Gubbens message. For a little more professional touch.

“It’s fun to play old,” says Johan Ulveson to Svenska Dagbladet in an interview. “They are old, but also like us. It is important to find a balance between them.”

Eugène Ionesco was born in 1909 in Romania but lived and acted as a dramatist in France. His plays often mix everyday situations with unreal, dreamlike elements, and treat deeply human themes as loneliness, aging, and end of life. He is one of the premier representatives of absurd theater but calls himself the Chairs of a tragic farce. The play was written in 1951 and at the first performance 1952 it was received as incomprehensible. Four years later, it made a success in Paris.

The chairs have been set up earlier in Dramaten, 1961, then directed by Alf Sjöberg and with Allan Edwall and Gertrud Fridh in the roles of Gubben and Gumman.

For direction stands Tobias Theorell, who last set up Anna Karenina last year on Dramaten. Previously, he has directed Figaro’s Wedding and De stora vidderna at Dramaten.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Stockholm