European Review



Original Article

‘It's the real thing’: performance and murder in Sweden


OLA  JOHANSSON  a1 , JANELLE  REINELT  a1 and WILLMAR  SAUTER  a1
a1 Willmar Sauter, Theatervetenskapliga instutuionen, Stockholms Universiteit, 10691 Stockholm Sweden. E-mail: Willmar.Sauter@teater.su.se

Abstract

Sju tre (1999) is the most controversial theatre production in Sweden in modern times. Lars Norén, a well-known playwright and director, staged a dialogue involving three real convicts, of whom two were outspoken Nazis. Shortly after the last performance, the latter two men were involved in a bank robbery in which two policemen were killed. These scandalous events are discussed from three different perspectives, all, however, revolving around the uncertain boundaries between aesthetic, ethical, and political issues. By virtue of its performative impact, the theatrical event proved to be directly linked with critical questions of democracy, although conceivably at the expense of the artistic integrity of the director and the theatre as creator of public opinion.