Thursday, November 11, 2010

Touring Sweden in the snow

Skovde is a little town, about two hours' drive from Gothenburg. We got there in our van, a hired minibus and a little car driven by yours truly - up from the coast past lakes, forests and elk in the deep snow. Spatica, who arrived a day late because of the inevitable visa complications, was bouncing arond the car like a child on speed - you don't see much snow in Bangalore. Mia says it's strange for Sweden in early November, but anywhere there it was. Once we got to Skovde we had a snowball fight. Jue lost.

The theatre in Skovde is beautiful - modern, open and acoustically warm. It also has dimmer racks which don't work - so they had to be replaced before we could focus the lighting rig. As a result, the planned dress rehearsal went by the board - leaving Dori to operate her first show as her first run-through. It didn't seem to faze her as much as it did me. The lighting was actually more of a problem than the video, since we had no time to work through the cues or to make focus adjustments. There were key moments which were very dark, and moody moments that were too bright. It was all a bit of a mess, to be honest. And nobody's fault, really.

Still, the audience enjoyed the night. And it was a big audience too - several schools seemed to have decided this was one for their older pupils, so there was a large teenage contingent. The humour was as lively as it was with other young audiences - though in slightly different places, of course. One of the great joys of this project is the way the play's meaning alters slightly with every different audience. We changed a couple of moments - Bjorn's award acceptance now goes into Swedish when he's becoming most personal with Maja, and his "meltdown" is in a mixture of Swedish, English and Chinese. He also translates Radhakrishna's poem into Swedish. Oddly, I find the music of Swedish and Kannada rather similar. For the first time, this sounds like a duet.

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